ILT IN SPECIALIST COLLEGES

Report to the Specialist Colleges ILT Sub-Group of the National Learning Network Programme Board of a survey into Information and Learning Technology Provision, Access and Policy in Specialist colleges in England.

Bob Powell Steve Davies

April 2002

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Acknowledgements Bob Powell is Associate Director: Lifelong Learning at Becta. Steve Davies is Project Officer with the Ferl team and carried out the bulk of the statistical analysis. The questionnaire that informed this report was based on one initially developed by Alison Page of Becta in 1999 for a survey of ILT in FE colleges and on a refinement of that survey that was conducted with Specialist colleges in 2001 The final survey instrument and the results and analysis arising from it has benefited from the advice, guidance, comments and observations of a range of individuals and agencies, in particular the members of the Specialist Colleges ILT Sub-group of the National Learning Network Programme Board, under its Chair, Ceri Prosser of Treloar College. Particular thanks are due to Jacqueline Marsh, NLN Development Officer at LSC for her contributions to the document and for her energetic chasing of late returns, ably assisted by her colleague, Kate Halliday. The main findings were first aired at a meeting of the Specialist Colleges Sub-group and this final report has taken account of the supportive and critical commentary offered by the group at that event and subsequently by email. The online survey facility was provided by Infopoll.

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Contents
Contents................................................................................................................................................... 2 Tables....................................................................................................................................................... 4 Charts....................................................................................................................................................... 4 1 Management summary ..................................................................................................................... 5 1.1 The survey................................................................................................................................. 5 1.2 The Specialist college sector ...................................................................................................... 5 1.3 College computer infrastructure ................................................................................................ 5 1.4 Access to computers ................................................................................................................. 6 1.5 Uses of ILT................................................................................................................................. 7 1.6 Staff skills .................................................................................................................................. 7 2 Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 8 2.1 Context and purpose of the study .............................................................................................. 8 2.2 Survey methodology and response ............................................................................................ 8 2.3 The Specialist college sector ...................................................................................................... 9 2.4 IT Funding and Expenditure ..................................................................................................... 10 3 Infrastructure.................................................................................................................................. 12 3.1 Baseline computer specification .............................................................................................. 12 3.2 College computer stock ........................................................................................................... 12 3.3 Local Area Networks................................................................................................................ 14 3.4 LAN Performance .................................................................................................................... 15 3.5 Internet connectivity ............................................................................................................... 16 3.6 Constraints on Internet use ..................................................................................................... 17 3.7 Technical Support.................................................................................................................... 18 4 Access to Computers....................................................................................................................... 20 4.1 IT and ILT Policy ....................................................................................................................... 20 4.2 Access for staff ........................................................................................................................ 20 4.3 Access for learners .................................................................................................................. 21 4.4 Meeting student demand for computers ................................................................................. 22 4.5 Student demand for Internet ................................................................................................... 24 5 Uses of ILT ...................................................................................................................................... 26 5.1 ILT and the curriculum ............................................................................................................. 26 5.2 Staff use of the LAN/Intranet ................................................................................................... 26 5.3 Student use of the LAN/Intranet .............................................................................................. 27 5.4 Other Networked Activities ..................................................................................................... 28 5.5 Uses of the Internet by staff .................................................................................................... 29 5.6 Uses of Internet by students .................................................................................................... 30 5.7 Email access ............................................................................................................................ 30 6 Staff skills........................................................................................................................................ 32 6.1 Staff IT and ILT competence..................................................................................................... 32 6.2 Teaching/learner support staff ................................................................................................ 32 6.3 Student/personal support staff ................................................................................................ 33 6.4 Administration/institutional support staff ................................................................................ 34 Appendix: Assistive Technology in the Specialist college sector ......................................................... 36

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Tables
Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 Table 7 Table 8 Table 9 Table 10 Table 11 Table 12 Table 13 Table 14 Respondents by college specialism........................................................................................ 8 Programmes of study ............................................................................................................ 9 Computer specifications ..................................................................................................... 12 Prices for “best buy” computer ........................................................................................... 13 Local Area Networks ........................................................................................................... 14 LANs by college size ............................................................................................................ 14 Total number of major sites ................................................................................................ 15 Total planned bandwidth .................................................................................................... 17 Internet service providers ................................................................................................... 17 Ideal staff/computer ratios ................................................................................................. 20 Ease of computer access ..................................................................................................... 23 Causes of difficulties ........................................................................................................... 24 Student access to Internet .................................................................................................. 25 ILT use by programme type ................................................................................................. 26

Charts
Chart 1 Chart 2 Chart 3 Chart 4 Chart 5 Chart 6 Chart 7 Chart 8 Chart 9 Chart 10 Chart 11 Chart 12 Chart 13 Chart 14 Chart 15 Chart 16 Chart 17 Specialist college staffing .................................................................................................... 10 College computer stock....................................................................................................... 13 Network capability to meet demand ................................................................................... 16 Constraints on increased use of the Internet ....................................................................... 18 Technical support by college size ........................................................................................ 19 Staff using own designated computer ................................................................................. 21 Student/computer ratios .................................................................................................... 22 Student demand for computers .......................................................................................... 23 Student demand for Internet .............................................................................................. 24 Staff use of the LAN/Intranet .............................................................................................. 27 Student use of the LAN/Intranet ......................................................................................... 28 Staff use of Internet ............................................................................................................ 29 Student use of the Internet ................................................................................................. 30 Email access........................................................................................................................ 31 Skills of teaching/learner support staff ................................................................................ 32 Skills of student/personal support staff ............................................................................... 33 Skills of administration/institutional support staff ............................................................... 34

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1.1

Management summary
The survey

A total of 50 colleges (88% of the sector) submitted completed questionnaires in time for inclusion in the analysis. The sample therefore includes the overwhelming majority of Specialist colleges, between them representing over 95% of the sector’s students. 1.2 The Specialist college sector The whole sector accounts for approximately 3200 students, predominantly under 25 years of age. Students typically attend on a residential basis and are enrolled on study programmes in excess of 2 years in length. Most specialisms are covered by very small numbers of colleges. The largest group “Learning difficulties and/or disabilities” accounts for nearly half the sector, but is something of a catch-all category, masking further wide variation within the classification. Only the nine colleges for students with visual impairment stand out as a significantly-sized group within the sector. Students numbers are small by comparison with mainstream FE and sixth form colleges. The largest college caters for 254 students, whilst the median college (the college in the middle of the range surveyed) caters for only 42. Very nearly half of all Specialist college staff have as their primary role support for the living needs of students. Two-thirds of teaching staff are full-time, exactly reversing the proportions within the general FE sector where sessional staff make up two-thirds of all teaching staff. 1.3 College computer infrastructure

