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Blue Skies Thread, Open Source Schools' Miles Berry offers a radical response to the ICT funding cuts in General; Originally Posted by spannerman2 @pete the 'bootable playground' for teaching IT is exactly what is needed. After that we need ...
  1. #151

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    @pete the 'bootable playground' for teaching IT is exactly what is needed. After that we need the quality tecahers and a sane study guide but nothin can happen until that network room is liberated!! Thanks
    You've got your eggs laying chickens, if the network is 'liberated' before the skill and plans exist to use it there will just be a mountain of trouble instead. The networks are the way they are because of laws and policies.

    I don't understand why you seem intent on getting angry at the messangers rather than the source which is the govenment and school leadership. Getting mad at people who for a large part don't have the authority to make that kind of change (even if they did agree with it) does not make logical sense.

    There just seems to be a bit much axe grinding doing on here for comfort. Everyone is entitled to their own views but please rage against the machine and not the individual cogs that are stuck in the middle.

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    @spannerman2
    If you can tell me how not to be in breach of the DPA when relaxing the network when you don't have resources (money, skilled people and/or time) to make significant changes to the infrastructure then I am sure we would all be interested.
    If you could even give me a complete walkthrough (including the change management needed) to move from A to B that would also be really good ... after all, I am sure you wouldn't want school support staff who are following your mantra to get too worried about just flicking a switch without telling anyone what the changes are and how to deal with it?

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    @localzuk just read your latest reply..I'll reiterate..the school is there to serve the purpose of teaching and learning. If the needs legal or otherwise of any IT structure obstruct this then a different model is needed to enable it.
    I have been a pro-sysadmin so I know exactly what the problems are that's why I know the current model (that supports your job) is the wrong one for educating.
    Maybe you would be happier in a bank?

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    I have the very strong feeling spannerman2 didn't get on with the technical staff while he was a teacher/sysadmin. There're definite hints of an axe to grind, and a lot of vitriol against network managers/technicians being spouted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    @pete the 'bootable playground' for teaching IT is exactly what is needed. After that we need the quality tecahers and a sane study guide
    You have a poor grasp of how projects get funded in schools at the school level. White elephants abound at the regional and national level, but on a per-school basis it's much more pragmatic.

    Decent teachers create the demand for things - you need them first. Apathetic or indifferent teachers won't push for it, so any sane headteacher will look at the opportunity cost and rightly say "No-one has asked for this or given me a business reason to go ahead with the project, whereas $other_dept have been pushing for $equivalent_costing_thing for years and can show how it will improve $whatever_metric (behaviour, results, individual attainment, quality of teaching or whatever)."

    but nothin can happen until that network room is liberated!!
    Liberated from who? I can't help but think of the revolutionary who overthrows a regime, believes it's the dawn of a new era and then gets upset because people are complaining their toilets aren't flushing and the post office appears to be on fire rather than agreeing how wonderful it is now.

    Stuff still needs to be maintained in good order. That lab will be used for conventional lessons who couldn't give a toss about anything other than (say) French verbs. They just want a reliable, working computer that will behave the same as it did yesterday.

    So someone needs to design and maintain whatever method ensures whatever the 9am class do with the kit doesn't impair the 10am class' use of the room. You can arrive at it in different ways, but being able to deliver that is paramount. Time spent faffing because "X" isn't working is lost teaching time unless you're specifically covering "X" and how to de-faff it.

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    @grumbledook Fair point, i am working quite hard on just the thing you describe..a walk through for my imagined network nirvana
    Computerworld will allow me to use my blog to set this out in posts over the coming weeks. It will be shot down in flames no doubt but I am really encouraged by the positivity of some of the comments on this thread..I just feel this is the right direction to go.

    ps I don't want to shoot the messengers, the hard working network tech is just a cog in the wheel set in motion by the syllabus makers and gov-no-brainers but revolutions come always from below and the techs are the ones who will actually make stuff happen, so stirred up techs are in a better place than sleepy hollow techs.

  7. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    @localzuk just read your latest reply..I'll reiterate..the school is there to serve the purpose of teaching and learning. If the needs legal or otherwise of any IT structure obstruct this then a different model is needed to enable it.
    I have been a pro-sysadmin so I know exactly what the problems are that's why I know the current model (that supports your job) is the wrong one for educating.
    Maybe you would be happier in a bank?
    Idealism rarely works. Look at communism, look at patriotism, look at any number of 'ideals' that have tried to be put into place by people who ignore the details whilst trying to push a 'big picture'.

