Since receiving their new LGfL 2.0 connections, many schools have been interested in testing their connection speed and running speed tests online as a result. However, obtaining accurate and meaningful speed test results is often not straightforward. The document available here offers a guide to running meaningful tests and interpreting the results.
Please note that to access the document you will need to log in with your USO credentials.
Under LGfL 2.0
In a change designed to assist establishments unable to use either USO-AutoUpdate or GroupCall to automate the management of staff and pupil USO user accounts, Atomwide has made changes to the bulk user request process. This is designed to improve data security, safe-guarding, and the accuracy of user data.
From today, newly-submitted bulk request spreadsheets must contain user details for the whole establishment (all staff entitled to a USO account, all students, or all entitled staff and students) with certain fields mandatory. It is anticipated that the fields in the spreadsheet will normally be populated with data derived from the establishment’s MIS, using its in-built export facilities.
Whole establishment spreadsheets uploaded via the support site will be put in the same automated queue for overnight processing that is used by the fully-automated MIS export systems. The results of the processing will then be made available on the User Accounts : Whole school bulk results page of the support site.
Wherever possible, USO-AutoUpdate software should be used instead of the manual process described above as AutoUpdate automatically exports user data from a establishment’s MIS, guaranteeing that USO account data is accurate and up-to-date.
Any questions about AutoUpdate or the all-school bulk update process should be raised via a support case. Full details regarding the installation of USO-AutoUpdate can be found in the Help section of the support site.
Following the roll-out of MailProtect 2.0 in LGfL, the existing LGfL filtering system (known as the ECC) is being decommissioned today (23 July 2012), as scheduled and previously announced.
All schools who needed to change their settings to ensure their email service continued without interruption have previously received instructions by email and/or cases on the support site regarding changing their settings to work with MailProtect 2.0 in preparation for the switchover.
From today, schools that have previously used the ECC but have not yet migrated to the MailProtect 2.0 system will be unable to send or receive mail. In such schools users attempting to send an email via the ECC will receive an automated message informing them that the service is not available. Anyone attempting to send mail from outside into the school will receive the same message and emails will not get through.
If you are trying to email someone in a school and receive a message saying that your email has been rejected, please contact the school via alternative means to alert them of the problem.
If your email service has stopped working under the circumstances outlined above please contact the LGfL Support Desk by updating a previously opened case on this topic on the USO support site (or raising a new case if no current case exists).
MailProtect 2.0, from Atomwide, is now in widespread service, offering new functionality, and protecting users in around 2,500 UK schools from email-borne spam, viruses, porn and abuse.
RBC, LA and school staff account holders using Atomwide USO, or LGfL USO, can log into their relevant MailProtect website at:
…and view a log of scanned messages relating to any of their personal email addresses that are authenticated via USO. The details of any emails blocked by MailProtect can be examined, and “false positives” can be released (unless they are believed to contain viruses). In addition, these users can add trusted senders to a personal “allow” list so that future messages are exempt from spam checks, and/or opt to receive daily “spam digest” emails which offer proactive notification about blocked messages.
USO Nominated Contacts with appropriate “mail domain administrator” permissions can use the same web site to release blocked messages on behalf of any of their users, and configure domain or establishment level “allow” lists.
More features are currently under development which we look forward to announcing over the coming weeks.
Major changes to the way the Youtube safesearch facility operates (implemented by its owner Google) have meant that, for the last few months, it has not been possible to enforce Youtube safesearch through filtering policies configured in WebScreen 2.0. Safesearch could be configured within the Youtube site but this would have to be done on an individual basis for all users.
However, we are pleased to announce that, as of 8 March 2012, work carried out by Atomwide and its technology partners once again makes it possible to enforce safesearch within the youtube.com site by switching on the safesearch functionality within the relevant filtering policy.
Under WebScreen 2.0
USO-AutoUpdate for Serco Facility CMIS has successfully finished a run of beta trials and is now on full release to schools signed up to LGfL 2.0 at no additional cost. Schools using CMIS can install USO-AutoUpdate to automate the export of data from their MIS directly into the LGfL USO, affording them better controlled and more secure access to London Grid for Learning content and services.
