In times of crisis, teamwork is key
During the Covid-19 emergency, GARR found new ways to support the research and education community in Italy, which was heavily affected by the lockdown measures imposed on the whole country.
During these months, GARR has developed some tools that will be maintained and enhanced in the future.
Hello can you hear me? Videoconferencing systems
In the aftermath of the announcement of the shut down of the country, the increased need for video conferencing tools became immediately evident. For this, GARR made servers and developers available and joined the iorestoacasa.work initiative, launched by a team of developers from the city of Fabriano, with the aim of offering a free and open source video conferencing solution open to all. Thus, GARR is now offering two open source platforms (OpenMeet and EduMeet), which go alongside with the video communication services already offered to users of the university and research community, WebMeetings and Vconf.
In addition to sharing resources in a context of digital solidarity, GARR published with 10 tips to help users having a great video conference experience
For many in the research and education community, the quarantine has meant to work from home.
For this reason, the GARR-CERT team took action to increase cybersecurity awareness among users, now working in a domestic environment - often less protected from cyber threats.
Among organised activities, the team shared a list of the basic measures to work securely from home and held online courses dedicated to security at all levels, from the more technical ones (on GARR SCARR service), to the ones dedicated to IT security for executive roles, to those dedicated to schools community.
Time of webinars!
During the lockdown, webinars have populated the calendar of many of us, transforming the limitations of mobility into an opportunity for learning something new. GARR contributed with training opportunities dedicated to coding (Python courses), to cybersecurity, distance learning and open source resources to make it possible (OER, Moodle, online communication tools), Cloud GARR resources and distance music teaching. A series of events that have left their mark and that are available online for everybody on GARR e-learning platform, on GARR TV and on its Youtube and Facebook channels.
GARR also participates in the Sos Digitale initiative, created with the aim of overcoming digital barriers during the COVID-19 crisis and particularly aimed at schools. In this context, public webinars were organised in which teachers and representatives from research and education community shared their experiece and opinion ontopics ranging from digital tools for teaching, to techniques for effectively communicating online, to open source tools and to schools connectivity.
The peculiar experience of the lockdown has further strengthened the belief that a collaborative approach can make a difference. An example of this is the spirit that has been created within GARR Lab, a "laboratory" that brings together users of the GARR network, united by the desire to team up, sharing good practices and studying common problems in order to make the community of more cohesive and resilient education and research. From this synergy we can only expect interesting news for the future ... Stay tuned!