Wolverhampton LEA - Education
Wolverhampton City Council boasts a progressive Local Education Authority, keen to exploit the latest technologies as a means of helping them improve student achievement. They are involved in a wide range of groundbreaking initiatives, including an intelligent resource locator for students, and a handheld device implementation, allowing students wireless access to their learning materials and resources from anywhere in the city.
Wolverhampton LEA had a variety of communication platforms in use across their schools, with many being decided at local level and therefore with varying degrees of user and content security. In addition, this inequality of service meant that many schools, and therefore students, had no automatic access to online communication tools at all, and those that were available were often designed with adult rather than junior users in mind.
Spider Networks used their award-winning Managed Learning Environment to establish for the first time a single, authority-wide online platform for all users - students, teachers and management - to communicate effectively and consistently. At the same time as the service became available to the members of the education community, Spider Networks released the first of many bespoke additions to the functionality aimed at delivering consistently high levels of user security to all 30,000 accounts. The need for this single platform to fulfil the requirements of users of every level led to Spider Networks offering a choice of interface to the most popular application - secure, school-friendly email - enabling users to be introduced to the service with a simple, basic range of functionality but then seamlessly migrate to a fully-featured advanced interface and feature set as their skills grew. Spider Networks and Wolverhampton are now in their fourth year of working together, and the future continues to look bright for the education community in Wolverhampton. The release of Spider's new ePortfolio application has transformed the relationship between home and school, allowing students to showcase their best materials at home, either on their PC or - thanks to Spider's unique handheld integration software - on their wireless-enabled mobile device.