The typical baseline specification quoted by Specialist colleges is 650Mhz with 64Mb of RAM and 10Gb hard disk. 76% of the current installed stock of computers in Specialist colleges are at or above baseline specification. (63% in mainstream colleges) 90% of all computers are desktop machines, and over 70% of these are networked. The median price paid for a middle-range computer is £750, slightly higher than in FE generally where the median price is £700. However, there is considerable variation in price paid for similar machines across the sector, a situation mirroring that in FE. Local Area Networks (LANs) Around two-thirds of Specialist colleges have a Local Area Network. Over half of these colleges have networks that are at least partly 100 Mbps Ethernet or higher, indicating well-specified networks within the sector. The distribution and bandwidth of LANs are both closely related to college size. However, the one in three colleges that currently have no significant LAN must be of great concern in the context of extending the benefits of ILT and e-learning to all students. Despite generally robust LAN specifications, 57% of Specialist college networks are currently at capacity and a further 13% are unable to meet even current demand. However, only 45% of specialist colleges restrict network traffic in bandwidth-hungry applications, as opposed to 80% in mainstream FE colleges. Only 6% report that slowness and unreliability are a frequent problem of network performance. 34% describe their network as working without appreciable delay, with the remaining 60% reporting their network to be slow at busy times.

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Internet connectivity 88% of Specialist colleges are connected to the Internet, though only 4 (8%) have the 2Mbps connection equivalent to the JANET connection for FE. Of particular concern are those colleges still relying upon modems and the one in three colleges that have no Local Area Network to distribute Internet traffic across machines. The most pressing barrier to increased use of the Internet is the number of access points, i.e. internet– connected computers. The level of student skill is seen as the second most important constraint. This, taken along with colleges reporting the availability of staff for student support as an additional constraint, reflects the particular needs of the student body. Technical support Half the Specialist colleges directly employ technical support staff, and just under two fifths use an outsourced service. The remaining colleges make use of technical support provided by their parent organisation or by other college staff members. As might be expected, the larger colleges are more likely to employ technical support staff, and the smaller colleges are more likely to use non-specialist staff, such as teachers. 1.4 Access to computers

Staff access All or most administration staff have access to their own computer in the overwhelming majority of colleges. Teaching staff are far more likely to share a computer; all or most teaching staff share computers with other staff in 19 colleges, and with students in a further 21. In the majority of colleges, all staff can access a computer to use, but there remain 3 colleges where neither the teaching and learner support staff nor the student and personal support staff have any computer access, nor is it seen as a priority. Only one college has achieved the situation where all teaching staff have a computer for their sole personal use, and 33 do not regard this situation as a priority. Student access The median ratio of students to a computer was 1.7:1. The mean value was distorted by the small number of very large ratios, producing a value of 2.9:1. The importance of computers as a basic tool to enhance communication and to support learning and essential living needs of the Specialist colleges’ students is reflected in this outcome. Whilst the calculation of ratios is helpful to facilitate comparison with provision in the FE sector generally, it is likely to be of far less use as a measure for setting any kind of sensible target for Specialist colleges. Given the relatively good levels of computer resource noted above, it is no surprise to find that around 60% of Specialist colleges report sufficient capacity to meet student demand for computers. Only two thirds of Specialist colleges, however, report demand for ILT to be widespread among students, compared with over 97% of mainstream colleges. While access to computers is easy in close to 30% of colleges, the remainder experience difficulties, students having to wait or queue in around half of Specialist colleges. Students are entitled to computer access to enable them to complete work in less than half of the colleges, while a further quarter of the sample report that students can expect access, but it could not be described as an entitlement.

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1.5 Uses of ILT More than three quarters of Specialist colleges that offer Basic/key skills, Vocational programmes, GCSE/A levels and Communication skills programmes make some use of ILT in delivering these. Programmes supporting independent living skills, which are reported by the largest number of colleges, have the lowest levels of ILT use. Use of the LAN/intranet Use by staff of the college LAN for email and Internet access is reported by all 33 colleges with a LAN in place. However, only just over half of those with a LAN describe these activities as common practice (53% for staff accessing the Internet, 59%for staff use of email). Student use of college LANs follows a similar pattern to staff use, though typically tracking behind staff in scale, most notably in the use of the LAN for email traffic. Internet access remains the principal use, with 87% of respondents making use of the network for this purpose, with just over half describing it as common practice. Use of the Internet 44 colleges have Internet access, all of whom report staff use of the Internet for email. 27 report email as common practice within the institution, 8 more than describe use of the LAN for this purpose as common. The only other major use of the Internet is as an information resource, where activity parallels that of email, with 27 colleges reporting common use. The Internet is used as an information source by students at 40 colleges, but commonly used at only 22. This level of use is significantly lower than in mainstream colleges. 26 colleges described themselves as providing e-learning, with a further 6 having definite plans to provide e-learning, whilst a further 4 may introduce this type of learning in the future. Access to email Relatively few staff, full-time or sessional, have a personal email address at college. Only 13 colleges rely wholly upon an internal email system, whilst a further 5 supplement internal provision with externally based services. 22 rely wholly upon external email. 1.6 Staff skills

The picture for teaching and learner support staff shows a remarkable degree of transfer of personal IT skills into use in the classroom, when compared with their counterparts in mainstream colleges. 66% of staff are considered competent or advanced in their personal use of IT, with 64% translating that into a similar level of skill in a teaching situation. This could be a spin-off from the use of assistive technologies within Specialist colleges, giving teaching staff the experience of adapting to ILT and the confidence necessary to be comfortable with it. As might be expected, there is a lower level of skill among student/personal support staff. 41% are competent or advanced in their IT skills, with 30% at a similar level in ILT. Colleges will need to make a judgement about the particular skills required within this staff group in the context of the particular student needs that they support. The IT skills of administration and institutional support staff are reasonably high, with 89% of this group reported to be competent or advanced. Colleges were asked solely about he personal IT skills of this group, given that they have no direct role in the delivery of learning.

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2.1

Introduction
Context and purpose of the study

This study was carried out in February and March 2002 on behalf of the Specialist Colleges ILT Sub-group of the National Learning Network Programme Board. The aim of the survey was to assess the extent and significance of Information and Learning Technology infrastructure and use within this sector. The study took the form of a survey by questionnaire of all the 57 Specialist colleges in England in receipt of Learning and Skills Council funding. The study explored quantitative issues relating to infrastructure and practice. The questionnaire was published and disseminated in both paper-based and web-based formats. 2.2 Survey methodology and response A total of 50 colleges (88% of the sector) submitted completed questionnaires in time for inclusion in the analysis. All of the colleges that did not reply were small, having fewer than 20 students each. Only 9 colleges submitted their responses on-line, the remainder either completing the paper-based questionnaire, or via telephone interview. Table 1 below shows the breakdown by college specialism.

