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| Published 12. 1. 2011. 11:18 | RSS

CARNet in 2010

In 2010, Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNet continued to work on projects and activities in accordance with its vision and mission. Therefore, special emphasis was placed last year on the establishment and maintenance of permanent connections with member institutions and provision of access to CARNet network for individual users.

In the beginning of 2010, CARNet and the Town of Opatija signed an agreement on business and technical cooperation, and soon afterwards there followed the signing of the same agreement between CARNet, the Central State Office for e-Croatia and the City of Rijeka. In the same year, the agreement was signed with the Town of Pula, and in the final phase CARNet entered negotiations with the City of Osijek. It should certainly be mentioned that e-Split project has been finalised, introducing an optical network with five nodes which connects 158 locations of local and regional self-government bodies, 115 academic and learning community locations and 27 regional state administration bodies in the City of Split into one unique computer-based network. A new open-source tool for network control was implemented, CIX peering was upgraded and CIX speed increased to 10 Gbps. Additional Internet connections were introduced, and the Internet access connection speed increased from 2 to 4 Gbps.

In order to stimulate development of local applications for AndroidT platform, in April 2010, in cooperation with CARNet and Bug monthly magazine, VIPnet announced the first Croatian tender for the best smartphone application on AndroidT platform. Also, CARNet and VIPnet together offered their users a new method of individual access to CARNet network in combination with land phone lines – Homebox CARNet service. The service is intended exclusively for users with electronic identity in AAI@EduHr system, which is required for the process of user authentication.

Last year, CARNet began with the first stage of its project for information and communication technologies in education – ICT Edu. In mid-March the pages of the ICT Edu project became available to all users, whereas in May a professional gathering was organised for regional education managers and regional educators. As part of the ICT Edu project, a professional gathering for educators was organised in July, whereas in November this project entered its longest and the most important – seventh – phase, which included education of all teachers in Croatian primary and secondary schools.

In 2010, CARNet launched a new portal on http://www.edu.hr as the central place for access to CARNet services available to the users of electronic identity in AAI@EduHr system. Moreover, on the website http://ispiti.skole.hr/, in February last year, a demo version of state final exams was published, open for access to all those interested in practicing for the exams.

The final workshop and the certificate award ceremony in June 2010 made CARNet E-Learning Academy richer by 58 e-learning professionals, so that the total number of educated professionals reached 323. The autumn term for enrolment of the 8thgeneration of attendants of the E-Learning Academy Programme was open until mid-September, after which 60 new attendants started their classes.

With a wish to provide additional education to the existing and future users from the school system, last year CARNet developed an online course in CARNet CMS. It should be mentioned that the course "Development of online courses using Moodle" helped CARNet to win the Comenius EduMedia Seal of Approval for the third time. Also, since November last year, CARNet is involved in the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme.

In 2010, CARNet enabled primary and secondary schools students to exchange textbooks online on its Textbook Exchange portal. After three years of existence, CARNet's School Portal got the new look in June 2010, with new design and realisation of the visual identity and logotype. In cooperation with Croatian Radio, all visitors of the School Portal were provided access to numerous educational and popular radio programs. For this purpose, the Portal offered the Audio Corner and the specially designed Radio on Demand – RoD).

In June 2010, CARNet's e-Library published two new books, and in November the entire e-Library presented its new design and improved functionality. E-Library also presented two new magazines – PC Chip and qLife, which is one of the more significant news on the domestic market of digital online editions. It should also be mentioned that with the aid of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and in realization of Bulaja naklada – one of the leading Croatian companies in the field of electronic publishing in education and culture – and CARNet, http://lektire.skole.hrprovided all users with free access to comprehensive body of works of Croatian and foreign writers. The works include mandatory school readings, but also other titles.

In June, GDLN Eurasia Annual Workshop took place in Dubrovnik. This project of the World Bank, CARNet and the World Bank Institute (WBI), organised by CARNet, gathered 26 participants from 9 countries, all of them professionals from the field of distance education. CARNet also participated in organisation of the 14thZagreb University Fair for senior high school students, and provided support to the 2ndcompetition of primary school students in knowledge of transport by using Prometna učilica – a traffic learning program. Among the last year's courses organised by CARNet, we should mention the IBM technology workshops and the Local Internet Registry Training Course.

With the purpose of informing students about its services, last year CARNet held a series of lectures on faculties and institutions of high education and visited 53 higher education institutions. Since last year, CARNet officially informs its users via Facebook and Wikipedia, and it introduced a new communication channel for users via Skype, which is provided by the user support service. As part of the last year's activities, support was provided for all services launched or redesigned in 2010 (DNS, Edu.hEdu), including active support to the introduction of SmartX system at the University in Rijeka.

Through the National Information System for Applications to Higher Education Institutions (NISpVU), in early July 2010 there started confirmations of intention to apply to higher education institutions for study programmes. For that purpose, the NISpVU user support system was established, which realised more than 25,000 e-mail messages and more than 44,000 of telephone calls. Also, there were more than 2,000 Skype calls just for the NISpVU system.

From 15thto 17thNovember, 12thCARNet Users Conference was held at the Split Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture. Entitled "New Challenges", the conference programme offered 62 papers, 14 workshops, 13 presentations, a film, a panel discussion and a round table, and the announcement of the winners of the 2010 Webfestival and the CMS competition.

The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports adopted the new Ordinance on Organisation and Management of National Internet Top-level Domain, which entered into force on 8thApril. This Ordinance enabled registration of paid domains and defined the rights and obligations of CARNet as an organisation to which an authorised international organization granted the management of .hr domain.

In order to be able to deal with the growing and more demanding user needs, CARNet's supercomputer Chruncer was upgraded last year. It is interesting to mention that in less than 24 hours after the new codec (VP8) and the new format (WebM) for web video were presented at Google IO conference, CARNet organised experimental implementation of the mentioned codec and the WebM format. Also, on 26thMarch, CARNet MoD service enabled live streaming of proton beams collision as part of the LHC experiment.

Last year, CARNet continued with its activities in the area of security and organised workshops in its premises regarding the basics of network forensics, in cooperation with the National CERT and the Ministry of the Interior. Furthermore, in mid-September a new computer security brochure was issued to serve as a guide for computer amateurs to help them recognise Internet risks and to offer them adequate protection. In cooperation with Večernji list daily newspaper CARNet printed the brochure and distributed it in 130,000 copies.

All the abovementioed activities clearly show that in 2010 CARNet continued working on the projects and activities important for the entire academic and research community. In addition to the above, there are plans to introduce some new activities this year, including development, application and possibilities of information and communication technology, as well as cooperation with Croatian and international organizations, oriented primarily towards CARNet users, but also to the general public.