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General Chat Thread, The future of ICT in our School in General; Hey Guys I have a meeting today at around 10 about the future developments of ICT in our school and ...
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    abillybob's Avatar
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    The future of ICT in our School

    Hey Guys

    I have a meeting today at around 10 about the future developments of ICT in our school and new projects for myself to get into. I have already written some things down such as implementing PaperCut, moving to other Mobile platforms such as Windows Tablets or Android and the fact we should get start planning for the new Windows OS to come out.

    I was just looking to seek some advice in regards to this and what you guys would recommend me having a look into, it's pretty much a vanilla network so what do you guys reckon help you out a lot and really benefit the running of ICT in school for the end user?

    Cheers

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    One thing to ensure is that your infrastructure is rock solid - if you start adding new systems any bottlenecks will become more visible very quickly.

    So, I'd start by making sure switching was good and capable. Ideally you want to ensure you can use things like VLANs if you aren't already, so that you can segment the network for use with different device classes (eg. if you want to allow BYOD, you'll need to separate them out on the network, for example).

    More mobile devices also means checking to make sure your wireless can handle any increased load. It might start out as a small number of extra devices, but experience has taught me that it usually ends up with far more than you expected.

    Things like external access is also one to look at - allowing students and staff to connect in and use a remote desktop farm, complete with licensed software.

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    @localzuk, thank you mate, Our wireless is 5Ghz and works very well installed and managed by county it is more than capable for allowing BYOD schemes, I have never setup anything like VLAN's wouldn't I need access to switches and the Wifi for this as county won't allow me to manage the settings (ridiculous I know). But the network is very capable all Gigabit Switches HP ProCurves etc.... We already have something called FileCloud that allows staff and students to remote in and gain access to files and folders in Shared area's and their home drives so that's pretty much sorted. Can't really think of anything else :/

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    What speed is your backbone?

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    What speed is your backbone?
    My backbone doesn't move that fast unless I'm driving a car then you could argue that fact haha sorry what do you mean?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    My backbone doesn't move that fast unless I'm driving a car then you could argue that fact haha sorry what do you mean?
    Ha ha. I mean your connect speed between your switches? For example our stacks connect to the core via 4 x 10GB connections, 2 go different routes connecting into 2 core switches. Do you have 2 core switches? It surprises me how many people have Raid, dual power supply etc in servers but have a single core switch.

    Maybe you should look at getting control of the WIFI and switches?

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Haha yeah I got you now we do have 2 core switches!

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    What about the backbone, is it 1GB? If so I would look at upgrading that.

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    What about the backbone, is it 1GB? If so I would look at upgrading that.
    Yeah I'm pretty sure it's 1GB? I thought that was a decent speed how would I go about upgrading it?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Start with end users needs. Are they being met? Is there any improvements you can see in the way they are being met? Is there anything end users would like that you don't currently support?

    For example, Our ICT suites are oversubscribed - 95% in use. To combat this I've suggested looking at bookable laptop trollies. Another example would be teachers asking for visulisers. I've suggested we standardise the teachers workspace, same brand IWB's everywhere, same controls and sockets on the wall, visualisers with every machine, etc. Media have a couple of PCs, Art a couple of PCs, Music half a suite. I've suggested replacing them and having one suite of Apples Macs for the three to share.

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    How is your backup and DR? Do you have any off-site provision? Virtualisation in place?

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Think I might have posted this in another thread:

    1. Full audit to check what equipment you have
    2. PC age (although the myth has been 5 Years, I tend to aim more for 7) so anything older should be replaced
    3. Look at SSDs (Solid state drives for the machines hitting 5 Years old) I have found that they work very well even if that old.
    4. Upgrading the network, we are in the process of replacing all the switches with new HP Procurve switches. From 100MB to 1GB with improved core.
    5. Replacing the 7-9 Year old machines.
    6. Replacing our very old IWBs (interactive whiteboards) these are around 6-7 Years old and are unreliable.
    7. Replacing the Projectors (again some are 7-9 Years old and these are failing).
    8. Looking in to improving the servers, I got a virtual server 6 or so months ago and we have been switching all our basic servers to this which are aging.
    9. Upgrading any 2003 servers to 2008 R2 and even WDS to 2012.
    10. Plasmas linked up to XIBO system and the next step is linking up ICT TVs to these. We have a few big plasma screens around the school and the ICT rooms have a small TV.
    11. Guides/Documentation for as much as possible.
    12. Android Tablets in September from Netbooks
    13. Video editing suite, this currently is a few Macs but since re-imaging our classroom windows machines they have been impressed on how reliable it is. Previously we didn't have a decent imaging system and spent too much time fire fighting. The new suite will be wall mounted monitors, wireless mice and keyboards, trunking hiding all the cables and very little will be seen. The idea is to give the Mac affect which is usually the glamour look. This isn't meant as an insult to Macs just to show we can make them look good because the head of dept was quick to comment on the look factor of Macs at another School.
    14. Remote control in every classroom for projectors.
    15. State of classrooms - this is a big one, the state of the rooms is very poor. Some even had health and safety problems due to teachers moving the desks without checking with us first. Every classroom has been evaluated and every half term we try and do a few. Replacing any old cables, using correct length ones, placing trunking, moving power/network closer to the desk. Making it look as perfect as possible.
    16. Researching bulbless projectors
    17. Researching Tablets to Projectors
    18. Replacing the XIBO machines with decent wall mounted cabinet PCs instead of "sitting on cupboards, behind desks with cables everywhere".
    19. Continue to develop our online Tablet section, this is useful if you do 1:1 or Tablet Schemes. This allows Parents, Students and even Staff to review all the information regarding costs, support, Apps etc etc.

    As you can tell I really have thought of my job, if I can improve something I will.

  13. 2 Thanks to mthomas08:

    fresher (16th June 2014), StevieM (9th June 2014)

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