The National Grid for Learning Provides Resources and Connectivity for Learning Centers
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An interesting initiative is being carried out in the UK, where Regional Broadband Consortia (RBC) are gathering LEAs (Local Education Authorities) to procure cost-effective broadband connectivity for schools as well as other learning institutions. There are 10 RBCs covering all areas of England, as a part of Government's National Grid for Learning Strategy.
The South East Grid for Learning is one of the Regional Broadband Consortia. It is based round a high-speed computer network, linking learning institutions across 17 Local Education Authorities in the South East, including places as Southampton, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.
Using the fastest Broadband technologies, SEGfL enable learners to gain fast access to high-quality digital learning materials. Starting by linking local secondary schools together, SEGfL extends across the community, connecting schools, libraries, museums, community learning centres and colleges to the benefit of all lifelong learners.
However, English Grids are not limited to technology, and also deal with contents as well. One of the projects accesible through the South East Grid for Learning is the Key Stage 3 Literacy, a project aiming to develop and evaluate on-line materials for the improvement of literacy within Key Stage 3. A main result of the project is the CR-ed+, a regularly-updated online magazine for use in the classroom that provides resources designed to help meet the challenges of the literacy curriculum at Key Stage 3, while taking into account the varying abilities of students.
Another exemple is the Northern Grid for Learning, a consortium of 12 Local Education Authorities in the Northern region of England, whose aim is also to identify a cost-effective and sustainable connection solution for the delivery of learning content via the Internet to schools and educational establishments within the region.
Several pedagogical projects are running under the NGfL umbrella: designing an electrical circuit, producing a story about the planets or discovering the longest rivers in the world are some of the possibilities accessible through NGfL.