Report for April 1, 2000 - June 30, 2000

Southern LINCS Quarterly Report

Name of Organization: Center for Literacy Studies

Region: Southern LINCS

Reporting Period:April 1, 2000 - June 30, 2000

Project Director: Dr. Mary Ziegler

Report Prepared By: Mary Ziegler, Limin Mu, Donna Brian, Angela Rivera

  1. State your goals and objectives for the past quarter:

    • Support and co-work with states on adopting LINCS templates;
    • Have more new state sites up by ALT 2000;
    • Prepare the southern states for ALT 2000, make travel arrangements;
    • Speed up the cataloging process for the new databases and increase the number of items cataloged;
    • Improve, expand, and update the resources in Southern LINCS and its two Special Collections;
    • Expand awareness of the availability of resources through the newly redesigned LINCS sites among practitioners;
    • Encourage consortium members to make a presentation about LINCS at their annual state conferences;
    • Continue to build partnerships throughout the region;
    • Continue various technical support for Consortium members as needed;
    • Write proposals in responding to NIFL's RFPs on LINCS and LINCS special collections

  2. Describe activities initially planned for the quarter:

    • Attend ALT 2000
    • Present LINCS and technology programs at ALT 2000
    • Meet state partners at ALT to enhance LINCS partnership
    • Meet new partner Florida Literacy Coalition and provide support as needed;
    • Market Adopting LINCS Template to state partners;
    • Award mini-grants to states on adopting LINCS template;
    • Coordinate adopting LINCS template activities at state level;
    • Speed up cataloging on-line locally produced materials;
    • Continue developing special collections and publishing LAB lessons;
    • Complete prototype DBMS (database management system) for LAB;
    • Enhance all websites and communication tools hosted by Southern LINCS;
    • Provide technical support to consortium members in various areas;
    • Work on the proposals in responding to NIFL's RFPs

  3. Briefly describe major outcomes during the last quarter especially in the following areas:

    1. Prepare and attend ALT 2000 Conference

      We had the following states from the South attending the ALT 2000 Conference: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Our cohorts met together during ALT and focused on the issues of marketing LINCS and adopting LINCS template. Together with NIFL other regional LINCS staff, Southern LINCS staff provided 5 sessions on LINCS and other technology programs to ALT participants.

    2. Meet Our New Partner Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC)

      The state director in Florida has appointed the Florida Literacy Coalition to be the official Southern LINCS representative of Florida. As a part of this partnership, the Florida Literacy Coalition is in the process of adopting the LINCS template and representing Florida programs and maintaining a directory of Florida programs. The Southern LINCS has recently set up 3 discussion lists for the FLC to meet their program needs.

    3. Writing New Proposals on LINCS and LINCS Special Collections

      The Southern LINCS took writing LINCS proposals as a good opportunity to re-examine our current work, plan ahead, and especially expand LINCS partnership, market LINCS, and leverage resources for LINCS. The Southern LINCS has received supporting letters from all southern states and other regional LINCS centers. Eight of the 14 Southern States have committed up to $5,000 to support LINCS training programs annually.

    4. Adopting LINCS Template

      The Southern LINCS has had an active response concerning adopting the LINCS template from all of our partners. We are proud to announce that the Louisiana, North Carolina, and Alabama sites were officially up during the second quarter. These new sites join the Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee sites that have also adopted the LINCS template. In addition, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Virginia, and Florida are going to launch their new sites by the end of August 2000. Other states including Texas and Mississippi are also either in planning or adopting process.

    5. Support LINCS Redesign at state level

      Southern LINCS staff decided to work to build the states' capacity to adopt and maintain the LINCS template on their own. Staff regularly contacted partner states to encourage the adoption process during the last quarter. Except for Kentucky (change in staff) and Georgia (state restrictions), all other states responded favorably to adopting the template. In order to better assist this process, Southern LINCS prioritized its budget and provided four mini-grants to its state partners to start the adopting process. By the end of June, Southern LINCS had 6 state sites up, 4 in adopting process, and 2 in planning process.