Table 1

Respondents by college specialism Survey sample

Learning difficulties/disabilities Visual impairment Autistic spectrum disorders Deafness Behavioural difficulties Epilepsy Physical/learning disabilities Brain injury Range of impairments Base = No of respondents

22 9 4 4 3 3 3 1 1

Most specialisms are covered by very small numbers of colleges. Even the largest group “Learning difficulties and/or disabilities” is itself something of a catch-all, masking further wide variation within the classification . Only the nine colleges for students with visual impairment stand out as a significantly-sized group within the sector.

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2.3 The Specialist college sector The 50 colleges surveyed had a combined total of 3166 enrolled students in academic year 2001/02 , the whole sector therefore accounting for little more than 3200. Each college is very small by comparison with mainstream FE and sixth form colleges. The largest college in the sector reported 254 enrolled students, but the median college (the college in the middle of the range surveyed) caters for only 42. It should be noted that as the 7 colleges that did not respond had student numbers that would place them in the smallest 25% of the survey sample, the median student number for the whole sector is in fact below 40. Specialist colleges are predominantly residential, with 87% of all students boarding at their college. 87% of students are under 25 years of age, and two-thirds are male. The table below shows that over 70% of college programmes are greater than 2 years in length. Table 2 Programmes of study Number of students 277 606 1327 937

Programme length Less than 1 year 1 – 2 years 2 – 3 years 3 years and more Base = No of respondents

A further distinctive feature of the Specialist college sector is their staffing structure. Very nearly half of all staff have, as their primary role, support for the living needs of students. Amongst teaching staff, twothirds of are full-time, exactly reversing the proportions within the general FE sector where sessional staff make up two-thirds of all teachers.

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2500

2000

1500 Part Time Full Time 1000

500

0 Teaching staff Student/personal support staff Admin staff

Chart 1

Specialist college staffing

A further contrast with mainstream colleges, all of whom maintain substantial technical support functions, is that only 25 of the 50 colleges surveyed directly employ technical support staff. 2.4 IT Funding and Expenditure

The table below shows all the sources of funding respondents cited as contributing to their IT development. The very small number of capital project funders on the list suggests that specialist colleges may rely heavily on their revenue budgets to fund ILT.
Sources of funding for IT LSC Non lottery charity Employment Service College funds Social Services LEA Residential Training Unit (RTU) Lottery Connexions CMF

33 19 5 5 4 3 2 1 1 1

Base = No of respondents Only 40 out of the 50 respondents gave figures for IT expenditure, but that number contained all the larger colleges in the sector. The total expenditure on hardware by these respondents for the year 2000/01 was £1.1million, and software expenditure was £250,000. Fewer colleges gave a figure for staff

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development for IT. Non-respondents tended to leave the box blank rather than enter a zero, inviting speculation that they were unable to make a sensible estimate of expenditure, rather than that they do not spend in this area. The 30 colleges that did respond spent £110,000 on IT and/or ILT staff development. The full extent of spending on technical support is more difficult to gauge due to the different types of support utilised in the sector. We estimate that the 25 colleges that directly employ technical support spend around £700,000 in wages and associated costs. 14 of the 19 colleges that use outsourced services quoted a figure for spending on technical support, totalling £100,000 between them. Figures are unavailable for those colleges that have a service provided by the parent organisation, but clearly someone, somewhere in the organisation foots the bill. Similarly, there is an opportunity cost to those colleges that rely on their own staff, while apparently getting a ‘free’ service, arising from the diversion of staff effort away from their ‘real’ job for periods of time. Partnerships 17 colleges reported working with other organisations to develop their ILT provision. 8 have some form of working arrangement with other colleges, 4 with Ufi/learndirect and 4 with UK online. A further 7 collaborate to some degree with other organisations, including a local adult education service, charitable foundations and, notably in one case, a commercial software company looking to develop the college’s internal systems into a marketable product.

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3 3.1

Infrastructure Baseline computer specification

Respondents were asked to describe the baseline specification that they would currently consider buying for delivery of learning programmes, in terms of speed, RAM and hard disk capacity and classify stock in terms of that baseline. This is more robust as a basis for comparison over time of changes in computing capability than arbitrary choice of any particular current specification or machine, since it matches the continual changes in technology of computers with changes in user expectations. Colleges were also asked to describe what they would consider the current ‘best buy’ specification. The three dimensions of speed and memory were then weighted to produce eight bands representing machines of increasing capability. The Table below shows a typical specification for each band. Table 3 Computer specifications
Typical band specifications Speed (MHz) RAM (Mb) Hard Disk (Gb) Baseline 200 32 2 500 32 4 500 64 6 650 64 10 650 128 15 700 128 20 750 256 20 1000 256 20 Best buy 10 3 3 7 5 3 1 7 0 0 0 2 4 11 3 19

Band 1 Band 2 Band 3 Band 4 Band 5 Band 6 Band 7 Band 8+

Base = No of respondents

Nine colleges chose not to respond to this question, with the implication that some may not identify a defined baseline specification for this purpose. There was a wide spread around the median baseline specification of 650Mhz with 64Mb of RAM and 10Gb hard disk, with 25% of those that responded reporting a baseline of 200Mhz with 32Mb of RAM and a 2Mb hard disk. This is very slightly higher than the median calculated for mainstream colleges in Becta’s 2001 survey of FE in England and identical to that in Scottish colleges in the same year, leading us to conclude that there is no significant difference between Specialist and mainstream colleges in this variable. One in seven colleges quoted a baseline specification in excess of 1000Mhz with 256Mb of RAM and hard disk capacity of 20Gb. 3.2 College computer stock

The Chart below shows that 76% of computers in Specialist colleges are at or above baseline specification. (63% in mainstream colleges) 90% of all computers are desktop machines, and over 70% of these are networked. The remaining computers are mainly laptops, with a small number of hand held devices (PDAs) reported at two colleges.

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24%

42%

Below baseline specification Meet baseline specification Above baseline specification

34%

Chart 2

College computer stock

The best buy is typically a significantly higher specification than the baseline. Although 22% of respondents cite the same specification for both baseline and best buy, the average best buy is three bands higher than the quoted baseline specification. This almost certainly is a simple reflection of the continual upward movement of technical offer within the marketplace; colleges may define a baseline requirement in terms of user needs, but find it cheaper to buy over-specified machines, or indeed impossible to buy the baseline as the market has moved inexorably on.

