First of July marked the end of the first 6-month period of the Up2U Project. In this initial period, Up2U established all the necessary function and procedures to fully support the forthcoming pilot phases.
By the end of January, the public facing project website was available at https://up2university.eu, internal and external events were outlined and the basic communications strategy established as part of the online Deliverable D2.1 “Communication strategy, web design and event plans”. Up2U also submitted the three mandatory Ethics deliverables (Deliverable D9.1, D9.2 and D9.3) describing the necessary frameworks for personal data protection, involvement of children/minors and non-EU countries. These deliverables are not for public. Project internal mailing lists, wiki pages, video conferencing solutions and project management tools (e.g., Trello) were also set up.
By the end of March, a very important advisory committee was chartered, the Up2U Subject Matter Committee (SMC). The terms of reference and the initial list of candidates were posted on the website as online Deliverable D5.1 “Subject Matter Committee and training plans”. One of the important roles of the SMC is to seek advice for the techno-pedagogical aspects of the project and to give advice on the actual training programme, which has also been drafted on the website. The SMC candidates were voted into duty by the Board later. The current list of SMC members.
Three technical deliverables were due by the end of June. These nicely summarised the status of the project at the given stage. Deliverable D3.1 “Analysis of network services requirements” is an online document available at the Up2U Wiki page. It includes the analysis of the wireless access (eduroam) and internet uplink speed of the pilot schools in six countries, based on the surveys that the project team created. It also gives an overview on the core network services that Up2U infrastructure may utilise during the pilot executions. Two demonstrators were created by the project to match the requirements of Deliverable D4.1 “Application toolbox design and prototype” and Deliverable D7.1 ”Initial pilot architecture, software component integration, and deployment”. The application toolbox prototype is the very first version of a cloud-based Next Generation Learning Management Platform. The reason why we call it next generation is that already the prototype offers more than just and off-the-shelf Learning Management System (LMS). It is integrated with both the underlying support infrastructure (i.e. federated access and relevant education content fed by GÉANT eduOER) as well as the various LTI applications above (i.e. the Synchronised eLearning Content ToolKit) supporting the pedagogical scenarios of the project. About the actual cloud infrastructure, pilot architecture and the support services, more information and demonstrators are available in the relevant deliverable. Brief descriptions to both technical demonstrator type deliverables are available on the Up2U wiki page under the relevant WP4 and WP7 work package sub-pages.
Last but not least, WP6 carried out extensive desk research supported by an online survey, answered by several pilot schools on the privacy and security aspects of the project. Deliverable D6.1 “Study of security, privacy, identity management and legal requirements in the digital schools’ environment using a cloud based approach” also serves as the Open Research Data Pilot (ORDP) deliverable of the project as it includes the mandatory Data Management Plan (DMP). We are going to update the DMP as living document on the wiki as the project goes.
All the six public deliverables of the project (the three deliverables on ethics are non-public) are available on the Up2U wiki page under the relevant sections.
Up2U is looking forward to the next challenges, to launch the initial pilot phase in autumn in order to gather more input and feedback from a small number of pilot schools willing to closely work with us.