To obtain the software, a school’s Nominated Contact can access the installation guide from the LGfL Support Site User Guide, which also contains the link for the software download.
For schools on the LGfL 2.0 network, a Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony service is available at a highly competitive price. The service is deployed through the use of an LGfL-licensed Cisco Unified Communications Server (formerly Call Manager system) so that schools wishing to make use of the service need only purchase the required number of Cisco IP handsets and select a service level needed by each handset. These can be obtained through LGfL/Atomwide.
The service has been available for several months and discounts of up to 20% on the originally published monthly subscription rates have recently been secured. Any schools investigating the possibility of a new phone system are welcome to visit Atomwide’s offices to see a fully configured suite of phones and discuss the school’s unique requirements to establish which phones and service levels may be needed.
To arrange a visit and demonstration please contact Atomwide on 01689 814700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on Cisco VoIP telephony please see the LGfL flyer found here.
Under IP Telephony
Please feel free to visit the Atomwide stand and take the opportunity to speak to our staff about our products and services and to meet some of the Service Desk team.
We look forward to seeing you there and if you haven’t already registered for tickets for the show you can do so via this page.
In response to customer requests, the USO-AutoText email functionality has been upgraded to support the sending of attachments. Multiple attachments can be sent via a single email. This is done via the Add attachment button now found on the Email page within USO-AutoText.
The system can handle attachments of up to 20Mb although attachments of different sizes are sent in different ways. Attachments of 1Mb or smaller are attached to the email directly. Attachments larger than 1Mb are stored remotely and the email received by the user will contain a web link instead of the file itself. The recipient can then either click on the link(s) provided or copy and paste the link(s) into a browser and download the documents. Files are automatically removed from the server after 21 days.
Atomwide will be offering a half-day training course devoted specifically to configuring filtering settings using WebScreen 2.0 – the filtering system integrated with the LGfL 2.0 Virgin Media network. The course will offer an overview of system features and the opportunity to create filtering policies for IP-based and per-user based filtering during the session. A significant portion of time will be devoted to a question and answer session to ensure those attending attain a high level of understanding of how to best make use of the system.
The course is open only to Nominated Contacts from schools that have already switched over to the Virgin Media network or schools that have a confirmed installation date that is no later than one week after the course date. Those attending should ensure that filtering admin permissions are granted to their USO accounts prior to the course date.
Training will take place at Atomwide’s offices in Orpington on Thursday 3 November between 9.30am and 12.30pm. To book your place please visit the course bookings page in the LGfL USO support site.
Atomwide has altered the way in which USO-OTP tags are sold to reduce administration costs for schools and LAs. The old method of purchasing tags outright and support separately on an annual basis has now been replaced by a fixed price per tag that includes one year’s warranty and lifetime support. The majority of tags last over 3 years and if any tags outside the year’s warranty develop a fault they will need to be replaced at the current list price.
The new pricing for USO-OTP tags is as follows:
With the majority of tags lasting over 3 years, the new pricing structure not only represents a saving in administration time with schools and LAs not having to deal with a support renewal each year but also, over a 3 year period, a cost saving of between £14.50 and £2.50 per tag depending on the quantity purchased.
Existing tags will remain renewable until such a time as they either naturally expire, or Atomwide offers a “support buy-out” option at the next support renewal date.
As a reminder, USO-OTP tags can currently be used to provide second factor authentication to a number of services such as the RAv3 Remote Access Service, Nominated Contact access to the Support Site, Head Teacher usage for Nominated Contact online sign-up and school USO-AutoUpdate activations, etc.
Due to ongoing demand, Atomwide is announcing further dates for additional Primary School and Secondary School Nominated Contact training courses. All courses are currently specific to LGfL 2.0-subscribing schools and their London LA Advisors, and will take place at Atomwide’s offices in Orpington.
Anyone who has attempted to reserve a place and found that all available courses were fully booked can now revisit the Course bookings page in the USO Support Site and apply for a place on one of the newly announced dates.