Colleges were also asked if there were any other factors they considered critical when purchasing a computer. Value for money was by far the most widely cited single factor, with 17 respondents (34%) mentioning this, compared to 43% of FE colleges. The most important issues for general FE colleges, the build quality and robustness of machines, and support and service, while significant for 10 and 6 respondents respectively, were far less widely cited, which is slightly surprising given that many Specialist colleges have no in-house network support staff. Technical issues emerge as a concern, notably monitor size (9 respondents), access devices (7) and compatibility with existing systems (6). Other more general technical issues were raised by 15 respondents. The prevalence of technical concerns may reflect the complexity inherent in maintaining individualised assistive technologies within many Specialist colleges. Table 4
Band 4 Band 5 Band 6 Band 7 Band 8+

Prices for “best buy” computer
Median price Lowest price Highest price 800 600 1000 950 600 1500 700 400 1800 850 750 1000 850 500 1500

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The median price paid for a “best buy” computer is £750, higher than in FE generally where the median price is £700. The table above shows a similar picture to FE, where the variation in price within each band is greater than the differences between each band. The higher prices paid overall may reflect a combination of the particular technical specification enhancements needed by Specialist colleges and the small size of each institution resulting in an inability to leverage bulk purchasing deals. Some colleges may lack the in-house expertise and knowledge to make a full assessment of all the offers in a complex, rapidly changing and commercially predatory marketplace.

3.3 Table 5

Local Area Networks Local Area Networks
9 11 2 4 4

10M 100M 1G 10/100M mixture Other

Base = No of respondents Around two-thirds of Specialist colleges have a Local Area Network. Over half of these colleges have networks that are at least partly 100 Mbps Ethernet or higher, indicating well-specified networks within the sector. The distribution and bandwidth of LANs are both closely related to college size. The table below shows that larger colleges are more likely to have a LAN in place. Analysis of the data further reveals that LAN bandwidth is closely related to college size. Given that a key determinant of LAN performance at any given time is the number of concurrent users, it is likely that the performance offered by a 10 Mbps LAN is less problematical for the relatively small number of students supported by Specialist colleges than would be the case in much larger FE colleges. The one in three colleges that currently have no significant LAN must be of great concern in the context of extending the benefits of ILT and e-learning to all students. Without a comprehensive and robust LAN a college is cut off from access not only to Internet-based services, but also to a whole range of networked applications, including the outputs of the National Learning Network which are now universally available to mainstream students. Table 6 LANs by college size
Large colleges: >82 students LAN No LAN 12 0 Medium-large >42 students 10 2 Medium-small >21 students Small colleges 21 students and less 5 4 5 9

Base = No of respondents Around half of Specialist colleges have only one site. Less than half the single-site colleges are networked, a finding in line with the numbers of small Specialist colleges without a LAN. Nine of the multi-site colleges have computer links to at least one subsidiary site: 4 use cable technologies, 3 use ISDN and/or modem and 2 use leased line technology. Further work is required in order to determine the purpose and status of the subsidiary sites. It has been suggested that some of these may be solely residential accommodation, rather than teaching and learning facilities. Given that 87% of all students within the

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Specialist sector are residential, then many colleges may wish to develop a strategy that extends the network into residential areas for leisure as well as extended learning.

Table 7
1 site 2 sites 3 sites More than 3 sites

Total number of major sites
Colleges 23 12 4 7 46 Total sites 23 24 12 43 102 Networked sites 12 12 6 8 38

Base = No of respondents 3.4 LAN Performance 60% of those Specialist colleges with a network report that performance is slow at busy times, and a further 6% report that slowness and unreliability are a frequent problem, with the remaining 34% describing their network as working smoothly and without appreciable delay. There is far greater tolerance of large files across the networks than in mainstream colleges. 23% of Specialist college report that they are not a problem, while 45% who have networks that could cope, nonetheless discourage traffic in large files. Only 32% of networks have problems with this type of usage. Mainstream colleges, by contrast, continue to restrict network traffic in bandwidth hungry applications. Four out of every five FE sector colleges in 2001/02 identified large files as an actual or potential source of problems on the network, and hence look to control their use. This is only 4% fewer than the 84% who cited large files as a problem in 1999, despite massive investment in network improvement since that date. The implication could be drawn that existing network specifications within the specialist institutions are comparatively better able to support the volume of traffic generated by their smaller student numbers than their mainstream counterparts.

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18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Over stretched At capacity Spare capacity

Chart 3

Network capability to meet demand

Despite generally robust LAN specifications, 57% of Specialist college networks are currently at capacity, whilst 13% are unable to meet even current demand. These data must be seen against a backcloth of substantial future increases in demand upon networks. Not only must each college network support its share of a general trend towards increasing numbers of machines, but it must also deal with the increased reliance upon networked applications rather than stand-alone computers. In all of Becta’s ILT surveys we have observed a motorway effect, comparable to that which sees traffic rapidly adjust upwards each time an additional lane is opened. Additional computers, greater network capability and increased Internet access within Specialist colleges is likely to unleash comparably greater demands upon an already stretched network infrastructure. Only 9 colleges (30% of those with networks) consider that they are able to meet any such additional demand.

3.5 Internet connectivity 44 Specialist colleges (88%) are connected to the Internet, though only 26 were able to report the bandwidth they have, or plan to have, for the current year. Most colleges depend upon telephone line based services, with BT the most prominent amongst the 24 named Internet Service Provider. Only 4 colleges have a 2Mbps permanent line connection equivalent to the JANET provision for FE sector institutions. Any direct comparison between the sectors must take into account the influence upon performance of the number of concurrent users sharing the bandwidth. The 2Mbps JANET connection is likely to be distributed between many more users in FE than in Specialist colleges, with consequent reduction in performance at any given machine. This notwithstanding, any further exploitation of the

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learning potential of Internet-enabled services and benefit from future involvement in the National Learning Network materials demands significant improvements in connectivity amongst Specialist colleges, particularly at the lower end. Of particular concern must be those colleges still relying upon modems and, equally worrying, the one in three colleges that have no Local Area Network to distribute Internet traffic across machines. Table 8
<64kb (modem) 64kb 128kb/ISDN 256kb/ADSL 512kb 2Mb

Total planned bandwidth
3 2 11 2 4 4 26

Base = No of respondents Table 9
BT RM Demon JANET Freeserve Single providers

Internet service providers
15 4 3 3 2 19 46

Base = No of respondents 3.6 Constraints on Internet use

Colleges were asked to rank a list of possible constraints on expansion of Internet use in the order of their significance within the college. The results are shown in the Chart below. The number of access points (i.e. internet-connected computers) is seen as the key constraint, despite the large influx of Internetcapable machines into colleges, a picture repeated in FE generally. Access speed is less of an issue that might be expected a priori, but the generally robust state of LANs in those colleges that have them, taken together with the relatively small numbers of concurrent users suggest that they are capable of delivering acceptable levels of performance with Internet traffic. Course design, an increasingly important constraint for FE, where it ranks second, is placed fourth. This may imply that Specialist colleges have as yet not addressed the issue of embedding e-learning into curriculum activity to any great extent. Student skills, the fourth constraint for FE is placed second by Specialist colleges, perhaps reflecting the particular needs of their client group. This interpretation is reinforced by colleges who report the availability of staff for student support as a major additional constraint upon increased use of the Internet.

