An Enabling Remote Activity (ERA) presentation at mLearn 2008 has lead to JANET to issue a call to develop extreme portable WLAN projects. The presentation at mLearn impressed Mark O’Leary of JANET enough for him to set up a call for projects to investigate ‘networking at the edge’.
ERA, along with four other academic teams across the UK, are being funded to explore how mobile wireless local area networks (WLANs) can be used to support education and connect to the wider JANET education and research network. As well as ERA’s investigations into supporting students to participate in OU geology summer schools, there are teams considering field archaeology in the Orkneys, mountain rescue services in Cumbria, and equestrian studies in rural Northumberland.
The ERA technical team (Trevor Collins, Mark Gaved, Lewis McCann and Chris Valentine) met up with the other groups and the JANET coordinators in Glasgow recently for a kick-off meeting, and are now ready to develop the project for 2009 field trials. We’re hoping to further explore Voice over IP (VoIP) and different forms of connectivity back to the OU, and explore further field sites with our colleagues in Earth and Environmental Sciences.