Report for January 1, 2000 - March 31, 2000
DRAFT 1/25/00 3:32 PM

Southern LINCS Quarterly Report

 

 

Name of Organization: Center for Literacy Studies

 

Region: Southern LINCS

 

Reporting Period: 01/01/00 - 03/31/00

 

Name of Project Director: Mary Ziegler

 

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

 

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

 

·        Continue to build partnerships throughout the region;

·        Collaborate with other regional hubs;

·        Develop and launch Adopting LINCS Template site;

·        Support and co-work with states on adopting LINCS template;

·        Install and configure new server for SLINCS programs;

·        Speed up the cataloging process for the new regional databases;

·        Set up system/procedures for updating and maintaining the SLINCS site, Special Collections sites, and LAB site;

  • Improve, expand, and update SLINCS  site resources;
  • Improve, expand, and update special collections resources;
  • Edit and publish learning activities submitted to the LAB;
  • Continue to work with states on completing mini-grants contracts;
  • Continue various technical support for Consortium members as needed;

 

2.      Describe activities initially planned for the quarter:

 

  • Build support of state adult education offices for LINCS;
  • Establish partnership with Florida Literacy Coalition;
  • Launch the Adopting LINCS Template for NIFL;
  • Award mini-grants to states on adopting LINCS template;
  • Coordinate adopting LINCS template activities at state level;
  • Continue participating in NIFL redesign discussions and activities;
  • Continue cataloging on-line locally produced materials;
  • Continue publishing LAB lessons;
  • Build up prototype DBMS (database management system) for LAB;
  • Set up and configure the new Unix server for SLINCS programs;
  • Set up and configure the RealServer (multimedia server) for SLINCS programs;
  • Enhance all websites and communication tools hosted by SLINCS;
  • Provide technical support to consortium members in various areas;

 

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

 

a.                  Build support of state adult education offices for LINCS

 

A key goal of Southern LINCS has been to build a broad base of support for LINCS. Southern LINCS was represented in Chicago at the state directors’ meeting and state directors in the south expressed interest in LINCS as a national network.

 

b.                  LINCS has Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) as new partner

 

The state director in Florida said that they would like to appoint the Florida Literacy Coalition to be the official Southern LINCS representative of Florida. As a part of this partnership, the Florida Literacy Coalition will adopt the LINCS template and represent Florida programs and maintain a directory of Florida programs.

 

c.                  Enhanced technology infrastructure

 

Southern LINCS has successfully set up and configured the new Unix server for its web-based programs and communications tools.  All the major websites constructed and maintained by the SLINCS have been transferred to the new server under the newly installed Apache.  All the 25 discussion lists created and maintained by the SLINCS have been moved to the new server for faster services.  With the new server, SLINCS has applied for a new IP name and IP number for the SLINCS site.  The new URL will be http://slincs.coe.utk.edu, which is more intuitive to end users and will better serve queries through public search engines.  We will publish the new URL very soon. (We are currently near the end of fixing all the supporting CGIs).  In addition, SLINCS has installed the RealServer on the new Unix box.  This will enable SLINCS to explore the streaming video technology and present literacy materials in a more meaningful way to end-users.  For a streaming video demo, please point your browser to the Southern LINCS sponsored “Leaders Project” at http://cls.coe.utk.edu:8080/ramgen/leaders.rm.  The other thing worth mentioning here is that SLINCS has created three virtual servers on the new Unix machine for other literacy programs. 

 

d.                  Adopting LINCS Template site launched

 

With the support from NIFL and other regional hubs, the Southern LINCS has introduced a new site: Adopting LINCS Template located at http://hub2.coe.utk.edu/adopt.  The site has been announced by NIFL and used by all other regional hubs for state level adopting supports. The purpose of this site is to provide possible assistance for state partners and non-partners in adopting the LINCS template. Besides basic materials (html and image files) needed for the redesign, the site also provides guidelines on how to use the template, a list of sample sites, reflections from people who have used the template, FAQs, and information on mentoring, support, and help.