      The following is a detailed analysis on the adopting status in the South.

      State Offices adopting the template:

      • West Virginia - in process (received mini-grant)
      • Oklahoma - in process (received mini-grant)

      State Literacy Resources Located with State Offices

      • Alabama - site up (received mini-grant)
      • Arkansas - site up
      • Louisiana - site up
      • North Carolina - site up
      • South Carolina - site up

      State Literacy Resource Centers that are independent but supported by state

      • Tennessee - site up
      • Virginia - in process (received mini-grant)

      State partners supported by state offices

      • Florida - in process
      • Texas - in process

      Georgia has restrictions from their state government; however, it has requested help in adopting the key navigation buttons that would include them as part of the LINCS network.

    6. Prototype DBMS for LAB

      Southern LINCS has been working on a DBMS (database management system) for the Learning Activities Bank (LAB). The DBMS provides organization and query tools for LAB lessons. Southern LINCS staff successfully presented the LAB DBMS at ALT and TAACE 2000. The database has been put on recordable CDs and distributed through conferences. End users also have a real-time access to the LAB data by visiting the LAB search page online.

    7. Web publishing:

      • Louisiana, North Carolina, and Alabama new sites were up during last quarter;
      • Created and announced the new URL for the Southern LINCS web site at slincs.coe.utk.edu.
      • Created and launched the Communication Barter Board forWorkforce Advisory Committee at http://iis.coe.utk.edu/ (using IIS and asp).
      • Updated the Southern LINCS "news flashes" and "what's new" 12 times;
      • Updated the Workforce Special Collections site 10 times;
      • Updated the CLS "news flashes" and "what's new" 12 times;
      • Made further changes and links to the CLS "text only" site;
      • Added 6 new lessons to the GTE LAB site;
      • Made several corrections to the GTE LAB Lessons downloadable documents;
      • Updated the following Alabama pages:
        • Publications
        • Programs & Services
        • Partners
        • Organizations
        • Locations
        • GED Centers
        • Contact Us
      • Checked and verified links on the Southern LINCS site.

    8. Special Collections:

      • A conference call with the advisory committee for the Workforce Education Special Collection took place on May 22. Feedback from the committee is being evaluated and applied to the site.

      • The committee encouraged Southern LINCS to apply to continue as the site developers for the Workforce Education Special Collection. Several members of the committee agreed to serve on a subcommittee to help develop the proposal. Feedback from the committee was included in the proposal.

      • The Workforce Education Learning Activities Bank has ready for publishing 28 new lessons. They will go online as time permits. Additional lessons have been submitted through the LAB and are being evaluated and edited for possible inclusion.

    9. Training:

      • Adopting LINCS Template site was updated for training and assisting state partners on the adopting process;

      • Face-to-face training on adopting LINCS template was provided to state partners at ALT 2000;

      • Individual feedback and training in adopting LINCS template was provided via extensive email and phone calls to state partners;

      • Individual feedback and training in learning activity development was provided via extensive email and phone calls to practitioners who submitted learning activities to the LAB;

      • The following training sessions were conducted during the last quarter: a training session at Georgia State University in collaboration with NIFL, two sessions at the ALT conference, and a session at the national Laubach conference. Additional training sessions have been conducted at the Oklahoma State Conference and the Tennessee State Conference (see report for next quarter).

    10. Technical assistance:

      During the period, 337 email messages (in and out) and 34 phone calls were logged for technical assistance. Topics covered by these communications include adopting LINCS template, LINCS cataloging, requesting new mailing lists setup, list sign-on and sign-off, database development, virtual server, recordable CD, contractual assistance, server setup and configuration, Sun hardware and software, IP number and domain names, streaming video, anonymous ftp, Webmail, file attachments, file uploading, graphics, and Web site construction.