Anyone who is unable to reserve a place on these courses is advised to revisit the page periodically as more course dates will continue to be published on an ongoing basis. Additionally, cancellations do occur so it is possible that a course that is currently fully booked may have a space open up. It is therefore useful to revisit the Course bookings page on a regular basis where any changes in course status will be reflected immediately.
Users subscribing to this site’s RSS feed will see this alert each time more course dates are released, along with all other news articles about USO and related LGfL services.
In response to the need for external contractors to provide ICT support to some schools in the capacity of a Nominated Contact, a new process to facilitate the provisioning of such USO accounts has been established. It is now possible for a Head teacher to sign off a form requesting that the manager of the external support company be given the ability to grant other employees of that company the status of Nominated Contact for that school.
To obtain the form required to initiate this process, an existing Nominated Contact in the school will need to log in to the USO support site and download the form found under Resources > Forms. The form signed by the Head and the manager of the ICT support company will then need to be scanned and attached to a support case raised by an existing Nominated Contact at the school.
Once the manager of the external support company obtains the Head’s permission and the forms are processed, they will be able to request that the company’s employees be granted Nominated Contact status by raising a support case via the USO Support Site. No further intervention from the Head teacher will be required.
A maximum of 15 Nominated Contacts per school may be created in this way. Each employee of the support company applying for Nominated Contact status will also be required to obtain an OTP tag and register it to their personal USO account. These tags may be purchased from Atomwide.
When employees of the support companies leave their current employment, it is expected that their USO account and Nominated Contact status be terminated by the company within 24 hours. When a Head teacher who signed the initial release form leaves their post at that school, the school must notify Atomwide of the change, either by providing the name of the new Head or explaining the circumstances if no new Head is in place. The usage of any account to access LGfL USO Support Services and/or to access school or user-related data, and the conduct of each individual account holder in their usage of those accounts, remains the sole responsibility of the contracting company’s manager that has accepted this administrative role. This responsibility is discharged for the individual account once the account has been disabled.
In order to ensure that general user account data is maintained up-to-date, schools must adhere to the LGfL mandatory requirement of operating nightly exports from any supported MIS using LGfL USO-AutoUpdate. This service is currently available for schools using Capita SIMS, Pearson e1, RM G2/S2, Wauton Samuel, and Serco CMIS platforms.
This process is intended to allow external support companies to employ different individuals to assist a given school, as circumstances require, while continuing to safeguard that school’s data and allow for accurate auditing of activity taking place within the USO support site.
External support companies that are new to working with USO are welcome to contact email@example.com for further information.
In schools where LondonMail is enabled, members of staff now have access to their own personal LondonMail accounts.
These accounts are designed and configured to make e-mail communications between staff and pupils possible in schools where any or all year groups have SafeMail restrictions placed on pupils’ accounts. If SafeMail rules state that incoming and outgoing emails to external addresses are blocked and internal mail is configured to be received at school level or above, staff members may now use their LondonMail accounts to send and receive e-mails from pupils in the same school under those circumstances.
Staff can log in to their LondonMail accounts by going to www.lgfl.net and clicking on the “log in to LondonMail” link in the top right corner.
LondonMail accounts exist for the specific purpose of enabling e-mail communications between staff and pupils where SafeMail restrictions are in force and cannot be used to communicate with external e-mail addresses.
USO-AutoUpdate software has recently been updated to allow extraction of data from Serco CMIS. Schools using this MIS can obtain a copy of the USO-AutoUpdate software on request to create and maintain their pupil and staff USO accounts. All schools using USO-AutoUpdate for the first time will need to enable the software to export data via the AutoUpdate settings page in the USO support site.
The software is undergoing final trials in various schools at the moment. Anyone wishing to participate in the trial may do so on the understanding that the software provided is a Beta version. To obtain the software, a Nominated Contact will need to raise a support case and request that the software is enabled for their school. A link to the correct version of the software download will then be provided via the support case. All details regarding installation and configuration, as well as the software download, can be found here.