Name: Javi Hidalgo
Place of work: Field Studies Council Head Office
Job title: Network Manager
Role: My key responsibility is to maintain and support the networks across all of the Field Studies Council learning locations. Part of my role is to evaluate and recommend new systems and hardware from tablets and apps to managed networks and control systems.
What I hope to get out of the FNS project: Over the past 2 years the FSC have invested a significant amount of money into a number of tablets and phones to help compliment their teaching in the field and to engage students in new and exciting ways. There is currently a platform split between Google Android and Apple i-devices.
In an ideal world there would be a standardisation of hardware and software that would be used so that compatibility issues would be a thing of the past. In reality this is never the case especially in the case of BYOD (bring your own device) which can often occur with university groups.
I feel that the FNS project offers us the opportunity to develop an open and platform independent system for gathering and displaying data in the field. It won’t matter if a user is on a phone, tablet, or laptop and it won’t matter what operating system that the user is on as long as they have a relatively recent standards compliant browser.
The FNS project also allows us to develop and standardise a system for providing connectivity in the field whether this be a flat sandy beach, a wooded pond system, or a snow covered river valley. By the end of the project I would like to have developed a standard, flexible, easy to use, ready out of the box system, that any of our teaching staff can use with minimal training. Once the hardware is in the hands of out teaching staff I hope that it will be them coming to me with new ideas and ways of implementing the system so that we can disseminate this information back to the rest of the organisation and the wider community as a whole.