+ Post New Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 21 of 21
Blue Skies Thread, School IT staff future in General; Did you tell them that the Ipad is only guaranteed to charge 1000 times! It has no user serviceable parts!...
  1. #16

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    South West
    Thank Post
    Thanked 268 Times in 217 Posts
    Rep Power
    Did you tell them that the Ipad is only guaranteed to charge 1000 times! It has no user serviceable parts!

  2. #17

    Domino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thank Post
    Thanked 1,322 Times in 812 Posts
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power
    This is pure insanity, what real world IT skills are the students learning?

  3. #18

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Gosport, Hampshire
    Thank Post
    Thanked 1,828 Times in 1,135 Posts
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power
    The iPad is a consumer (and for that read you can almost read 'disposable') device that has a limited life span and a set of limitations within use, but a lot of flexibility as a personal device. Similar can be said for most Android devices, and will be said for consumer Win8 tablets.

    Once you take this into account you then have to consider how the devices will be managed on the network, whether the configuration of the network (both wired and wireless) needs to change and how does this work, as well as manages / maintains it on a daily / weekly basis. Having an external support contract to do reactive maintenance and deploying new APs on a wireless network is not the same as getting new devices onto the system, monitoring them whilst they are on there, supporting users in getting the most out of them (i.e. user training, ensuring access to all available software / sites, etc). There are ways you can make this more user-friendly and self-supportive ... and this is where expertise as a documenter / technical writer comes into play (I knew there was a reason why I liked people who kept good documentation).

    Even when you say 'cloud' services ... this just means hosted and expandable. At some point there has to be management of these systems for a variety of reasons.

    If you have cloud MIS, email, VLE, storage, etc ... fine ... apart from how do you get the files to these systems? Sync to a desktop (as already mentioned) and then upload? Who looks after the desktops (the few you have) and who ensures the security of them and the system they sit on? Who manages the various cloud solutions and makes sure they integrate? It is good to have SIF-enabled solutions to auto create users from the MIS to the other systems, but things like VLEs and online systems can take a lot of work to tweak for the school ... so the IT Tech might have less local hands-on stuff but more online and dev stuff.

    And then we come to the contract and service management of it all. There are some very good SLTs out there who can do this and there are poor examples too ... and it can also be an expensive use of their time when a fair chunk is operational (i.e. ensuring tickets are logged correctly, managing the relationship between the support firms and the school staff, local followup and support) and so it is better to have someone in-house to deal with that. There is the argument that this can be a role provide and staffed by the external support company (as per BSF to some extent) and this can help with giving that member of staff a certain structure to work within, but then the school needs to have someone managing the relationship on behalf of schools ... without that it is all too one-sided.

    One of the best IT Managers I know spends a fair chunk of her time doing the contract management / relationship management rather than be hands-on technical ... buying the right support in when needed and saving time and money.

    The problem is that the above can work with thought and planning ... but the ad-hoc introduction of any tech with no plan for what impact the tool will have ... well, that is just a bad thing. The lack of strategic approach to spending money (the example of central money being ring-fenced for IWBs with no agenda for any follow-up) meant that in those places which had a plan made a difference, and those without one it was a poor investment.

    If the school has a plan / strategy and has a good set of measurements about how the will judge the impact (and make subsequent changes if needed), then I don't have too much of an issue with it. As long as they are aware of what they lose to gain benefits in other areas (often forgotten about during the risk assessment) then yes, there are going to be changes about what jobs there are in schools and who does them.

    I don't think it is as dark as some folk think it is ... and for some places the finance requirements of using external companies to provide some of this could mean that it is not viable in the short-term ... but resisting change for the sake of it is as bad as when we see other staff in schools using laptops as doorstops, insisting on using post-it notes and memos rather than emails, blah, blah, blah.

  4. #19

    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Thank Post
    Thanked 283 Times in 189 Posts
    Rep Power
    I'd have to say that its threads like this one that make me so happy not to work in schools anymore. Poor decisions by ill informed SLT being foisted on IT Support staff - brrr - brings me out in goosepimples just thinking about it...

  5. #20

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Thank Post
    Thanked 2,552 Times in 1,981 Posts
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power
    The role of IT in education is ever changing. 15 years ago, it consisted of a teacher with a bit of an interest in IT cobbling together something and then keeping it working through sheer willpower.

    Now, we have managed networks, active directories, SANs etc...

    The progression is, and always has been, towards a 'one device per person' environment. However, this does not mean the elimination of IT as a 'facility' within a school. Tablets are great for consumption and minor creation of work but they are not suitable for any of the current crop of GCSEs that I've seen. The work needed to be produced is too detailed to spend the time doing on a touchscreen.

    So, there is still a need for suites of machines capable of tasks such as 3D work, video editing, music production, and even word processing and presentation making.

    Network Managers are moving more and more into being project and contract managers, as the sheer volume of equipment is becoming unwieldy for a school to handle entirely in house (having enough technicians on site to handle the support for 1500 iPads, for example, would be expensive). So, as much of the 'technical' side of support ends up being contracted out to a supplier who handles repairs etc... The on-site technicians end up being more hands on 'click here, press that' type support staff.

    Personally, I think we're still too early in the game to shift wholesale to one to one devices. A hybrid system is the way to go.

    And if you're more interested in server management or the like, this is slowly going to be shifting out of schools too.

  6. Thanks to localzuk from:

    bossman (3rd April 2012)

  7. #21
    Cools's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Thank Post
    Thanked 62 Times in 57 Posts
    Rep Power
    i can see a epic ipadfail going to happen here..

    im moving to thin clients with remoteFX.
    only coz its going to cost the same as buying 62 fat clients. and i need over 100 new pc's this year.

+ Post New Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Future plans for school IT?
    By reggiep in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 9th February 2010, 11:07 AM
  2. Building Schools for the Future
    By Dos_Box in forum IT News
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11th July 2008, 01:08 PM
  3. 'hacker' thread on uk.education.schools.it
    By CyberNerd in forum General Chat
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 3rd October 2006, 04:44 PM
  4. Which desktops for the IT staff? Dell?
    By sidewinder in forum Hardware
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 11th September 2006, 09:30 PM
  5. Rooftop rescue at school - IT Technicians beware.
    By Simcfc73 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 24th April 2006, 09:03 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts