ITWORX EducationITWORX Education

ITWorx Extends CLG in Durham Schools


Executive Summary
ITWORX provided a, web-based, social e-learning environment for seven secondary schools in Durham County Council (DCC) through its Connected Learning Gateway (CLG). CLG is designed to enhance the teaching process for teachers, make learning engaging and insightful for K-12 students, and facilitate communication and collaboration between school administrators, teachers, and parents. Built on Microsoft SharePoint, CLG enabled the schools to customize their own portals.

The Customer
DCC provides a wide range of local authority services to almost 500,000 people. With a mission to make County Durham the best place in which to live, work, and bring up a family, the Council is focusing on education and learning as the essentials for healthy community development. The county council benefits from the British government’s commitment to rebuild or renew every secondary school in England by 2020 under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) program initiated in February 2004.

The Challenge
DCC aims to provide children and communities with access to first-class education and facilities. Schools are to be at the heart of local communities, providing opportunities for lifelong learning. The Council wanted to introduce an innovative 21st Century approach to enhance education in the public sector and link education with the needs of the business world.

The Solution
ITWORX, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and education expert in Microsoft education solutions, was selected by Durham County Council to deploy ITWORX CLG across a select number of secondary schools in the county.
CLG provided DCC with an innovative platform for e-learning, collaboration and assessment which can be accessed at school, at home, or via mobile devices, in addition to a wide range of tools for content authoring.
Using CLG, teachers at DCC secondary schools can prepare lesson structure and schedule and publish lesson plans that meet curriculum standards. Teachers can easily create rich e-learning content in a short amount of time by adding photos, audio and videos. CLG also enables teachers to build online exams that can be graded automatically and track each student’s progress, allowing the delivery of multi-faceted individual learning plans.
Students can view lesson structure, access lesson materials, and interact electronically with peers and privately with teachers online. They can also complete their assignments and exams and receive their results online. This saves valuable time and effort and provides the students with prompt feedback to enhance their learning.
CLG empowers parents with needed tools to view their child’s grades, behavior, and attendance, receive notifications, and communicate privately with teachers through the portal. Parents can also receive mobile notifications from the school, whether from teachers or school administrators.
ITWORX managed hardware installation and configuration necessary to accommodate thousands of users for the DCC secondary schools, as well as the installation and configuration of all infrastructure software for the learning platform. In addition, ITWORX was able to offer easy-to-use customization tools. Schools participating in the project have the ability to tailor the solution according to their preferences. For example, they can build surveys, discussion boards, and workflows, choose templates, and place links to internal systems, etc. This capability is provided by Microsoft SharePoint.
ITWORX provided full integration with SIMS (a management information system that provides a suite of software covering all parts of a schools’ administration such as behavior and achievement, curriculum planning, and lesson structure) including write back facilities. SharePoint provided this functionality whilst enabling front-end skins to give the look and feel required. Other learning management systems available in the market did not provide such write back facilities and required a third-party product TASC PARS to provide the read/write functionality.
The use of SharePoint also provided a Single Sign On (SSO) functionality to ensure that when the device is launched the web browser is automatically opened and the teacher is logged into the platform. This enables SSO onto the e-learning system, e-mail, Lync, calendar and other functional requirements that the school may want to link to. Others products do not have this full SSO functionality, but work by installing an application on the device being used so that when the user logs on the application captures the username and password and saves it as a cookie in ‘My Documents’. When user logs on again the application finds the cookie and identifies the user. This may pose problems if teachers move from device to device.



    • Address unique needs:

ITWORX provided a solution that addressed thousands of users with their different demands and learning techniques. Each school has the capacity to tailor CLG based on its unique needs thanks to the customization tools provided.

    • Enable Durham’s vision

ITWORX enabled Durham to develop a community through its innovative e-learning solutions since boosting the quality of education and learning is essential for healthy community development.

    • Present a strong educational solution

ITWORX redefined the learning experience in Durham secondary schools. CLG established an engaging environment that enhanced learning, performance and productivity.