SCHOOL ICT NEWS BULLETIN No 150 - 07/08/2009
Published by Children’s Services
School Annual Rollover (RM Easymail Accounts and Identity Management System)
After performing the annual rollover in your MIS please ensure that you send us a fresh email export return (see below) to update the Norfolk Schools Identity Management System (previously known as the school email system for RM Easymail accounts). The username that will be sent back for each pupil and member of staff is called the "Norfolk ID" and is being used as the basis for a Single Sign On project within Norfolk, it is important that this system is kept up–to–date.
For Phoenix Gold schools, your system will automatically generate tab delimited files with the relevant staff and pupil data, this is then sent via AVCO AnyComms alongside the regular returns to the Information Resource Centre. Once incoming data has been processed, schools will receive a set of files in return containing usernames, email addresses and passwords. Schools will also receive files for staff and pupils containing any errors that need correcting such as invalid dates of birth and temporary UPN's. (We cannot uniquely identify a user without some essential core information)
If your school is involved in the Norfolk SIF (Systems Interoperability Framework) proof of concept (Lingwood Junior, Freethorpe Primary. Fleggburgh Primary, Ormesby Junior and Acle Primary) then any changes to your data are automatically communicated to the identity management system and will be processed without any user interaction. We will send details of your NorfolkIDs in September.
All other schools
Your data is automatically requested once per week on a Monday morning, processed and sent back to you via AVCO AnyComms as per the process for Phoenix Gold.
Other Management Information Systems
For schools using other MIS systems such as Capita Sims.Net, Serco CMIS and Bromcom, there are details on the ICT Solutions website regarding the data required and the format to use. You will need to use your MIS systems reporting functionality to generate appropriate files to send via AVCO AnyComms. More information can be found on the website at http://www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk/SchoolEmailDocs/Data_Imports.aspx. Norfolk Children's Services are investigating other methods of automatically passing this information between systems.
Author: Jason Zelos
Netmedia Administration Made Easy!
Rollover recommendations for adding new accounts.
When your Netmedia learning platform was originally setup the accounts for teachers and learners were based on the Norfolk ID. We strongly recommend that you continue to use the Norfolk ID when setting up new accounts in the learning platform.
What is the Norfolk ID and why should I use it?
The Norfolk ID is unique across Norfolk and will soon be unique across our Regional Broadband Consortium (RBC) – E2BN. This means that a teacher or learner can keep the same identity throughout their school career in Norfolk and the wider region. The Norfolk ID is already used for all NCC provided email accounts and should be used for all systems where possible.
One benefit is that this will take us a step closer to single sign–on where you can login once and access multiple resources in different systems. Where teachers and learners are collaborating with other schools in the region, using the Norfolk ID for usernames guarantees that resources can be shared without user account conflicts.
Perhaps more importantly, this will also mean that your school can quickly benefit from a state of the art solution whereby the creation of learning platform accounts and groupings is fully automated – you enter data just once in your Management Information System (MIS) and the relevant information is used in the learning platform and other SIF* standards compatible systems.
* Norfolk is recognised nationally as being amongst the forerunners of the Systems Interoperability Framework (SIF). SIF is the technology standard that will enable different and disparate systems to talk using a common language and share information. We are at an exciting stage of a SIF Proof of Concept (PoC) in Norfolk involving the Netmedia learning platform, Pearson–e1 MIS and our own Identity Management (IdM) system. Becta, the DCSF and national suppliers of similar systems are watching Norfolk's progress closely.
How do I get the Norfolk IDs for my school?
Check your Avco Anycomms Inbox! If you are using e1 then Norfolk IDs are updated automatically every Monday morning. If you are using Phoenix Gold or another MIS then your MIS administrator will need to generate the relevant export file and send it to us via Avco Anycomms on a regular basis (see the following link for details).
I want my school to be involved in the next phase of the SIF project and I want to understand the other potential benefits that SIF can bring!
Just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don't have e1 or Netmedia in my school but I am interested in implementing the SIF standard.
We are planning further SIF pilots to address some of the 14 to 19 requirements as well as to move forward with single sign–on and these pilots will encompass other MIS and learning platform providers. NB: The Fronter learning platform is SIF ready. For more information please get in touch with email@example.com.
Author: Michael Pickett
Powering core networking equipment over the summer holidays
We would like to ask schools to refrain from turning off the power to the core networking equipment over the summer holidays. Core networking equipment includes routers, switches and cache servers, often in a wall or floor cabinet. These devices are monitored by ICT solutions and BT and turning off the power results in false alarms. This could result in your school incurring a charge for an engineer visit.
If there is no alternative to powering off the communications cabinet and core equipment then please contact ICT solutions to advise us in advance.
Author: Paul Hurst