Last updated: 
1 week 2 days ago
Group Manager
This group has been set up to encourage partnerships between education in the UK and abroad, to bring other cultures into the classroom. There is the opportunity to discuss experiences and best practice in using videoconferencing in education. The group meets three times a year via VC. Over the past year we have enjoyed a presentation given by National Archives, also Paul Gross from Metlearn, who are some of the Janet Content Providers. The next meeting date is February 11th 2015.The meetings take place at 3:30 pm. The group currently consists of Heather Hadfield-works at South East Grid for Learning project manager. Mina Patel-part time science advisor in schools, also runs VCFL-Videoconferencing for learning. Graham Moore-Shropshire Museum contact, Learning and Skills Development Officer for Shropshire Council. Tim Arnold-Advisor for Digital media in Devon. Mick Young-e learning office, Gateshead. Sharon Harrison –ICT Curriculum manager, Barnet, London. Dave Smith –ICT consultant in Havering, Essex Iain Midgely -     Lancashire -Broadband  consultant for schools Roger Bloxham – Schools consultant in London Stuart Oliphant  -Scotland Glow Technology Specialist Mark Burden  - WVN Support Swansea university Eamonn McAteer  Northern Ireland schools Richard Sedding-Janet VC services manager-Chair of group

Group administrators:

Broadband guidelines for VC

9 September 2013 at 9:25am

During the most recent UK VC Partnerships meeting the issue of Broadband advice for schools was raised, and that Janet should present some clear guidelines to help the schools community when deciding on Broadband providers.

Those present gave their ideas, and we came up with the following:

  • Does the potential supplier have an efficient responsive Help desk support from qualified VC experts? Is there in conference support? Support is essential to make sure that problems are quickly resolved(SLA), so choose one that opens from 8am (or maybe even 7am is desirable), as this would still fit in with school opening hours.
  • There should be some sort of SLA for packet delivery, since VC is so sensitive to packet loss.
  • If Schools want to use HD or high bandwidths they will only receive that quality if another site they are conferencing with has the same HD equipment. If they are using an MCU for multipoint VC  then that needs to support it too (HD and speed matching).
  • Traffic shaping (restricting of non-standard ports & protocols) is a very real issue for users using public ISP's. This can have a very detrimental effect on VC, including everything from call set-up to media streams being blocked. It is recommended that schools check with potential ISP's that this will not be an issue.
  • Does your broadband supplier have a help desk that works closely with Janet VC services – so they are able to connect your establishment to the national education network and allow you to securely make VC calls outside your establishment?
  • Janet publish VTAS product evaluations in order to give schools some advice as to what actual hardware would best suit schools’ needs. The link to the website is