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Access points

Student skills

Access speeds

Course design

No interest

0
Chart 4

0.5

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

4

4.5

Constraints on increased use of the Internet

Of the other constraints upon increased use, cost is the only issue cited as important by a significant number of colleges. Four colleges noted restrictions on access outside college hours, or in residences. Inappropriate use was a factor raised by only two colleges, a striking contrast with the 11% of FE colleges who have concerns about this. 3.7 Technical Support

Any expansion of the existing infrastructure demands adequate technical support. This is made more pressing by the particular skillset required to support the comprehensive LANs essential to maintain Internet access and networked applications. Only 25 of the 50 colleges surveyed directly employ technical support staff. These colleges employ 41 fulltime and 11 part-time staff between them. 19 colleges use an outsourced service, sometimes in combination with employed staff. The remaining colleges rely upon technical support provided by their parent organisation, or by other college staff members. The chart below shows the breakdown of technical support by college size. As might be expected, the larger colleges are more likely to employ technical support staff, whereas the smallest colleges are most likely to utilise the broader skills of their existing staff. 33 colleges (around two thirds) regard their technical support as “mostly adequate” or better. Interestingly, whilst there is no statistically significant difference in the level of satisfaction reported between the differing types of technical support (directly employed, outside agency, other college staff), the raw data show a very slightly greater degree of satisfaction among those relying upon other members of staff. This result may tell us more about who filled in the survey than about any real differences in the quality of support. This notwithstanding, reliance upon the technical skills of those whose primary

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responsibility is teaching cannot be sustained with increased use of ILT in general and networked applications in particular.

100% 90% 80% 70% Others 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% >82 students >42 students >21 students 21 students and less
Chart 5 Technical support by college size

Other members of staff Parent organisation Outsourced Employed

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4 4.1

Access to Computers IT and ILT Policy

Only two fifths of Specialist colleges have a written strategy policy on the use of ILT in teaching, learning and communication. A similarly small number have a written strategy on the use of IT in administration. The number with a written policy on acceptable use of the Internet is greater, with two-thirds of colleges having such a policy. This figure is a matter of concern, nonetheless, given that all colleges offering Internet access should have such a document. 12 colleges have all three policies in place, and a further 12 have none. 4.2 Access for staff There was a high degree of agreement among respondents as to the ideal ratios of staff to computers for each of the different types of staff. The table below shows the similarity of the mean and median values of these data. These ratios indicate that computers are currently regarded as critical to college administration, but somewhat less critical to the delivery of learning programmes. This might be expected to change as colleges begin to build ILT more explicitly into the curriculum and into learner support. Table 10 Ideal staff/computer ratios
Mean 2.1 4.3 1.1 Median 2 4 1

Staff type Teaching/learner support staff Student/personal support staff Administration/institutional support staff

Base = No of respondents The chart below shows the distribution between the different groups of staff of access to a designated computer. It can be seen that all or most administration staff have access to their own computer in the overwhelming majority of colleges. This degree of access for teaching and learner support staff exists in only 8 colleges. Teaching staff are far more likely to share a computer; all or most teaching staff share computers with other staff in 19 colleges, and with students in a further 21. This last figure is substantially higher than in mainstream colleges, but may reflect a culture of closer relationships and more mutual working between students and staff in the Specialist colleges rather than a second-best rationing process.

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45 40 35 30 25 20 Student/personal support staff 15 10 5 0 all/most
Chart 6

Administration/institutional support staff Teaching/learning support staff

some/few

none

Staff using own designated computer

In the majority of colleges all staff can access a computer to use, but there remain 3 colleges where neither the teaching and learner support staff nor the student and personal support staff have any computer access, nor is it seen as a priority. Only one college has achieved the situation where all teaching staff have a computer for their sole personal use, and 33 do not regard this situation as a priority.

4.3

Access for learners

We were able to calculate the ratio of students:computer for 39 colleges (78%). We used the colleges’ reported student numbers as a base, assuming that, as the sector is overwhelmingly residential, each student is full-time. The calculated ratios range from considerably less than 1:1 up to a maximum of 17:1. However, as the Chart below shows, the majority were low ratios. 75% of respondents report 1:4 or less, producing a median value of 1.7:1. This is significantly lower than the NLN target for mainstream colleges of 5:1, which is now the norm in the typical FE institution. Three Specialist colleges reported values of 15, 16 and 17:1 respectively, but there was a substantial gap between these outliers and the next highest value of 8:1. The better resourcing of Specialist colleges may be assumed to arise from the fundamental importance of computers as a basic tool to enhance communication and to support learning and essential living needs within many of the Specialist colleges. Whilst the calculation of ratios is helpful to facilitate comparison with provision in the FE sector generally, it is likely to be of far less use as a measure for setting any kind of sensible target. The size of Specialist colleges, taken together with the close relationship between staff and students puts them in a position to determine an appropriate level of computer resourcing to meet the educational needs of each learner, taking account of their programmes of study and personal development and assistive technology requirements. The estimation of an optimum computer stock, which larger colleges calculate as the

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number of computers necessary to achieve the target ratio given planned student numbers, may be more meaningfully achieved in Specialist colleges by simply adding up the actual requirements of individual learners and learning groups. In this context, the LSC’s NLN target of 1 computer for every 5 f.t.e learners is likely to be inappropriate both in terms of number and as a device.

1:1 and less

2:1

3:1

4:1

5:1 and more

0
Chart 7

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

Student/computer ratios

4.4 Meeting student demand for computers Given the relatively good levels of computer resource noted in the section above, it is no surprise to find in the Chart below that around 60% of Specialist colleges report sufficient capacity to meet student demand for computers. Only two thirds of Specialist colleges, however, report demand for ILT to be widespread among students, compared with over 97% of mainstream colleges. There are several possible explanations for such a striking difference from the norm amongst the remaining one third of Specialist colleges, who report current demand as limited to particular courses or groups of students. One such explanation may derive from the observation that many colleges have yet to embed ILT across the curriculum. It may well be that the principal use of ILT is for teaching and learning of IT skills, as key skill or as part of an accredited IT programme of study. Analysis of the use of ILT within specific programmes (see below) provides some support for this view; only two thirds of the 41 colleges offering programmes supporting independent living, for example, involve ILT. This is the biggest separately identified area of curriculum offer amongst the colleges and the lowest rate of ILT involvement.

