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General Chat Thread, IT in the next 3 years in General; I'd say - how to keep everything going with no money, after the budgets get slashed post election......
  1. #31

    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    I'd say - how to keep everything going with no money, after the budgets get slashed post election...

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    teejay (16th December 2009)

  3. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Assuming such a system is properly designed
    That is the key...... 'properly designed to work in a school....'

    Not some solution that has been cobbled together, based upon something that works in industry where large numbers of call centre operatives, clerical staff, and data entry staff all perform the same routine tasks day in day out...... This comment is not aimed at anyone posting on this thread

    What is needed for the future is ...

    A solution that can cope with hundreds of users logging on & off, 5 times a day, at lesson change over...

    A solution that can cope with users accessing office type applications, web-based multimedia applications, and resource intensive applications such as video editing, graphics, art, design technology and cope with the diversity of data, external devices such as cameras, camcorders, data loggers...

    A secure, scaleable solution that is sustainable and affordable for schools at a time when budget pressures are increasing.....

    Not forgetting a support organisation that can provide rapid responses to minor things that disrupt lessons when technology fails in the classroom....
    Last edited by broc; 16th December 2009 at 03:58 PM.

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    Corky (19th January 2010)

  5. #33
    nicholab's Avatar
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    Physical severs can be on site but the actual management can be off site.

  6. #34

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    That is the key...... 'properly designed to work in a school....'

    Not some solution that has been cobbled together, based upon something that works in industry where large numbers of call centre operatives, clerical staff, and data entry staff all perform the same routine tasks day in day out...... This comment is not aimed at anyone posting on this thread

    What is needed for the future is ...

    A solution that can cope with hundreds of users logging on & off, 5 times a day, at lesson change over...

    A solution that can cope with users accessing office type applications, web-based multimedia applications, and resource intensive applications such as video editing, graphics, art, design technology and cope with the diversity of data, external devices such as cameras, camcorders, data loggers...

    A secure, scaleable solution that is sustainable and affordable for schools at a time when budget pressures are increasing.....

    Not forgetting a support organisation that can provide rapid responses to minor things that disrupt lessons when technology fails in the classroom....
    You forgot one key issue - must cost 3.50 and come with unlimited onsite support from the manufacturer, even 15 years after buying it.

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    broc (16th December 2009)

  8. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You forgot one key issue - must cost 3.50 and come with unlimited onsite support from the manufacturer, even 15 years after buying it.
    That would be the 26th generation iPod Touch solution then?

  9. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by philjones2000 View Post
    Hi Folks

    As everyone fears the upcoming budget cuts I've been ask to develop a three year program for replacing/refurbishing our ICT equipment.

    I know! How long is a piece of string? Does anyone have a crystal ball and can tell me what they think will be the biggest developments in ICT and biggest strain on our budgets over the next three years?

    I don't know if three years ago I would have seen online reporting or vle's taking off in the way they have. Maybe.

    What do you guys think?

    Phil
    i think the online side of things will certainly develop further still. It will probably enhance more in the areas of mobility and presence. So as you see now, pupils will need to connect from a variety of devices at different locations, hence there workspace or profile needs to be available from anywhere
    and from different devices. A VLE is the most straightforward example of that. But obviously social networking will continue play a significant part, and it'll be about how these are adapted or integrated for learning and productivity [i don't think there's any way of avoiding it now]. But your school network and infrastructure needs to accomodate for this first and foremost the use of more wireless devices.

    In schools it may well be that the traditional desktop PC, in all it's guises [all-in-one, SFF, tower etc.] may well be relegated to niche device. ie as netbooks and handhelds are beefed up with new technologies that allow them to do more in the same form factor [think ION + 3 years hence],
    the dekstop may be limited to specialist tasks or the centralization of processing.

    this doesn't necessarily mean more hosted or cloud based solutions, it could be a case of more centralized on the school site or across the LEA taking advantage of the iCDN that's been built,
    but that's where the spend could be used to most effect......on SaaS solutions if off-premise, or on centralized [and virtualized] app servers if the app(s) are to be posited behind the firewall/on-premise.

    I like to think your school may end up using a far lot less in the way of paper and 'physical' resources ie textbooks, but then we've been promised the paperless office for eons and it's hard to change minds.

    three years may be a bit optomistic, so i'd still plan for printers and toner and all that gubbins.

    But the major consideration in my opinion would be.......netbooks, ipod touch and/or 3G smartphones, managed wireless, virtualized servers, security of netbooks and handheld devices [NAC]. That's just on the LAN, stuff that you'd host and/or maintain. I don't know what your arrangements for VLE and 'rich' media is at present, whether that's provided and hosted by yourselves or a third party.

  10. #37
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesreedersmith View Post
    All students having a netbook/laptop and the infrastructre to support it?
    What is it with people thinking students having laptops is a good idea?

    Students here used to have laptops, and they wrecked them. Every time the lapsafe came back, there were missing keyboard keys, something else was broken like a hinge, or the laptop had been dropped.

    The further away from portable (read : expensive) equipment students are kept, the better it is, in my opinion.

    What is wrong with sitting them at a desk with a conventional keyboard and screen? Why do they need laptops?

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    teejay (16th December 2009), webman (16th December 2009)

  12. #38
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    What is it with people thinking students having laptops is a good idea?

    Students here used to have laptops, and they wrecked them. Every time the lapsafe came back, there were missing keyboard keys, something else was broken like a hinge, or the laptop had been dropped.

    The further away from portable (read : expensive) equipment students are kept, the better it is, in my opinion.

