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| Published 14. 1. 2014. 12:00 | RSS

CARNet in 2013

In 2013, the Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNet continued working on projects and activities in accordance with its vision and mission, encouraging the application of advanced information and communication technology within the educational, academic and research community.

Particular emphasis has been put on establishing and maintaining of stable connections with new and old member institutions and ensuring high-quality educational contents for end users. CARNet members are institutions from the system of science and education, and during the year the connections were maintained with almost 1650 institutions on more than 2600 locations. With a special agreement, 122 locations of institutions from the system of the Ministry of social policy and youth were connected.
CARNet allows its users Internet access and numerous services, and during this year several new services were developed. The National Information System for Applications and Enrolments into Secondary Schools became fully functional in April of 2013. The system comprises more than 10 million data, and the CARNet Helpdesk, whose role is to provide help and assistance to students, parents, school principals and other participants of the process, received 36,630 inquiries in two months. There were several hacking attempts, but all were successfully prevented.
The user support department received almost 200.000 user enquiries during the year, more than 150.000 of which were sent via e-mail or phone. Of the total number of calls more than 2/3 were sent to the educational system support team.
The CARNet School 2.0 project in which 26 Croatian schools are included was selected in June as one of three most innovative initiatives as part of the European Prize for Innovation in Public Administration, in the category Initiatives for research and education. The goal of this project is to enable a high-quality and comprehensive distance learning and e-learning for as many users as possible – teachers and the students. The project was awarded with EUR 100,000.00 with the goal of investing in the further development of the School 2.0 project
Kamešnica elementary school in Otok near Sinj and the IXth high school in Zagreb opened in September the "Classroom of the future", which allows the students of these schools to learn interactively with the help of the latest information technology. This is a joint project of CARNet and the company Samsung Electronics Adriatic, realised with the support of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and is the first project of its kind in the region.
e-Class Register, the system for keeping class registers in electronic form, is implemented in more than 200 schools on the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia, and during the year, 15 upgrades with 1,500 modifications were issued, and it was integrated with the e-main registry and the SamsungSchool application.
During the year, besides the maintenance of permanent connections with members and connections of new members, the CARNet network was actively built and monitored and new services were developed. In March, the one-day event, "Croatia in the clouds", and in April the continuation of work on the GÉANT project was signed under the title GÉANT3plus, which ensured the continued participation of CARNet in the largest European web infrastructure project.
Two new applications were developed. In the App Store, the CARNet mToken was published - an application for the generation of one-time passwords required for specific CARNet services, and the Android version of the same application is available since December 2012. The mCARNet application was also developed, which enables access to mobile services provided by CARNet, which are available after registering via the electronic identity in the AAI@EduHr system The simple set-up of wireless settings for the "eduroam" network was enabled, as well as instructions for e-mail account settings.
The year was marked by the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the national .hr domain, and by the end of the year the total number of free .hr domains was around 55,000 and paid domains more than 12,000, whereas is the total number of domains in the register of .hr domains is almost 82.000.
The national CERT issued more than 2,000 safety recommendations and the brochure Dangers of Facebook, and processed more than 1,000 security incidents on servers within the Republic of Croatia. It actively participated in the NATO exercise Cyber Coalition 2013 and was the implementing agency of the fight against botnets as part of the European project - Advanced Cyber Defence Network.
In 2013, the Education support department marked several important anniversaries. In March, the School portal celebrated its sixth anniversary. The portal records more than 120,000 visitors per month, and during the year more than 1,000 texts were published. The e-Learning Academy marked its tenth anniversary and enrolled 49 new students of the eleventh generation in its two study courses. Throughout the ten years of its existence, the academy has educated almost 500 students.
The Moodle system, which switched from its version 1.9 to the new Loomen 2.3 version, recorded more than 60,000 monthly users by the end of the year. At the end of 2013, more than 1,170 schools had websites in the CARNet CMS, and throughout the year new functionalities were published and existing functionalities were upgraded. In the past year, numerous workshops, webinars and competitions were held within CARNet. The constant improvement of existing services with new content and courses as well as launching new services is a permanent commitment in the work of CARNet employees and associates.
At the end of the year the first digital textbooks arrived to the schools as part of CARNet's new service – eduKnjižara ("eduBokstore"). The service was presented in December, and it offers a single point in which e-textbooks from elementary school to university can be found, but also other e-books and educational e-contents such as eLektira. The eduKnjižara comprises bookstores of different bidders, whose e-textbooks, lecture notes, auxiliary course materials, reading assginments and other educational content is distributed and sold in digital format, via a central web point managed by CARNet.
This year's 15th CARNet Users Conference gathered 560 participants in the Antunović Hotel in Zagreb. The conference included four keynote lectures, 11 workshops, more than 30 reviewed papers, a round table discussion on the computerisation of the educational system and several presentations of CARNet and its partners. The conference main programme was divided into six thematic units, and a special programme unit was the sys.trek, part of the training programme intended for system engineers from CARNet member institutions, which offered 16 presentations and three workshops this year.
During the year CARNet was involved in 10 European projects, one of which has been completed, an nine of which are still active. Several others are in preparation, the most important of which is the e-Škola, the largest, most complex financially most demanding EU project on which we work together with our partners.
The CARNet budget for 2013 amounted to HRK 79,869,401.00 and was at the same level as the previous year, which allowed to retain the same or higher level of the existing services and to develop new ones.