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35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Difficulty
Chart 8

little demand limited demand widespread demand

Sufficient capacity

More capacity

Student demand for computers

The table below shows that while access to computers is easy in close to 30% of colleges, the remainder experience difficulties, students having to wait or queue in around half of Specialist colleges. Eight colleges report much more limited access, with three describing access to a computer as very hard. Students are entitled to computer access to enable them to complete work in fewer than half Specialist colleges, while a further quarter of colleges report that students can expect access, but it could not be described as an entitlement. Table 11 Ease of computer access
Easy at any time Wait or queue at busy times Cannot rely on finding a computer Very hard to find a computer 14 25 5 3

Base = No of respondents Respondents reporting difficulty of access were asked to rate the importance of a number of possible causes, giving a score from 1 (very important) to 5 (not a constraint). Though the three causes have scores clustered in the middle of the scale, indicating a similarity of seriousness, lack of computers comes out as most important. Clearly, however, access for students will not be eased by the addition of more computers if the binding constraint remains staffing or lack of appropriate assistive technology. Looking at the individual scores shows 12 colleges of the 32 who answered this question giving a rating of 1 to computers, with only 4 citing staffing and 7 identifying assistive technology at this level of importance. If

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we look at scores of either 1 or 2, then staffing emerges strongly as a significant constraint, with 17 colleges giving this ranking, compared with 18 for number of computers. Table 12 Causes of difficulties
2.5 2.7 3.1

Not enough computers Availability of staff Availability of Assistive Technology

Base = No of respondents 4.5 Student demand for Internet access A slightly smaller proportion of colleges regard student demand for the Internet as limited to particular groups or courses, but more feel they have sufficient capacity to meet increased demand. This mirrors the situation in mainstream colleges, where access to the Internet is relatively easy provided the student has achieved the more difficult task of first finding a computer. Those colleges reporting limited demand for access to the Internet are essentially the same as those reporting limited demand for computers per se, suggesting a similar analysis for both observations.

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25

20 little demand 15 limited demand widespread demand 10

5

0 Difficulty
Chart 9

Sufficient capacity

More capacity

Student demand for Internet

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Table 13

Student access to Internet
8 14 11 8 5

Can get access at any time Must wait or reserve slot Difficult outside lessons Access is limited No access

Base = No of respondents The reported extent of queuing is evidence that computers are typically in use by students. Elsewhere in education, increased investment in computer infrastructure has done little to shift queues, suggesting that the motorway effect of releasing pent-up demand guarantees that new investment is soon put to productive use. The reported one in three Specialist colleges who detect only a limited demand amongst students, that can be met within existing stock, offer a different perspective on the needs of Specialist colleges. It may suggest that the opportunities for effective use of ILT are disproportionately distributed between colleges and student groups, so that some will benefit greatly from investment in infrastructure and connectivity, whilst the needs of others lie elsewhere. An alternative explanation that the results appear to support is that more needs to be done to make all colleges aware of the extraordinarily wideranging possibilities of ILT, e learning and access to the Internet.

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5
5.1

Uses of ILT
ILT and the curriculum

The responses to the survey’s questions about demand for ILT suggest that its use may be framed by a college’s curriculum offer and student needs. The table below shows the numbers of Specialist colleges offering particular types of learning programme alongside the numbers that make some use of ILT in the delivery of these programmes. It shows that more than three quarters of colleges that offer Basic/key skills, Vocational programmes, GCSE/A levels and Communication skills programmes make some use of ILT in delivering these. Programmes supporting independent living skills, which are reported by the largest number of colleges, have the lowest levels of ILT use. However, it should be noted that no measure of the extent of ILT use was made here, and that programmes that make greater use of ILT may contain ICT as a curriculum subject. Responses to other questions in the survey suggest that the extent of e-learning, rather than IT skills, is almost certainly very low. Table 14 ILT use by programme type Programme type Independent living Vocational GCSE and A levels Basic and Key skills Communication skills Other Programmes Base = No of respondents Deliver this 41 34 9 37 40 26 Use ILT 26 26 8 32 31 17 % to use ILT 63% 76% 89% 86% 78% 65%

5.2 Staff use of the LAN/Intranet Only 33 of the 50 respondents report a LAN or intranet, but these colleges account for 85% of all enrolled students. The survey asked respondents to distinguish whether particular applications were in use (intermittent, occasional, small in scale) or whether they could be described as common practice within the college. Use by staff of the college LAN for email and Internet access is reported by all 33 respondents, though only just over half of those with a LAN describe them as common practice: staff accessing the Internet is described as common practice in 53% of colleges, whilst staff use of email is common in 59% of colleges. Equally significant, though smaller in scale, is the use being made of networked applications to directly support learning and teaching. 14 of the 26 who report using the LAN as a repository of course documentation, describe it as common practice, with 9 out of 29 commonly using it for delivery of learning materials. Not surprisingly in a community of small colleges with extensive student support, less effort has gone into developing an online alternative to face-to-face advice and guidance.

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Access to the Internet Email Providing Learning Support Material Providing course documentation Providing guidance

In use Common use

Videoconferencing 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

Chart 10

Staff use of the LAN/Intranet

5.3 Student use of the LAN/Intranet Chart 10 shows student use of college LANs following a similar pattern to staff use, though typically tracking behind staff in scale, most notably in the use of the LAN for email traffic. Internet access remains the principal use, with 87% of respondents making use of the network for this purpose, with just over half describing it as common practice. This is surprisingly low, given that information search on the Internet is the most common form of e-learning activity and the entry point for early adopters in most colleges. Though the other activities are developing, the data suggests that students have yet to take full advantage of the opportunities for use of the LAN or Intranet created by staff. An intriguing example arises in the use of the LAN to access course documents. Whilst 26 colleges report that staff use or make common use of the LAN for storage of documents, only 19 colleges believe that students currently access them and in only 5 is this described as common practice. This may well accord with the observation that the need to develop student skills in the use of the Internet applies more generally to browser-based skills, including ease of use of the Intranet.

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Access to the Internet

Obtaining Learning Support Material

Email

In use Common use

Obtaining course documentation

Obtaining guidance

Videoconferencing

0

10

20

30

40

Chart 11

Student use of the LAN/Intranet

5.4

Other Networked Activities

Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) Given the size of the sector, it is surprising to discover that three colleges already have a VLE, including one that is currently using, presumably trialling, 3 separate products. None of these is reported to be in common use, leading to the inference that, as in mainstream colleges, the Intranet is likely to be the most commonly used platform for delivery of networked learning materials. Student Progress Tracking Twenty two colleges report that they use some form of computer-mediated student tracking. Of these, 16 rely upon self-generated Excel spreadsheets rather than a bespoke tracking package. The survey did not explore the scale or scope of tracking, but it must be inferred that, in the main, these systems are unlikely to be comprehensive in either coverage of the student body or in breadth of information.

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5.5

Uses of the Internet by staff

There were 44 respondents to this compared with 33 who have a LAN, indicating that a quarter of those who access the Internet in specialist colleges do so via non-networked computers. Drilling down into the data confirms the suspicion that these stand-alone connections are modem, or relatively low bandwidth links.

