Spotlight on…. Northumbria University

Northumbria University

Since February 2009 The Open ICT Tools trial project has been working on a number of outcomes, commencing with the detailed planning of stage one and establishing evaluation criteria. They also attended the start-up meeting along with the other trial projects and have dedicated time and effort developing a risk assessment tool. The project website has been launched with publicity across Northumbria University.

Alongside these achievements the trial project has visited three potential project partners as well as moving collaborative tools onto a new server hosted by Northumbria University. This server has been commissioned to facilitate collaborative work with external business and community partners. For this project, Plone has been installed. Another development initiated by the project was a trial of VoIP such as Skype on the main Northumbria University network.

The pilot phase has already begun, earlier than scheduled. 70 students are involved from Northumbria with four people involved from Intel ( based at Oregon, Portland (USA), San Francisco, California (USA) and London (UK)). There are 11 groups, each with its own space on Plone. Students from two different courses are involved; ‘Interactive multimedia design (IMD) + design for industry (DfI) ’ exploring ‘Future of mobile computing’. It will be interesting to review how each uses the available space on Plone; the IMD group may well stretch the system!

A successful teleconference was held re. ‘Working with Intel, Portland, Oregon’. Further remote events are planned. Each group will have teleconference (10 minutes each) with Intel, after which they will develop the group project brief. Additionally two staff from Intel will visit Newcastle to work with the students on their briefs. Finally 9 students will be chosen to travel to the States to present their work.

There are various areas of work planned over the next six months and one of the core areas is working with key stakeholders to undertake an evaluation of stage 1 of the project and plan preparation of recommendations for stage 2 delivery. Following this there will be dissemination of the 1st stage project outcomes on the project website.