    What is wrong with sitting them at a desk with a conventional keyboard and screen? Why do they need laptops?
    there's absolutely nothing wrong with having desktop pc's, but desktops can be damaged also, and while not at the level of being throaway cheap, i wouldn't necessarily categorise a 200 netbook as being expensive individually. Obviously the acculumative cost of replacing many netbooks that come back damaged is a concern, but if we're talking about trends and the commodity cost of these things
    in a few years.......????

    netbooks clearly aren't THE solution. but it's an idea that has gained a lot of traction.

  13. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    there's absolutely nothing wrong with having desktop pc's, but desktops can be damaged also, and while not at the level of being throaway cheap, i wouldn't necessarily categorise a 200 netbook as being expensive individually. Obviously the acculumative cost of replacing many netbooks that come back damaged is a concern, but if we're talking about trends and the commodity cost of these things
    in a few years.......????

    netbooks clearly aren't THE solution. but it's an idea that has gained a lot of traction.
    Yes, but look at the cost of a replacement keyboard for a netbook and the technicians time involved replacing it compared to a desktop one. Or for instance, if you've had to extend your lifecycle by a year so your machines are out of warranty, how you going to fix your fleet of netbooks on the cheap?

    Realistically I think we should be planning a worst case scenario of at least a 50% drop in IT budget, plus probably at least a 25% drop in ICT support staff. Really the best plan for that is to keep things simple and easily manageable.

  14. #40

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    Don't forget batteries and non-toughened LCD screens. The repair & replacement cost just keeps going up and up with netbooks/laptops.

  15. #41

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    The first thing I did on taking up this post was develop a 5 year ICT plan.

    I'd been told by the head that only full time staff get laptops and he'll only find money to replace computers in the 4 main ICT suites and the music suites. Science buy their own laptops. Everyone else must get hand-me-downs, old laptops from staff and science and old computers from the ICT suites get reused to refresh even older machines elsewhere.

    In terms of driving down costs I am looking really hard at virtualisation. Hopefully next year we can spend a bit more to get a proper VM solution in place and consolidate down to about three physical servers.

    In IT suites I'm very seriously looking at solutions like nComputing and SoftXpand to drive down the cost of suite refreshes. Once our last CRT's have gone I may stop refreshing monitors with computers and only replace TFT's when they die.

    I've also been championing the use of OpenOffice so we don't have to pay out tens of thousands in license fees. Although that really is a fight that I still might loose. Staff resistance is a contributing factor.

    As for my crystal ball? The only thing that sees over the next 3 years is Windows 7 and Server 2008R2. If you've not switched yet I think you should be seriously planning a roll over at somepoint over the next 3 years.

    BSF? I doubt It'll happen here inside the next 5 years let alone 3. Even so there's a general election next year so we'll see what happens. It's worth keeping in mind where about BSF is on your radar. If you're due to go in the 5 years then I wouldn't worry too much about a detailed 3 year plan now.

    Web based apps sound like a good idea but I can't see any fast changes in that direction over the next couple of years - my crystal ball is a little cloudy though Besides all web based apps I've seen for education have been very nasty things - then again most apps for education are quiet horrendous.

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    Soulfish (16th December 2009)

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Nice idea for web-based editing solution apart and could be handing to students to learn concepts and basic skills ... but you are forgetting one tiny thing. Education is amount preparing kids for the real world and if anyone gets a job doing any sort of significant video / audio editing then the above will not cut the mustard.
    Ha! I was right: see FORscene, a completly web-based video-editing solution. This is used by TrueTube, who were at BETT, to do the video-editing functionality of their web site, and also by ITN for field reporters to upload and edit video footage. That's a solution that's used to produce video footage that is seen by audiances every day, proving that a web-based video-editing solution is possible, viable and useable in real-world applications.

    I don't neccesarily think that the purpose of education is to prepare children for the real world, either. Most subject areas don't have to bother relating their subject matter directly to specific products used in a commercial setting. Maths teaches general mathematical skills applicable accross a range of industries, not sets of formulas used for particular jobs (although they might explain which jobs you might want to use specific mathematical techniques in). Science subjects teach general experimental and scientific methods, not industry-specific tasks (although they certainly use examples from industry to illustrate what use a reaction or experiement has). Languages teach the whole language, not just set scripts for given business interactions (although they might well do scripted examples of situations you are likly to come accross in the future).

    Any ICT or Media Studies course should be teaching you the general principles of video editing, not training you in the specifics of a particular package (although I'd argue there's nothing wrong with that, but be specific and make the lesson a certified training course, getting the pupil a proper certificate after six weeks or whatever). After seeing FORscene, and hearing where it's used, I'd guess that an A-level pupil learning about video editing now is as likely to be hired to work with a web-based video editing system as with something like Premier Pro.

    --
    David Hicks

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    torledo (19th January 2010)

  19. #43
    AIT
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    Peronsoaly if you are a well established school. i would say the "trinkaty" e.g. laptop for everyone aproach.

    or simply the internet speed/cost is going to hit home as more and more aplications/media streaming is required.

  20. #44
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    My "crystal ball" plans include:
    * projectors or IWB into every classroom
    * linked to that is even more pupil involvement / interaction in lessons
    * greater use of 'online' resources - both truly web-based and run from internal web servers - VLE, ebooks accompanying courses, online testing and assessment, etc, etc (this will also increase desire for "experience" to be the same at home and at school)
    * resultant increase in demands on internal and Internet connection speeds
    * growth in storage demands as use of video and interactive resources increases
    * use of personal devices, either laptop-per-pupil or class sets of them
    * the above will lead to re-think on concept of/need for IT Suites

    That will do for starters!

  21. #45
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    I know someone has "joked" about iPhones, but that is exactly what our head wants us to look at... I don't quite know where he's taking this thought train, but he's got very definite ideas. He used to work in a US school before he came to us, and I think he's been talking to the guys over there. He wants to send me or the Network Manager on a course about it; I think he called it "the iPhone as a learning resource".

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