    11. Leveraging resources:

      The Southern LINCS project director was actively contacting the southern state directors to leverage resources to support LINCS for the next three project years. As a result, eight states have committed up to $5,000 to support LINCS training team annually.

    12. Publicity:

      • Considerable publicity was achieved through LINCS proposal writing process. State directors put more significance on LINCS and put more hard dollars on supporting LINCS training and marketing programs.

      • Considerable publicity was achieved by more southern states having adopted LINCS template during the last quarter.

      • Southern LINCS staff has been invited to present at various state and national conferences including ALT, Laubach, and state conferences.

    13. Extending LINCS to local programs:

      During this and last quarters, we awarded the mini-grants to consortium members in three categories. The mini-grants helped extend LINCS to local programs. The major focus of the mini-grants was on supporting states to adopt the LINCS template, sending representatives to the ALT conference, and supporting states to train a librarian or other staff person in cataloging materials into the LINCS system.

    14. Partnerships with other state agencies and public and private entities, including business and industry:

      The Southern LINCS has set up a plan of increasing the number and range of partners and affiliates at the state and local level for the next three project years. In each year, at least 50% of the states in the southern region will enlist 2 state-level affiliates and 5 local program affiliates for a total of 49 and a three-year total of 147.

  4. Briefly describe services provided to consortium members:

    • Responded actively to state requests for attending ALT 2000 conference;
    • Responded actively to state requests for presenting LINCS at state conferences;
    • Facilitated communications and connections for the southern states at ALT to enhance partnership;
    • Helped Alabama code their Web site based on LINCS template and launched the site officially; (still working on 2nd and 3rd layer pages);
    • Provided daily technical support for Consortium members through email and phone calls on adopting LINCS template, setting up new mailing lists, assisting list sign-on and sign-off, and providing contractual assistance;
    • Provided technical support for SC's discussion lists (15 calls for services);
    • Provided technical assistance on cataloging, virtual server setup, anonymous ftp, database management, and Web-based publishing;
    • Facilitated community building and communication with Southern LINCS partners through 65 (out) additional email contacts;
    • Provided assistance to states in conducting their mini-grant activities;
    • Forwarded timely information to states through the hub2-news mailing list;
    • Posted general information to the hub2-news mailing list (First Monday);
    • Provided support to practitioners and adult learners who requested help through the channel of phone calls, Web site feedback forms, and email;
    • Provided regular server maintenance, job control, system backup, and other technical services to the Consortium through the server located at the Center for Literacy Studies.

  5. Include a brief report from each of the consortium members regarding their LINCS activities, and the degree of their involvement in your regional LINCS activities:

    • North Carolina officially launched their new site in May.

    • Louisiana officially launched their new site just before ALT.

    • Alabama co-worked with the Southern LINCS on their new site and put the site online before the ALT (some pages are under construction).
    • Virginia has received a mini-grant from the Southern LINCS on adopting LINCS template and will get their site online by the end of August 2000.

    • West Virginia has received a mini-grant from the Southern LINCS on adopting LINCS template and will get their site online by the end of August 2000.

    • Oklahoma has received a mini-grant from the Southern LINCS on adopting LINCS template and will get their site online by the end of August 2000.

    • Louisiana reports they have included in their state plan the intention to fund technology in adult education and literacy programs by setting aside 5% of federal funds each year for the next three years. Also, the Louisiana State Literacy Resource Center has filled over 650 training "slots" in workshops of 4 hours to two days and over half of those were technology training.

    • Florida reports that as part their state literacy center activities this year, the DOE has provided funding for the re-design and re-launch of their website. They will be incorporating the LINCS format and plan to add at least one discussion list. Their director reports, "Florida's literacy providers are mixed in terms of use of and access to technology. Our goal through this project is to incorporate the LINCS system into our literacy providers' work routines, and to ensure that sites in Florida are linked or share their information with the central LINCS point. Already, in terms of state leadership, I am 'beating the LINCS drum' to get the point across that this is a system we all need to be using and contributing to."