Email As an information resource Administration and management Market the college Provide guidance and support To support distance learning 0 10 20 30 40 50

In use Common use

Chart 12

Staff use of Internet

All respondents report staff use of the Internet for email. 27 report email as common practice within the institution, 8 more than describe use of the LAN for this purpose as common. We can infer that these 8 colleges use an external email service for communications. These results, taken together with those for LAN/ Intranet use, suggest that a significant number of colleges lack the infrastructure required for extensive reliance upon electronic communications, both within the organisation and beyond it. The only other major use of the Internet is as an information resource, where the use parallels that of email, with 27 colleges reporting common use for this purpose by staff. A dozen colleges have dipped their toes into developing and supporting distance learning via the Internet, with one reporting it as common practice. This must be regarded as an encouraging development and a potential source of shared experience for the sector’s colleges.

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5.6

Uses of the Internet by students

As an information resource

Email

Recreational use

In use Common use

Obtain guidance and support For distance learning 0 10 20 30 40 50

Chart 13

Student use of the Internet

The development of Internet use by staff and its adoption by students demonstrates a similar pattern to Intranet activity,with student use lagging behind staff. The Internet is used as an information source at 40 colleges, but commonly used at only 22. This level of use is significantly lower than in mainstream colleges. This is a telling comment on the penetration of ILT / e-learning into this sector, particularly given that information search and retrieval is not only a fundamental skill, but also is relatively easy to absorb into conventional curriculum practice as a first step towards innovative and pedagogically effective practice. 26 colleges described themselves as providing e-learning, which the survey defined as: “….. the part of ILT that relates to the use of IT/ICT to facilitate teaching and learning in all its forms, ranging from the use of whiteboards or data projectors in whole class work through guided group or individual work assisted by a tutor to computer-based independent or remote learning”. A further 6 have definite plans to provide e-learning, whilst a further 4 may introduce this type of learning in the future. It is possible that at least some respondents took a narrower interpretation of this question and may have focussed upon remote online learning in framing their response.

5.7 Email access Relatively few staff, full-time or sessional, have a personal email address at college. An interesting finding is that more residential students than staff have a personal email address. It may not be fanciful to infer that college culture is lagging behind student culture in embracing the communication media of the

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twenty-first century. Only 13 colleges rely wholly upon an internal email system, whilst a further 5 supplement internal provision with externally-based services. 22 rely wholly upon external email.

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Perm. staff Sess. staff Res. Students Day students No email access Shared email address Personal email address

Chart 14

Email access

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6
6.1

Staff skills
Staff IT and ILT competence

Respondents were asked to estimate the proportion of each group of staff with low, medium or high levels of skill (beginner, competent, advanced), both in their personal use of IT and in their use of ILT with learners(where appropriate). Definitions within these broad classifications were left to the judgement of respondents on grounds of practicality. The research team considered the identification of suitably bounded criteria to be a daunting task, if not impossible within the timescale. More telling, however, was the belief that while respondents’ assessments of the categories would not be identical, they would share sufficiently similar common understandings of competency to enable comparison and judgements to be drawn from the results. An average of the values estimated by each college was calculated for each major category of staff, defined as: 1. teaching/learner support staff 2. student/personal support staff 3. administration/institutional support staff The results are shown in the charts below.

6.2

Teaching/learner support staff

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 IT skills ILT skills
Chart 15

Beginner 34 35
Skills of teaching/learner support staff

Competent 52 50

Advanced 14 14

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The picture for teaching and learner support staff shows a remarkable degree of transfer of IT skills to the class room. This compares favourably with FE where teaching staff’s IT skills are at a similar level to the teaching staff in Specialist Colleges, but only 48% are competent or advanced in ILT skills as opposed to 64% here. This could be a spin-off from the use of assistive technologies within Specialist colleges giving teaching staff the experience of adapting to ILT and the confidence necessary to be comfortable with it. It may be wise to interpret this assessment of skill levels as optimistic. The lack of a commonly agreed and well understood set of definitions of ILT competencies, taken together with the uncertainty about what constitutes good practice and effective pedagogy in e-learning may have led many respondents to overstate the ILT skill level of staff. Estimates of skill levels are typically based upon a very small skillset, often as limited as competence in word processing and in presentation software. The message that emerges from the mainstream colleges, despite similarly rosy estimates of skill, is that this is not enough . Most feel ever more urgently that a major staff development effort is necessary if the investment in infrastructure is to be converted into better student learning experiences and outcomes.

6.3

Student/personal support staff

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 IT skills ILT skills
Chart 16

Beginner 59 70
Skills of student/personal support staff

Competent 31 22

Advanced 10 8

As might be expected, there is a lower level of skill among student/personal support staff. However it should be noted that in cases where a high degree of assistive technology is used, the technical competence of these staff will need to be higher. Colleges will need to make a judgement about the particular skills required within this staff group in the context of the particular student needs that they support.

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6.4

Administration/institutional support staff

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 IT skills
Chart 17

1 12

2 69

3 20

Skills of administration/institutional support staff

Colleges were asked solely about he personal IT skills of this group, given that they have no direct role in the delivery of learning. Not surprisingly, IT competence is widespread amongst administrators given the increasing reliance upon computers in the management of all colleges.

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Appendix:

Assistive Technology in the Specialist college sector

This information was requested by the Specialist colleges ILT sub-committee to inform future work. It ids reproduced here without comment. College Name Arden College Assistive Technologies employed 2 touch screens 2 large letter keyboards Various switches and other equipment currently on order This is an example of regularly used equipment, we have more that is used for assessment. Specialist Pointing DevicesVarious Trackballs Penngt & Giles Joystick Tracker Unusual mice, gupmice, small mice and cordless mice Specialist KeyboardsInitailkeys Big Keys Wireless Keyboard (infrared) Keyguard for standard keyboards For Switch access We have a variety of switches such as -grip switch -necklace switch -pressure switch -chip switches -jelly bean -head switches -electrostatic switch -tilt switch -pressure variable 4" switch These switches interface via-Don Johnson switch box -serial switch board -Discover switch -Joystick switch We use height adjustable tables of the manual and eletrically operated type. We also use fixed height tables at various appropriate heights to allow easy access. none Intellitools Switch technology Clicker 3 voice output commuication aids -liberator -deltatalker -alphatalker -gotalk Big Mack Step-by-Step

Beaumont College

Belford College Bridge College

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Planning to get: Magic, Writing with Symbols, Clicker 4 One step communications Big Macs WWS 2000 height tech/low tech aids ie pictoral timetables A variety of interactive software Soundbeam Sensory Room Switch access throughout all areas Aopted keyboards/ rollerballs Derby College for Deaf widgit People kudos smartboard basic skills CD Derwen College Hardware: microphone/headphones soundbeam digital cameras digital videocameras keyboards trackerballs touchscreens switches dycem mats David Lewis Centre Software scanning software magnifiers Voice regulator Talking word programme Word Prediction Writing with Symbols Boardmarker/Makaton Graphic timetable + full range of educational and edutainment programmes, eg Wellington square/CTAD Life Skills Explorer Dilston College Of Further Education Doncaster College For The Deaf Dorton College Of Further Education

