The FIRE (Future Internet Research and Experimentation) initiative is an European endeavor that promotes the creation of wide-scale federations of high -performance testbed and experimentation facilities for internet and network-related research. These facilities include wireless and sensor networks, SDNs, high performance computing, optical networks, mobile networks, and smart cities. With an ongoing budget of around 20 million Euros, a number of projects are funded to sustain the FIRE facilities and conduct largescale internet research through them. Forging Online Education through FIRE (FORGE) is a project bringing together the worlds of online education and FIRE. FORGE aligns FIRE with the ongoing education revolution for mutual benefit. In particular, this project is concerned with specifying development methodologies and best practices for offering FIRE experimentation facilities to learners, related both to communications and IT but also to other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, leading to a strong connection between the learning community and existing FIRE platforms and supporting tools. Moreover, FORGE is producing educational material reinforced with hands-on experimentation, enhanced by multimedia resources. The courses are free available in different formats, such as HTML, epub3 and Apple iBooks. Now it is easy to experiment on a real high-performance testbed from your laptop or tablet from any location in the world.
The FORGE consortium believes that it is the right time for students, especially those at higher education institutes, to become familiar with FIRE’s portfolio. Most FIRE platforms and tools are already sufficiently mature to be used by end-users and thus can be introduced seamlessly into current student curricula. Moreover, by targeting students we are aiming at the next-generation future-internet facilities users who, having learnt through FIRE facilities, will be enthusiastic future FIRE users. By investing in students, FORGE is creating a path for FIRE’s long-term sustainability.