 

e.                  LINCS Redesign at state level

 

SLINCS 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, SLINCS prioritized its budget and provided three mini-grants to its state partners to start the adopting process.  By the end of March, SLINCS had three state sites up, five in adopting process, and 4 in planning process.

 

The south has a mixed set of partners in the southern states. Some partners are state literacy resource centers and others are state offices.

 

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 – in process (received mini-grant)

·        Arkansas – site up

·        Louisiana – mock up done

·        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 is prohibited from adopting the template because of the restrictions of state government; however, this state has requested help in adopting the key buttons that would include them as part of the LINCS network.

 

f.                   Southern LINCS mini-grants

SLINCS has been planning to provide mini-grants in three categories this year:

 

·        supports for states to adopt the LINCS template for their Web sites;

·        travel, lodging, and conference fees for states to send representatives to the ALT conference;

·        training and support for states to train a librarian or other staff person in cataloging materials into the LINCS system and then to “mine” the SLINCS states' sites for materials which should be cataloged.

 

The best response to these proposals has been states that want help in adopting the LINCS template (refer to Item d above).

 

Virginia will help “mine” the SLINCS websites for locally produced materials to catalog.

 

g.                  Prototype DBMS for LAB

 

SLINCS has been working on a DBMS (database management system) for the Learning Activities Bank (LAB) since the mid of last quarter.  The completed DBMS will provide organization and query tools for LAB lessons.  It will also explore the merits of putting a well-constructed database on a CD for better distribution and putting the database online through a middleware called ODBC (Open Databse Connectivity). The ending product might also serve as a prototype (at least theoretically) for building other literacy database programs.

h.                  The LAB was awarded Hot Sites Logo

 

The Workforce Education Learning Activities Bank was recognized by the LINCS Network as a LINCS Hot Site and awarded their Hot Sites Logo. Point your browser to LAB hub2.coe.utk.edu/gtelab.

 

i.                    Web publishing:

 

·        South Carolina’s new site was up during last quarter;

·        Launched the Adopting LINCS Template site in February;

·        Worked with representatives from Alabama to rebuild the Alabama website and moved content from the old site to the new site based on LINCS template (still in progress);

·        Created the Tennessee Center for Literacy Studies text only site in March;

·        Updated the SLINCS “What's New” page 10 times;

·        Updated the SLINCS “News Flashes” page 10 times;

·        Updated the Workforce Education Special Collection 4 times;

·        Updated the Correctional Education Special Collection 4 times;

·        Published 5 new LAB lessons to the GTE LAB site;

·        Made new banner graphics for the CLS site;

·        Redesigned the page for the CLS Locally Produced Materials;

·        Checked and verified links on the SLINCS site.

 

 

j.                    Special Collections:

 

A total of 22 new links have been added as resources to the Workforce Education Special Collection.  Some of these sites represented by these new links are resources that were not previously included in the collection.  In addition, in order to provide a link closer to the surface so that users do not have to go through several layers to find the information specific to their needs, the number of URLs from several sites has been expanded beyond a link to the home page to include links to separate pages on different layers of the same resource from different categories of the Workforce Ed site.  (As an example, a rather comprehensive site might have formerly had its homepage URL listed under the multiple LINCS categories of teacher/tutor, online discussion, and links and directories.  As revised, the homepage URL might still be listed under links and directories, but the URL under online discussions would now be the page telling how to subscribe to the site’s online discussion list, and the link under the teacher/tutor category would take the user directly to teaching materials from the site.)

 

The Advisory Committee for the Workforce Education special collection met in February.  Minutes of this meeting are attached. Several issues about the template were raised. A key issue is how to make the site more accessible to those outside the literacy community. The Advisory Committee made recommendations that affect the template, primarily, the audience buttons.  The Advisory Committee raised key points about the site that can easily be adopted; other suggestions require further study.

 

k.                 Training:

 

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

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