E.S.P.A Colleges Fortune Centre Of Riding Therapy Green Laund

We have very little assistive technology. We do have some large screens for students with poor eye sight JAWS - Screen reader and speech synthesiser SUPERNOVA - Combined screen reader, speech synthesiser and magnification MAGIC - Magnification KURZWEIL 1000 - Scanner with screen reader and speech synthesiser BRAILLE LITES - Electronic braille notetaker None

Rollerball, Big Keys keyboard and cover, Scamel,

Henshaws Society For LUNAR - speech synthesis/magnification Switch access

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The Blind - Harrogate BigKeys keyboards Intellikeys Concept Keyboards Staff Enabling Support Trackerballs Touchscreens Hinwick Hall College Expanded Keyboards, Of Further Education switch interfaces, specialist switches, touch screens, specialist keyboard, infra red interface, voice synthesiser, trackerballs, trackerballs with latching switches, dynovox, dynomite, liberator, touch talker, cameleon (Cabridget Adaptive Technology Makers), Alpha Talker, Pathfinder. Iver House Ltd No assistive technology is currently in use Landmarks Langdon College Widgits symbols software large keyboards large monitors keypads tft screens Linkage College Concept Keyboards Sampson Campus Widgit Digi Cameras Lufton Manor College None at present. Being reviewed as part of an overall ICT strategy for the college. Nash College of Further Education Centre Touch screens, Switches, Concept keyboard, Tracker balls, Intelikeys keyboards, Key guards, On screen keyboardsa, Symrite 2000, Clicker 4, Vocas Keyboards with Keyguards Trackerballs USB Headmouse (Remote activation of cursor by movement of head or hand) Mousekeys and other Microsoft assistive software. Onscreen Keyboards used with cursor control or with switches using sequential access methods. Joysticks Communication Aids: Pathfinder Delta Talker Liberator Dyna Myte Dyna Vox

National Star Centre College of Further Education

Oakwood Court Portland College

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Queen Alexandra College For The Blind

Cameleon Cameleon 3 Speech Output: Kurzweil flatbed scanner Robotron flatbed scanner Franklin talking dictionary Talking calculator Talking microwave Talking scientific calculator Parrot Plus organiser Micrometer with speech synthesis Electronic speaking scales Talking tape measure Jaws screen reader Keystone (to be used with Dragondictate) Lookout screen reader PW webspeak Texthelp screen reader Vocaleyes screen reader Tactile Media: Perkins brailler Mountbatten electronic brailler Eureka Aria Jotta Minolta stereo copying unit Duxbury braille translation system Keynote companions Nomad tactile reader Refreshable braille display Braille master Braille maker Winbraille Windots Picture braille RNIB Transcript Enlargement: Supernova Zoomtext Magic Lunar CCTV Mono CCTV Colour Portable CCTV Magnalink CCTV Split screen CCTV TFT Monitors 15” Monitors 15-21” Visualex Miscellaneous:

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Portable computer Keyboard stickers Memoscriber Pocket memo Braille dymo labeller Fluorescent lamp APH Four track recorder Splitter lead Interactive White Board Kidglove Input Devices: Ergonomic mouse Big Ball trackball Kensington trackball PS/2 scroll mouse Intellikeys Keyboard Big Keys keyboard Keyguards Genius trackball ANIR vertical mouse Natural ergonomic keyboard Dragon Dictate Hearing Impaired Assistive Technology Audio Loop Portable Audio loop Plantronics headset with induction loop Fire alarm transmitters Binaural headset Neck loop and microphone amplifier Minicom BSL CD-ROM Picture Tel video conferencing Physical Impairment Assistive Technology Ergo armrest Adjustable workstations Adjustable electronic chairs Other Software: Writing with Symbols My World Dragon Dictate Touch type Read and Spell Birmingham University Specialist Touch typing tutor Predictive Word processor Word Work Queen Elizabeth's Foundation Brain Injury Centre Software: Accibilty in Microsoft, Clicker plus, Dragon Dictate,

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Inspiration, Keystone screen reader, textHELP!, Togglernoise, Hardware: mouse wrist rest, wrist rest, mini keyboard and guard, trackball, joystick trackball, ABC big keys keyboard touch screen jelly switches

RNIB Condover Hall F.E. Centre RNIB New College Worcester RNIB Vocational Jaws Speech Screen Reader College Loughborough Lunar Plus - Magnification and limited speech screen reader SuperNova - Magnification & Screen Reader Zoom Text - Magnification & Screen Reader Electronic braille lines Royal National College HARDWARE For The Blind CCTVs – b/w & colour Document readers – Rainbow/Galileo Talking book players – RNIB Desktop tape players – Sanyo TRC8080 Hand held tape recorders – Sanyo TRC850 Digital recorders Splitter boxes Electronic Braille writers – Mountbatten Brailler Referable Braille displays – Braillex 2D/PowerBraille Speech output Braille input note takers – BrailleNote/Braille 'n Speak/BraillePad Speech/Braille output Braille input note takers – BrailleLite/BrailleNote Speech output QWERTY input note takers – TransType QWERTY note takers – Alphasmart/Dreamwriter Laptop computers Desktop computers Printers Thiel/Index Talking calculators – Cobolt Large print calculators – Cobolt Graphical talking tablet Voice recognition organisers – Voicemate/Voice Diary Talking teletext Task lighting Talking microwaves Talking weighing scales Liquid indicators

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Talking watches/clocks/timers Specialised keyboards – Meltron Talking telephone switchboard Audio/video tape copier Hearing Loop system Audio announcement pla Royal School for the touch screens Deaf concept keyboard single switches and switching system digital camera video minicom tracker balls video projector fax Royal West of England none School for the Deaf Ruskin Mill Further Ed Not applicable Unit St Elizabeth's Centre Trackerballs and specialist mice. St Piers Strathmore The Interact Centre Thornbeck College none Digital Cameras Scanners Internet Editing suite Video Cameras Computers Laser printer Specialist joysticks, trackerballs Purpose built joysticks, trackerballs Head/chin/foot/mouth switches Head/mouth sticks Infra red pointing devices Clicker Cowriter Zoomtext Penfriend EZ keys Dragon dictate Widgit Writing with symbols Adapted keyboards Keyguards Screen doors Screen reader Prophet Windows accessibility options Wivik Touch pads Ergonomic mice Keyboard stickers Wrist rests Touch Screen Monitors * 6 Big Switch * 4

Treloar College

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Touch monitors Desk extensions Keyboard slopes West of England BRAILLE KEYBOARDS School (for Children CLOSE CURCUIT TV with Little or No Sight) SCREEN REALITY SOFTWARE BRAILLE MONITORS SPECIALISED KEYBOARDS TEXT IN BRAILLE TRANSLATION SOFTWARE SPECAIL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE DIGITAL CAMERAS SCANNERS (OCR etc)

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