  6. Have you encountered any problems in the use of project funds? Do you anticipate any carry over from this year:

    Use of NIFL funds is proceeding according to the plans outlined in Southern LINCS third project-year proposal. We provided 4 mini-grants to support the adopting LINCS template process in the southern region, and supported 10 states attending the ALT 2000 conference.

  7. Briefly describe barriers and concerns in meeting your goals, activities, and timeline:

    • Time and resources are the major constrains at the regional level. We have been actively leveraging resources throughout the South and the nation to support the project.

    • States need training on cutting-edge technology (e.g.: live video broadcasting) and LINCS cataloging system. The Southern LINCS team has worked out some plans on these items as described in the LINCS proposal.

  8. How do you assess your collaboration with NIFL during the past quarter? Do you have any suggestions for improvement:

    Collaboration with NIFL has been going well. This has been achieved through collaboration with NIFL on various program activities including LINCS monthly meeting, frequent adopting LINCS template conference calls, preparing and attending the ALT 2000 conference, and actively responding to NIFL's new RFPs on LINCS and LINCS special collections.

  9. What are your goals, objectives, expected outcome, activities, and suggestions for the next quarter:

    Goals:

    • Prepare the ending for the program year;
    • Complete all programs as planned including the mini-grant contracts;
    • Realize the goal of totally 10 states adopting LINCS template and launching their new sites by the end of the project year (September 2000);
    • Prepare for the beginning of the next program year;
    • Prepare the southern states for a regional meeting in Memphis 2001;
    • Speed up the cataloging process and increase the number of items cataloged;
    • Improve, expand, and update the resources in Southern LINCS and its two Special Collections;
    • Encourage consortium members to make a presentation about LINCS at their annual state conferences;
    • Continue to build partnerships throughout the region;
    • Continue various technical supports for Consortium members as needed.

    Expected outcomes:

    • We expect to complete the mini-grant contracts by the end of August 2000.
    • We expect a total of 10 state partners in the region will have adopted the LINCS template by September 2000.
    • We expect 30 additional new cataloged records to be available for search in the databases next quarter.
    • We expect to comprehensively update the two special collections next quarter.
    • We expect more partners and affiliates will receive services in the area of web publication and list communication through the hub's new server.
    • We expect at least four states to make LINCS presentations.
    • We expect to have more detailed, specific plans for the next project year.

    Activities:

    • Conduct a Southern LINCS Advisory Committee meeting in August to prepare the ending for this year and the beginning for the next program year;
    • Conduct a Workforce Education Special Collection Advisory Committee meeting in September;
    • Complete mini-grant contracts by the end of August 2000;
    • Support and co-work with states on adopting LINCS templates;
    • Update the Adopting LINCS Template site as needed;
    • Attend Oklahoma state conference at Oklahoma City;
    • Prepare and attend other state conferences for LINCS publicity (TAACE);
    • 30 or more records will be entered to the LINCS new database next quarter;
    • Keep all sites maintained up to date including Southern LINCS site, Special Collections sites, and the LAB site; and especially the What's New page and New Flashes page on those sites;
    • Provide various technical support for Consortium members as needed.

    Suggestions for the next quarter:

    Continue the monthly telephone conference calls among the LINCS directors. Check program guidelines and complete the program items accordingly by the end of the project year.

  10. Provide statistics in the following areas:

    Resources:

      Number of materials cataloged (Regional or States' databases):67
      Number of web-based materials produced and published: over 150
      Number of LAB lessons edited and finalized for publication: 28
      Training:

      Number of broad-based presentation and training (regional and state level): 3
      Number of targeted training: 5
      Total number of people trained: 276
      Instances of individual assistance in developing LAB lessons: 56

      Technical Assistance:

      Number of phone calls: 34
      Number of email: 337
      Number of discussion lists set up for the field by your organization: 8 (total 33)