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Educational Software Thread, Future Innovation Ideas - Help Needed! in Technical; Hi all, I was hoping to pick your lovely brains about what innovations and projects you maybe planning at your ...
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    Future Innovation Ideas - Help Needed!

    Hi all,

    I was hoping to pick your lovely brains about what innovations and projects you maybe planning at your schools.

    Our NM has asked us for our opinions on what fresh technologies we could implement that would enrich the schools IT provisions.
    I'm compiling some notes on backend/frontend, software/hardware, basically all kinds of things that will help pull the school into the 21st century.

    Our network will be undergoing a major rehaul which will include that incredibly expensive Microsoft licence, entitling us to site licences for all their products, brand new servers, managed switches, managed wireless(hopefully) and of course, new computers.
    Our budget is pretty big really and we have the potential to invest in things that perhaps other smaller schools wouldn't have the chance to.

    I wish I had been able to spend some more time at BETT but unfortunately only had a few hours to wander round.

    Some initial ideas of the top of my head (and ones brought up by our NM)

    1. Terminal Services with remote apps - giving students the ability to use office at home, remotely.
    2. A room dedicated for experimenting with thin clients.
    3. Deploying Vista/7 either in our main ICT suites or specific rooms which would benefit.
    4. Microsoft Surface
    5. Allowing students access to open source software such as open office.
    6. Implementing some kind of podcasting technology in our radio studio.
    7. Asking the students directly what they would like to see in their IT facilities. (this may be an obvious one, but has never really been done)

    We are trying as best we can to look to the future and become more proactive in our work. At the moment all we seem to do is fix existing problems when really we need to concentrate on the root causes of these problems.. (ie. outdated hardware, software, badly constructed PCs etc...)

    If you have any software, hardware suggestions either for the end users or for improving our infrastructure, any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    1. Excellent we do this, works a treat.
    2. Depends on your setup, someone else will guide you better with this.
    3. Do you need Vista or Windows 7? Vista doesn't do much for the end user and 7 isnt out yet.
    4. I dont think this will help education myself more of a toy/
    5. Excellent idea, we are doing something similar shortly

    I would use Server 2008 on some servers such as DC's and TS it has many benefits.
    What VLE do you use?
    If a digital sign system is kept upto date it would be beneficial.
    Visualizers maybe an option?
    CAD / CAM equipment.

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    Crispin (5th March 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    1. Excellent we do this, works a treat.
    2. Depends on your setup, someone else will guide you better with this.
    3. Do you need Vista or Windows 7? Vista doesn't do much for the end user and 7 isnt out yet.
    4. I dont think this will help education myself more of a toy/
    5. Excellent idea, we are doing something similar shortly

    I would use Server 2008 on some servers such as DC's and TS it has many benefits.
    What VLE do you use?
    If a digital sign system is kept upto date it would be beneficial.
    Visualizers maybe an option?
    CAD / CAM equipment.
    I personally wouldn't like to see vista rolled out anywhere in the school, but it is an option. With any luck 7 will be out at the end of the year and since it seems like this will be the next XP in terms of future usage in the real world, I think it may be a good idea to at least have a couple of high traffic rooms using the OS to allow students to acclimatise to the new look/features.

    I think you're right about surface, definitely a toy, but was wondering if there are any practical applications for it within education? I'm sure microsoft must have something in the pipeline regarding this.

    We have moved to skillspace provided by Serco for our VLE at the moment. I'm not a fan of anything Serco to be honest, we've run into a lot of problems with them but unfortunately its not in my remit.
    We will also be planning for all our servers to be 2008 by summer.
    Digital signage on the way. Should be getting 6 screens for site 1 and the same for site 2 with any luck by easter.
    I will take a look at visualisers.
    Oh and we have cashless catering being installed as we speak...

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    Who does the cashless?

    I would also look at visualizing servers

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Who does the cashless?
    I have no idea actually, I will find out tomorrow and post back here. That is another point I need to bring up with bosses, need to be kept in loop a bit more!

    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    I would also look at visualizing servers
    Sorry could you elaborate on what you mean by this? I haven't a clue!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispin View Post
    I have no idea actually, I will find out tomorrow and post back here. That is another point I need to bring up with bosses, need to be kept in loop a bit more!



    Sorry could you elaborate on what you mean by this? I haven't a clue!
    This wil help = Server Virtualization FAQ - IT Management

    You can use software such as VMware ESX and have many virtual servers running on one physically server. You can cluster say 3 physical servers and set it up so if one physical server goes down the virtual servers ie your dc etc move to another host. This will mean no downtime on your network.

    If you google it you will find lots of info.

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    Ah sorry, you wrote 'server visualisation'! It confused me

    Yes I have been trying to push this since we're hopefully moving over to to a server 2008 for all our servers.

    Hopefully I can put a good enough case forward to use something like ESXi or the hypervisor in 08.

    Although googling 'visualisation servers' did throw up a cool image: http://research.wand.net.nz/software...creenshot2.png

    Also site for network visualisation here: http://research.wand.net.nz/software/visualisation.php
    Last edited by Crispin; 5th March 2009 at 10:40 PM.

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    ah its this bloody spell checker and not me double checking

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    As you're not (by the sounds of it) tied into an MS agreement, or at least have the opportunity to re-think about it, how brave are you feeling? OpenOffice, even on Windows, would be a bold statement to your wanting to get the kids a broad range of experiences on software instead of treading that old Office path again.

    If you're really brave, and confident you could maintain them to a good standard, you could dual-boot a lab with Linux and Windows, get some lunchtime sessions going introducing the kids to it and seeing how they react. Not only does this benefit them, but you as well (think of all that extra brain-stretching), us (the Linux advocates who want schools to take us seriously) and... well, there must be someone else.

    Anyway it would be an interesting social experiment; I spoke to someone who did just this once, and he reported that after a few weeks kids starting choosing Linux over Windows - this was a while ago, it would be interesting to see a repeat experiment with a more modern distro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    If you're really brave, and confident you could maintain them to a good standard, you could dual-boot a lab with Linux and Windows, get some lunchtime sessions going introducing the kids to it and seeing how they react.
    I like that idea. Although neither me or the other technician are linux-savvy at all. Saying that, I have been setting up ubuntu desktop on a vm at home. Definitely worth thinking about, would be great to introduce the students to something other than a windows set up.

    Could dual boot to a completely open source OS with opensource-only software to show them the magic first hand. I like it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispin View Post
    Could dual boot to a completely open source OS with opensource-only software to show them the magic first hand. I like it!
    You're describing Debian (or Ubuntu, which is derived from it) and as a contributor, shout if you need a hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Who does the cashless?

    I would also look at visualizing servers
    If your using Serco CMIS and Easytrace, it might be worth you having a look at

    CMIS and EasyTrace Integration | Chace Community School

    Plug over.

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    Now of course your gonna make sure you have an EWB in every classroom, then get yourself a video streaming server.

    I've just installed phpmotion (thanks guys) and am looking at linking this to a MythTV server.

    So the staff can book a program online to be recorded and then it is automatically added to the streaming server.

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    What you need to really do is try and get a copy of the schemes of learning from each faculty and see where you can make a real difference.

    SMS messaging is a must as well.

    Also budget in there some good quality training, for you and your team as well as for the teaching staff, there no point in having sparkly new kit if no one is gonna use it.

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