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General Chat Thread, Sixth formers as network support help? in General; Not just 6th-formers - over many years I've found student help with running the school IT systems absolutely invaluable. I've ...
  1. #16

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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Not just 6th-formers - over many years I've found student help with running the school IT systems absolutely invaluable.

    I've very, very rarely given any significant access to servers, but have been able to allocate loads of specific tasks to students which have subsequently been adopted into the school's systems.

    Recent examples -
    Linux server set up by a Year10 student, which will host our school's website and Moodle VLE from September.
    PowerMac set up by 3 Year11 students for video editing in Drama Department. So successful that we've bought 2 new iMacs for general school use.
    School website designed by Sixth Form group - now maintained by Admin staff.

    Several 6th formers in the past have helped out with server setups - one of them was subsequently employed by us as a consultant after his graduation.

    I'm willing to accept the fact that most kids are capable of picking up new ideas & new technologies a lot quicker than us slow-learning adults! Sure, you have to be a bit cautious in what responsibilities you trust them with, but our school's IT facilities would be very much poorer without the input of many students past and present.

    It's all about getting the kids on your side, instead of confronting them with over-regulation and prescription.

    RoyG

  2. #17
    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    I had a kid from Y9 helping out till he left Y13. He learned a lot, and was able to contribute a hell of a lot, saving the school a small fortune. He was extremely keen and was a good help. Pity it all turned sour in the end. New Head > severe ristrictions > dissilusioned kid.

    New students I've tried don't have the same commitment or interest, so i'm struggling to get it working again, especially with the Heads attitude - maybe if I were a teacher and spoke the language i'd get on better! :P]. But we know yours is a privellaged school RoyG but any tips greatly appreciated. 2 kids did assist in setting up linux servers and moodle installations very successfully, and I always have at least 2 of our kids on work experience for a couple of weeks every year [I think it's 5 this year]. I suppose smaller tasks such as these can be valuable too.

    To answer the original question, no way could you set on students on thier own to look after the curriculum network. The DPA would prohibit it, so that's a non starter.

    As others have said, you need a proffessional lead and then you could use basic support as we've given evidence of. Then you need for that lead to have the time to commit to train up these understudies - no mean task, liable to a certain failure percentage anyway, and with your target trainees, even worse with the high turnover.

    So economically speaking, a good Network Manager should be the first step, and depending on the quantity of support needed, more bodies.

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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyG
    It's all about getting the kids on your side, instead of confronting them with over-regulation and prescription.

    RoyG
    Ah Mr. Pied Piper of Hamelin, we meet at last :P

  4. #19
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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Sixth formers as network support help?
    Perish the thought...............the ones we have here I would not trust as far as i coul throw them.

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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    New students I've tried don't have the same commitment or interest, so i'm struggling to get it working again, especially with the Heads attitude - maybe if I were a teacher and spoke the language i'd get on better! :P].
    But we know yours is a privellaged school RoyG but any tips greatly appreciated
    As others have said, you need a proffessional lead and then you could use basic support as we've given evidence of. Then you need for that lead to have the time to commit to train up these understudies - no mean task, liable to a certain failure percentage anyway, and with your target trainees, even worse with the high turnover.

    So economically speaking, a good Network Manager should be the first step, and depending on the quantity of support needed, more bodies.

  6. #21

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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Try again!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    New students I've tried don't have the same commitment or interest, so i'm struggling to get it working again, especially with the Heads attitude - maybe if I were a teacher and spoke the language i'd get on better! :P].
    I know I'm fortunate in having been on the teaching staff and have a good relationship with teachers & SMT. I know that lots of you have less good working relations, but the totally negative attitude I read in some posts certainly can't help! Above all talk to people, put your point of view, be professional. I know it won't work every time, but things sure as hell won't improve if you don't try!

    But we know yours is a privellaged school RoyG but any tips greatly appreciated
    Yes, ours is a Grammar School. But as I've said before, that simply means we have a brighter class of villain! Kids are kids! Not all the kids I've tried to use to assist me have been any good, but it's been worth taking some chances for the invaluable contribution made by some of them. Tips - talk and listen to the kids, give them old machines to play with and try new stuff, ask what they want and, within reason, try to help them. Check out with IT teachers which kids they might recommend. I simply don't believe that any school has NO kids who could be useful.

    As others have said, you need a proffessional lead and then you could use basic support as we've given evidence of. Then you need for that lead to have the time to commit to train up these understudies - no mean task, liable to a certain failure percentage anyway, and with your target trainees, even worse with the high turnover.
    So economically speaking, a good Network Manager should be the first step, and depending on the quantity of support needed, more bodies.
    Agree 100%.

  7. #22


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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    When I started here, we had a 6th former looking after a suite of machines in the 6th form centre. He was solely responsible for those machines, but didn't have any permissions greater than local admin (and read access to shares for drivers etc). He was very good, knew his stuff and would ask us if he wasn't sure. When he passed his A-Levels and left, we were sad to see him go. His replacement was........unsatisfactory to the extent that we haven't had a 6th form tech since.

    So yes, 6th form techs can work, but getting technical competence, ethics and responsibility in the same package is hard. We'd also never give them the ability to administer anything network based, which protects them as much as it does the network.

  8. #23
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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Quote Originally Posted by ITWombat
    Ah Mr. Pied Piper of Hamelin, we meet at last!
    Haha! - funniest thing i've read in a long time - thanks Wombat! [apologies Roy ]

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyG
    I know I'm fortunate in having been on the teaching staff and have a good relationship with teachers & SMT. I know that lots of you have less good working relations, but the totally negative attitude I read in some posts certainly can't help! Above all talk to people, put your point of view, be professional. I know it won't work every time, but things sure as hell won't improve if you don't try!
    I'm a tryer Roy, but it actually gets me into trouble with my present Head. At one point she was checking with fellow Heads locally, but the advice, rather than address te issue, was along the lines of "what the hell is this insignificant idiot you pay shirtbuttons doing trying to give one of us Gods advice".

    Funny last week, at our resource committee [read group to tell me what to do, no resources are allocated by any other than the Head] that now numbers 6 managers and me, I stood up to one manager saying that I should correct all the DiDA e-Portfolios as I thought that should be part of teaching - advising the kids how to make the thing properly... The Head jumped down my throat as was about to unleash the boot from on high... when the other 5 managers backed me up, and put my case in teacher speak. Dunno what they said really, it was the terminoligy they used, but you see what I'm saying - us techs are too low in your typical educators estimation.

    I have "issues" I know but, I look at it like this:

    under-appreciated dude/s with severe job ownership issues and a job that demands effective responsibility Vs schizophrenic ignorant control freaks

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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Mark -

    Your Head must be one of the totally short-sighted and power-crazy variety that are screwing up relations in so many schools! Keep talking to the other 5 SMs who backed you on this occasion.

    Nil illigitimi carborundum - don't let the b*stards grind you down!!

    RoyG

  10. #25
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    Re: Sixth formers as network support help?

    Hehe! Cheers Roy



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