now that this has been moved to blue skies.... For innovation check out
BBC NEWS | Technology | SixthSense blurs digital and the real
I agree with Grumbledook that his core goal are essential and when you start looking 3-4 years ahead a lot of new issue will be around. I fully expect every kid/teacher to have their own device (mobile,netbook,laptop) that they want to connect to their personal cloud space to use their preferred software (as a service) to achieve their personal educational outcomes. Our infrastructure will have to offer fast, reliable, focused, flexible and most importantly save IT to accommodate all this and more.
As an ICT coordinator in a brand new school, I was involved in this process and found it one hell of a battle.
Our LA built five new high schools and the contract was awarded to Dell. Ramesys installed the infrastructure and the project was coordinated by a third party.
We had reguslar meetings comprising LA reps, Dell, Ramesys and the third party. There was already an agenda regarding what 'they' thought we needed. I pushed for Apple Macs, but the LA was too nervous about that one. I managed to get 20 iMacs for the music department, but it was a struggle. I wanted OpenOffice, not MS Office 2007. I lost out on that one, even though I was supported by BECTA. I wanted Promethean IWBs in each room, the ones that can be raised and lowered - couldn't have them, they only let us have standard Promethean boards. Then, after installation I found that the LA had insisted that Promethean install serial connections to their boards, not USB.
During the process I was constantly arguing with people who didn't really understand IT and just wanted to stay within comfort zones. The headteacher in particular was a problem in this respect.
Then they messed up and we didn't get enough PCs, the install was absolutely awful - it was like they were reinventing the wheel at every step of the way. I expected a mechanism to roll out new software and updates, and to quickly get any new machines set up. Their solution was to create a darn great image for each type of machine containing all the software titles leaving us with problems down the line. I had expected a small image containing Windows XP + drivers, then msi packages of all our software which could be rolled out as and when necessary to groups of machines via AD. I got the impression they thought I was an irritating nutter for suggesting such things.
All in all our network has been very flaky and nearly two years down the line I have at last got an excellent network manager who is in the process of creating msis and small images . . . . .
I hope your procurement process is better than ours and that you are actually allowed not only to make decisions but have them implemented!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to this (and the detail many of you have gone in to). It's fantastic information I can take forward.
For those who don't know (I did summarise in a previous post), I will be undertaking a quasi-consultant role within a new build project which is following BSF standards, but more importantly - not following BSF ICT!
Our ICT procurement route is as yet undecided, although we may well follow a framework model taken by a neighbouring LA in which would work develop and ICT partnership with a well known provider (I wonít name them just yet, but itís safe to say itís one Iíd never turn to usually, but early discussions have promised a massive amount of freedom and collaboration possibilities)
One of the first things Iíll be doing is developing the ICT vision Ė which perhaps unusually, I am being asked to draft and then tweak following consultation. After that it will be working on the ICT brief and asking similar questions to the ones I did in this thread with Heads of Department, Students and the wider community.
If anyone else has anything to offer (anything at all now that the thread is in Blue Skies!) then feel free.