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Blue Skies Thread, "Vision for ICT" in General; Hey there everyone! I’m a couple of months in on the position of network manager at a local secondary school. ...
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    "Vision for ICT"

    Hey there everyone!

    I’m a couple of months in on the position of network manager at a local secondary school. It’s my first network manager post, after a number of years of various technical support roles in education. The job is going fantastically well, with lots of interesting tasks and new challenges that keep me learning, busy and enthused on a daily basis.

    I will soon be meeting with the schools senior management to talk about my “Vision for technical support of ICT” at the school. I have a few things lined up that I plan to talk about, Windows 7 deployment, VDI, mobile devices and so on. However, all of these are relatively technical and specific. I am concerned that maybe I am missing something truly aspirational, an actual “Vision”.

    Does your department or institution have a “Vision for ICT”? If so, is it something you have had to formally write or present? If not, is it something you would ever like to draw up and establish?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or feedback with this!

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    They will want to know how all this new technology will aid or enhance teaching and learning as well as any other things like money saving and flexibility using stuff ike VDI etc.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Moving to Blue Skies forum.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    A formalised 'Vision for IT' is something that I created a couple of years ago as part of our new school build (non-BSF/PFI etc)
    The vision should be a centralised document which ties in with wider documents such as the SIP / SEF and other planning or improvements.
    Use the document to demonstrate how IT can really assist the school in delivering or supporting the change it seeks.

    On top of the above, build in factors that you know need to change, and highlight milestones needed to get from current > completion.
    Liaise with all staff, students... perhaps parents, governors, maybe even the community depending on your role and the schools position.

    The key is making sure the document is a detail-rich resource which will enthuse others reading it + making sure each user type has an imput and sees it's value.

    I hope that thelps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mistersparky View Post
    However, all of these are relatively technical and specific. I am concerned that maybe I am missing something truly aspirational, an actual “Vision”.
    You mean some fancy words which they will not understand at all to sound "Impressive" and the same sort of words non IT Literate people will use to show off their "Vision"?

    To be honest, you do the vision you see fit. As some one who is tecnnical, whats wrong with putting Windows 7 Deployment. For us Windows 7 is much more Fancier and faster than using old and aging XP and it does come with a few little nice features. In turn this will improve ICT usage throughout the School.

    As for the Vision for us it was:
    Deploy Windows 7, this will speed up and offer a better feeling for ICT usage while keeping up-to-date what is "out there".
    Deploy Office 2010, again we stick to Microsoft on this front they are currently leading the Market for Desktops/Laptops etc.
    VLE; with a VLE we wanted something professional, presentable, child friendly and quick easy to get going while providing information to Governors/Parents and allowing us to develop more than just a few websites. For us this was Frog (we had a huge list of wants but I wont go in to detail).
    Improve the Network speed from 100MB to 1GB and Fibre all Blocks.
    Provide Wireless Access throughout the College for Quick Easy access to the system, while also giving Wi-Fi Access to devices.
    Upgrade our Servers to increase capacity/redundancy/speed and facilities available (Exchange 2010/Server 2008 R2) this would also give us Mobile Sync Access to Email.
    A new improved system for students to cut down logon times to a few seconds instead of half a minute to more.

    With all the above we also wanted External Access to as much as possible to provide staff and students with the ability to access their work, programs and resources from Home.

    Most of the above is done and completed just a few touches to go.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    The main thing about any such 'vision' is that you need to know where they want to go in order for you to help them get there. If you're lucky they'll have an extensive 3-5 year plan, if not it's a bit difficult to visualise support requirements when you may not know what you'll need to support.

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    Our current IT Department saying kinda thingy a ma whatist (could be called a vision I guess) is-
    To provide agile, adaptable, remotely accessible and environmentally sustainable IT services to the staff and students of xyz School.

    10 points to anyone who gets where the first bit comes from

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Fell asleep half way through ;-)

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    I think you should turn it around and say, what is your vision for Learning Technologies? The vision in a school has to come from education... then your job is to find the solutions to reach that vision. E.g. Part of our vision is:
    Students will access technology in and out of school to learn both independently and collaboratively, using a range of tools to share and exchange ideas.
    So you say:
    Right, in order to achieve this we need to have an upgraded broadband connection to access collaborative tools like VoiceThread. We need to have deep integration with Google Docs, so children can collaborate on documents.

    If they say "students need quick, mobile and easy access to technology" then you say: well how's about iPads, and the managed wireless network to run them on.

    All too often in education, we sit around with a pile of solutions then make up a problem for them to solve.

  10. 4 Thanks to eean:

    AButters (16th March 2012), CyberNerd (17th March 2012), GrumbleDook (16th March 2012), Roberto (16th March 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eean View Post
    I think you should turn it around and say, what is your vision for Learning Technologies? The vision in a school has to come from education... then your job is to find the solutions to reach that vision. E.g. Part of our vision is:
    Students will access technology in and out of school to learn both independently and collaboratively, using a range of tools to share and exchange ideas.
    So you say:
    Right, in order to achieve this we need to have an upgraded broadband connection to access collaborative tools like VoiceThread. We need to have deep integration with Google Docs, so children can collaborate on documents.

    If they say "students need quick, mobile and easy access to technology" then you say: well how's about iPads, and the managed wireless network to run them on.

    All too often in education, we sit around with a pile of solutions then make up a problem for them to solve.
    There's something in this point. There is a balance to be struck with this kind of thing. On the one hand, the IT tail must not be allowed to wag the educationalist dog, but on the other hand, we need to be working with our respective senior managers to help them understand how the dreams they might have can be translated into reality, what we can do for them that is possible, practical, supportable and affordable.

    If this doesn't happen, you'll end up with a "vision" written by someone who saw something on a star trek re-run and jotted it down with no idea of whether or not it is possible or you'll end up with teachers getting issued with ipads they don't want and have no idea how to use while some more basic IT equipment that would make a real difference to teaching and learning in an organisation remains unpurchased.

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    AButters (16th March 2012)

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    As @TonyJF said, the school development plan is the place to start as any improvements will need to fit in/be driven by this. Without links to the SDP targets, it may be difficult to obtain funding to carry out your 'vision'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    As @TonyJF said, the school development plan is the place to start as any improvements will need to fit in/be driven by this. Without links to the SDP targets, it may be difficult to obtain funding to carry out your 'vision'.
    Couldn't agree more with this statement.

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    This is the ICT part of our school development plan.
    Essentially it is about anywhere,anytime access and BYOD

    Team: IT technical team and IReps digital technology group-

    Vision: All Students are fully equipped with 21st Century learning skills and their daily school experience is enhanced and informed by the pedagogically grounded use of a wide range of engaging learning technologies. Personalised and blended learning experiences, designed collaboratively and iteratively by teachers, are accessible for all..anytime, anywhere.

    Underlying this:
    • Teaching and learning
    • Network
    • Infrastructure, learning platform, services for primaries
    • What is a 21st century learner?- is an expert searcher and curator of complex
    • information
    • Department website
    • year group websites- celebration of achievement
    • Who has control of the devices?
    • All students have access all the time to hardware to connect to digital learning.
    • An infrastucture thats supports anytime anywhere any device.
    • Digital technologies are fully embedded in both lessons and directed home learning.
    • All teachers have expertise and confidence to select and use a wide range of digital technologies appropriately to enhance student learning experiences.
    • Open standards are fully embraced across the college to ensure accessibility..anytime and anywhere.
    • Learning platform- blended learning,
    • Collaborative learning experience design including resources
    • Cloud technologies used
    • Network that supports connection of multi-platform device
    • Fast internet connection


    How we will make the change – plans for each Kotter step:
    Impact. Evaluate & Review.

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    Woh...a whole lot of eduspeak there. Anytime, anywhere...hmm, now where have I heard that before?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyJF View Post
    Woh...a whole lot of eduspeak there. Anytime, anywhere...hmm, now where have I heard that before?
    Yes, it is a lot of eduspeak but it is a clear vision for us as an IT department. I know where to focus resources as a result of this strategy. I'll try and break it down a bit for help of others, with our solutions. I'll omit the purely pedogoical stuff.

    Vision: All Students are fully equipped with 21st Century learning skills and their daily school experience is enhanced and informed by the pedagogically grounded use of a wide range of engaging learning technologies. Personalised and blended learning experiences, designed collaboratively and iteratively by teachers, are accessible for all..anytime, anywhere.
    This bit is essential, if you look at things like FITS then a vision statement is essential. It helps massively when it comes to justifying the allocation of resources.

    Infrastructure, learning platform, services for primaries
    VLE - the most important thing you can do to enhance T+L from an iCT perspective. esp with respect to home access.
    In my estimation the network, (the switches wireing etc) is the most fundamental part of an ICT infrastructure. This is where resources should be directed.

    Department website
    year group websites- celebration of achievement
    Learning platform- blended learning,
    This is essentially for marketing, Learning resources should reside on the VLE.

    Who has control of the devices?
    All students have access all the time to hardware to connect to digital learning.
    A huge implication for us as IT techs. BYOD means the user is in control, so we need to put in place safeguarding procedures and technology to implement this.

    An infrastucture thats supports anytime anywhere any device.
    I need to make a wireless system that works on a ubiquity of devices, with applications that run at home and in school

    All teachers have expertise and confidence to select and use a wide range of digital technologies appropriately to enhance student learning experiences.
    essentially; staff need to use and be familiar with the same systems that student suse.

    Open standards are fully embraced across the college to ensure accessibility..anytime and anywhere.
    to ensure that students and staff can access learning resources on their own devices, the only way to ensure this is to use open standards - be it HTML, odf, pdf. Applications that only save to propriety formats will not be bought or installed on our systems.

    Collaborative learning experience design including resources
    Cloud technologies used
    Google docs is the only thing that we found that can fulfil the collaborative learning requirement, and 'cloud based' means it will work on BYOD

    Network that supports connection of multi-platform device
    again, network is important; reliance on MS only and active directory, group policy is less so.

    Fast internet connection
    for us it meant we had to get a leased line outside of county support.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 17th March 2012 at 12:23 AM.

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