Over 800 enthusiastic users of ICT – predominantly school teachers and headmasters, but also including librarians, members of universities, research institutes and museums – flocked to the holiday resort of Kranjska Gora, Slovenia last week to attend or present at the SirIKT international conference, the largest event in Slovenia aimed at the ICT user community from the educational and research area, with a special focus on schools.
SirIKT (the acronym stands for »Web of Education and Research with ICT«, and »sir« also means »cheese« in Slovenian, thus the logo) is a full week of events dedicated primarily to the use of ICT in education and the exchange of best practices between people. It also featured a special ARNES conference which was aimed at a broader community, including universities. Another special event supported by ARNES was a local megaconference – a full-day videoconferencing event where students and pupils of Slovenian schools presented themselves and their work, while taking the role of conference moderators.
ARNES has been providing services for schools since its inception and is always strongly present in all activities that support new technologies in education. SirIKT is the perfect opportunity every year for ARNES to meet its enthusiastic users in person. The ARNES part of conference tends to attract more technical followers, and brings together developers and network administrators from user organisations.
An important message ARNES always tries to reinforce is the importance of collaboration, and the benefits to the research and education community of the »network of networkers« who work together at an international level. This message came across loud and clear at this year’s conference by introducing a number of speakers from our network – University of Malaga, CarNET, AMRES – and by discussing collaboration among the universities.
The main topics covered during the 2010 ARNES conference were the emerging ArnesAAI federation, the transition to IPv6 and the popular services such as the new VOX webconferencing service. It is based on Adobe Connect Pro but is adapted to the specific needs of the community and is the first popular service within ArnesAAI federation. The service was heavily used every day of the conference – we counted up to 106 concurrent remote attendees.