What part of uk are you in would be good?
I'm interested to hear from anyone who knows of a school or organisation (anywhere) that has excellent I.T. provision and I.T. Support.
In the same way that some of our teaching staff spend time in other schools my team and I try to do the same with local schools but really I'm after the name(s) of schools or businesses with excellent support in the aim that myself or my team can go and visit to pinch ideas.
Also, what would you guys suggest are the key to good I.T. Support departments? Not so much the obvious, e.g. "good customer service skills" but more like, a well managed piece of help desk software, remote control software for teachers to control student Internet access etc.
I look forward to your responses.
What part of uk are you in would be good?
You need to -
1) Recruit smart people who are passionate about what they do.
2) Provide the framework and funding to enable them to achieve their (and the schools) goals. Keep them motived by providing training and development opportunities. Also let the stakeholders (staff, end users, and so on) have an input in the provision and development of the service.
3) Support from Senior Management to see that 1 & 2 actually happen.
I bet if you look at any successful organisation they have all these requirements fulfilled.
Last edited by somabc; 9th October 2008 at 09:51 PM.
Our ICT provision and support is far from excellent at the moment, although I'm working on it, but years of under investment and a sucession of different network managers before me have left me with a lot to sort out. However we are getting there slowly.
You are however welcome to visit me, just to see what we're slowly trying to do, and how we're going to be doing it, and just to share ideas. Plus it's always good to know other people in the county.
I'm in Canterbury if you're interested, PM me.
Last edited by maniac; 11th October 2008 at 05:51 PM. Reason: Spelling!!
I think our school has good IT provision and support - but then, I'm biased :P Here's my bit of promotional spiel...
We have a 300-workstation network of machines connected to a single Windows domain which supports both curriculum and management sides, as well as the third-party-hosted community school sport partnership based in our sports hall. The network is based on RM CC3 which helps us achieve a stable platform to run all the required software and support our users with the minimum of hassle.
Most workstation hardware consists of a Core2Duo 2GHz processor with 2GM RAM and a 160GB SATA harddisk coupled up to 17" or 19" Neovo hard-front LCD screens. The network backbone is Gigabit fibre with exclusively Cisco switches - mainly 3550s and 3560s. There are several Cisco wireless access points to allow PE staff to take electronic registration using tablet PCs in our sports hall. Workstations still connect at 100Mbps but the majority of servers are 1Gbps.
Each classroom has one desktop PC which is used for electronic registation (SIMS .net) and to drive the accompanying interactive whiteboard (all Promethean ACTIVboards). IWBs are used to their full potential as we have invested heavily not only in the hardware, but in staff training to ensure we get the best out of the equipment. There are five main ICT suites of at least 30 computers, which have the standard IWB setup as well as a mono and colour laser printer (HP). There are about 40-50 printers and IWBs within the school.
Logon times vary depending on computer speed, but are generally between 20 and 60 seconds.
There is a whole-school email/calendaring communication system built using open source technologies (Ubuntu Linux + Zimbra) which is available to staff and students from inside and outside of the school at any time. Outside of school, users can also access files in their work area and staff have access to SIMS.
An easy-to-use web-based room booking system (Classroombookings) allows all areas of the curriculum to utilise the ICT suites when not used for timetabled ICT lessons. When staff deliver lessons in the ICT suites, there are several tools available to their disposal to assist with discipline, maintain students' attention and keep an eye on what they're up to. These come in the form of two simple but effective On/Off buttons to control student access to Internet and Email (developed in-house). The third is a remote desktop viewing application (VNCon + in-house development) so the staff member can view all or one of the student screens in real-time.
A high-speed 100Mbps fibre-optic internet connection is provided by the RBC. Content filtering is provided by an IPCop Linux server which also acts as a secondary firewall to the RBC-supplied box.
The IT is supported by two-and-a-half (one part-time) highly enthusiastic people. Support is handled through a central web-based prioritised helpdesk and all requests are responded to within 5 minutes. We also have several video tutorials available to staff so they can find out for themselves how to carry out certain tasks.
We have had several written letters from staff and student teachers praising the support and excellent condition of the network, as they have been to other places where it has been nowhere near as supportive or functional.
Since December 2002, there has been only 7 hours of un-planned IT downtime on various mission-critical components (logon, file serving, SIMS).
That is all on a shoestring budget, too - we don't have the expenditure allowance of RC schools or academies. And it is all set to get even better once we implement RM CC4 and a 3.75TB SAN.
Last edited by webman; 11th October 2008 at 06:29 PM.
No, dont implement CC4 for at least a year. Trust me, I work for RM.
Im starting my new Job as a Network Manager end of this month at a school in london, I've spoken to the IT Technician there whos gave me a list of things regards to IT Problems.....
One of the things on the list was that staff dont know how to Print and Save...........yes you heard me some dont know how to print and save!!
They've had a few network managers in the past few years and from seeing the setup and problems they have, there network seems abit unloved.
They have no proper way of helpdesk installed, sims keep crashing.
It will be interesting when I start.....but I'll be on here alot more then!
You can rename an AD domain..
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