    You are quite happy with getting rid of the legal structure that exists, but ignore the consequences to issues such as child protection, data protection, health and safety etc...

    You also ignore the knock on effects of a 'liberalised' network. The increased maintenance required, meaning more damage to teaching time etc... Don't give me 'there are tools to do it which reduce this' but this doesn't cover things like application deployment, group policy updating etc... which are made more complex in these situations.

    So, without any actual implementation ideas, your idealistic 'utopian' view of a network is pointless i'm afraid.

  8. #158

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    @grumbledook Fair point, i am working quite hard on just the thing you describe..a walk through for my imagined network nirvana
    Computerworld will allow me to use my blog to set this out in posts over the coming weeks. It will be shot down in flames no doubt but I am really encouraged by the positivity of some of the comments on this thread..I just feel this is the right direction to go.
    I look foward to seeing how you go about addressing the very valid real world concerns brought up by this thread in your future blog posting, the solutions - if feasible - should be very interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    ps I don't want to shoot the messengers, the hard working network tech is just a cog in the wheel set in motion by the syllabus makers and gov-no-brainers but revolutions come always from below and the techs are the ones who will actually make stuff happen, so stirred up techs are in a better place than sleepy hollow techs.
    I'm not sure insulting what the very techs you wish to recruit do and their motives is the best way to win hearts and minds for the army you wish to raise to further your revolution. I think that the continuation of your blog series with real word solutions and practices may hold merit though at least in part. Getting a solid proposal on the subject together which addresses the realities of the situations is almost certainly the best way to further your viewpoint and aims.

    Oh and please try to keep vendor hate out of it, the Windows network comment was a bit much as many people run perfectly viable networks on it. Besides we prefer our vendor hate in nice little two party wars in the IT world, please adress you views in a X vs Y form (just kidding about this last part).
    Last edited by SYNACK; 2nd September 2010 at 05:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    but revolutions come always from below
    No, revolutions come from pony-tailed, latte-drinking $word_I_can't_use_on_here who use those below them as cannon fodder while conveniently being elsewhere when there's dirty work to be done.

    Said PTLDMFs elevate themselves at the expense of the cannon fodder and soon grow fat and frown on anything revolutionary because it risks their newly attained positions. After hooking on parasite-like to the old regime, they'll defend it against all comers.

    If there's a sysadmin uprising, everyone's getting thrown on the pyre. Especially consultants

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    @pete

    harsh

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    I have the very strong feeling spannerman2 didn't get on with the technical staff while he was a teacher/sysadmin. There're definite hints of an axe to grind, and a lot of vitriol against network managers/technicians being spouted.
    Not really ... considering the knowledge he has about a wide range of things and some of the stuff he has spoken about in other places it is not about axe grinding, more frustration at inflexibility that happens in some schools (yes, sometimes due to the support staff, but also due to other teachers and to manglement!)

  12. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    @grumbledook Fair point, i am working quite hard on just the thing you describe..a walk through for my imagined network nirvana
    Computerworld will allow me to use my blog to set this out in posts over the coming weeks. It will be shot down in flames no doubt but I am really encouraged by the positivity of some of the comments on this thread..I just feel this is the right direction to go.

    ps I don't want to shoot the messengers, the hard working network tech is just a cog in the wheel set in motion by the syllabus makers and gov-no-brainers but revolutions come always from below and the techs are the ones who will actually make stuff happen, so stirred up techs are in a better place than sleepy hollow techs.
    I look forward to reading it ... and being someone who does knock it ... but with the constructive criticism of a realist, not of a blocker. It is usually a middle-ground that evolves anyway so we always need one or two on the outside, screaming in at the masses. Just be prepared that whilst you are looking at technical change to free up technology for teachers, if it does not at least link in with change in the approach from school leaders and support for staff with adapting to the changing world it will fall.

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    Even more radical response to cuts, read my blog Spend more, not less on school ICT - Spannerman's Edublog
    we should spend much more

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    Umm.. I'm not attempting to be hostile but it's Friday so I'm tired/grumpy and I'm seriously struggling to extract the point from that. Best I can manage is "we need to spend more to get [unspecified magic IT], otherwise we'll be stuck with 10 year-old ICT concepts". Is that close? And if so, well first I think most of them are much older than that, and second what are the significant new concepts we're not paying for? Take away the shrinking geometries and subsequent increase in portability, strip off the 21st-Century marketing, and where is all that innovation?

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    What sort of knowledge would be required to manage this sort of thing? I would love to move to open-source but after reading this I'm doubting my ability.

    *note I said knowledge, not qualifications. I've had enough of exams.

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