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General Chat Thread, tight staff in General; Originally Posted by LeMarchand I know of at least one member of staff (now "moved up" in the LEA) who ...
  1. #31

    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    I know of at least one member of staff (now "moved up" in the LEA) who would see that as a reason for the school to provide both a home computer and network connection (and probably a printer too).
    No joke! When we offered remote logins via Citrix - I had more than one member of staff demanding I pay for a PC and their broadband connection charges. I firmly told them that this was just an optional help for them and they were welcome to work at school into the evenings. Flippin chancers!

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  3. #32

    Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Why do they?
    For out of hours changes, updates, support. Surely you can't tell me you've never had to stay and wait for people to finish faffing on the network? I used to do all my SIMS updates, Server patching, firewall updates, etc remotely out of hours. Still do, though I'm no longer in a School

    As most of us support websites too, I imagine there's moaning if that's down, even out of hours - If you turn around and say "well I haven't been given broadband or a laptop" I'd expect the response to be less than pleasant

  4. #33

    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Why do they?
    I often end up researching solutions at home due to the LEA's web filter not letting me on to various sites because they provide free software or are related to computer security. Plus I often end up creating builds/working on laptops at home during the holidays as the sites are tend to be open mornings only. Not to mention general "self training".

    Wouldn't dream of expecting the LEA to pay for my BB though I do have a school-provided laptop (albeit an older model than the teaching staff). Seriously thinking of getting my own TechNet sub as I am self employed at one site and could probably claim against tax - again, not something I would expect the LEA to fund.

  5. #34

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Oh yes, of course, but I think it would be the most efficient way of spending money to get all teaching staff using IT to its full potential and being able to work how they wished. It'd be the easiest way to run a centrally-funded IT-for-teachers kind of scheme - no administration of PCs, no liability for schools for anything staff do, simply give them cash and leave them to get on with it. As part of your contract as a teacher you would agree to have a home broadband connection (and 20 a month would sort out pretty much everyone, even those connecting via a mobile broadband dongle) and a working home PC.

    --
    David Hicks
    And then we open up a world of pain as to why there is no centrally purchased broadband provision for teachers ... remembering that trying to get a decent 2 meg line in some places is nigh on impossible ... never mind the superfast Virgin speeds. You will be accused of wasting more public money on people who can afford to buy their own kit and pay for their own broadband. I would rather see that money used in schools.

    As for 300 being acceptable to get a device for doing school work at home (let's not go back to the taxable perks discussion again yet), that might be fine for some staff but it will be useless for others doing some very specific tasks requiring better machines, whether it is A/V work, CAD/CAM, design ... even getting into making use of some fantastic resources for English needs a decent machine ... unless you want an under-specced, unwarranteed, under-supported bit of tat which will get brought in to the school techies every week for some support ... and then you are looking at the school needing another techie to deal with these machines!

    If they want to work on a machine then stay in school ... others do it with their marking and planning and doing reports (don't forget PPA ... even though that only covers a fraction of the time required for marking and planning).

    Allow the staff their choice on trying to get a work/life balance.

  6. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    They'll spend it on other stuff or give it to offspring and then be just as badly off (IT wise).
    That's fine - it's cash, if they already have a computer or want to spend it on something else then that's up to them, but they would still be contractually obliged to have a computer and internet access of some sort at home. If they break it, it's their business to get it fixed.

    --
    David Hicks

  7. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    And then we open up a world of pain as to why there is no centrally purchased broadband provision for teachers ... remembering that trying to get a decent 2 meg line in some places is nigh on impossible ... never mind the superfast Virgin speeds.
    You don't need central purchashing, the home broadband market is decently competative - you can get home broadband for 20 a month, no problem. You would, of course, have to exclude some areas of the country from the if-you're-a-teacher-you-must-have-home-broadband-or-you-get-in-trouble edict, but I'm guessing you could cover, say, 80% of schools okay. Speed doesn't really matter too much, you just need an always-on connection.

    As for 300 being acceptable to get a device for doing school work at home (let's not go back to the taxable perks discussion again yet), that might be fine for some staff but it will be useless for others doing some very specific tasks requiring better machines, whether it is A/V work, CAD/CAM, design ...
    Nope, 300 is fine - they can get a second-hand machine from eBay, or if they want something fancier they can pay the difference themselves. If it breaks, they fix it, or pay to have it fixed - schools could charge to fix machines, they might even wind up making a profit. This isn't a taxable perk, it's simply money - it gets taxed at the normal rate in with their wages.

    Allow the staff their choice on trying to get a work/life balance.
    Of course staff should be able to access a machine in school, but I figure some people would prefer to work from home rather than loiter around school of an evening.

    --
    David Hicks

  8. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    For out of hours changes, updates, support. Surely you can't tell me you've never had to stay and wait for people to finish faffing on the network? I used to do all my SIMS updates, Server patching, firewall updates, etc remotely out of hours. Still do, though I'm no longer in a School

    As most of us support websites too, I imagine there's moaning if that's down, even out of hours - If you turn around and say "well I haven't been given broadband or a laptop" I'd expect the response to be less than pleasant
    Nope. All our updates are done during holidays or (as at mt previous school) scheduled down time. Once I leave the building at 4-30, my job stops. I don't/won't do out of hours support, nor willI use my time at home to complete any work related activities.

    If, come 2 o clock in the afternoon, I told my bosses that I was just going to go and put my feet up, have a cup of tea and watch the tv for a couple of hours there would be uproar, therefore, I have no intention whatsoever of using my time at home to carry out unpaid work tasks.

    If it doesn't get done during my normal working hours, then I'm afraid it doesn't get done.

  9. #38

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    @dhicks ... schools have fairly decent connections in most places (not all) and this gives the impression to some folk that the surrounding areas is ok too. This is not always the case and the only reason why schools have a good connection is that the RBCs have had serious investment to enable this. This is why folk like BT are saying if you want similar all over the country to home users then it will take a few billion quid of investment.

    As for fixing their own stuff ... sorry David, but that is a tad naive. Those who are interested in technology already invest in their own kit ... it is those who are not confident who are being left behind ... they are the least likely to be able to support themselves. The problem that we get on places like here, or on twitter, is that the people who are generally taking part in the conversation are folk who have already made the move onto technology or are actually at the top of the tree ... people are forgetting how difficult it is for people lower down the tree.

    As for the broadband market being already competitive ... why is that a reason not to get the ISPs round the table and continue to drive down costs? If some of my taxes were to be wasted on this then I would demand that the cost comes down ... i would also want to see where the money is going .. whether some providers have monopolies in certain areas ... since it is taxpayers money we are talking about why should it just be a handout for someone to possibly waste.

  10. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    schools have fairly decent connections in most places (not all) and this gives the impression to some folk that the surrounding areas is ok too.
    Any idea how much of the country is currently covered by resonably decent broadband service? 80%-ish?

    As for fixing their own stuff ...
    No, most people would probably simply buy a PC from somewhere (PC World, or maybe buy one off the school), then pay to fix it if it broke. The idea is that 300 will get you a perfectly reasonable, working machine. If you have a tendancy to break things a lot then you'll be paying your own money to fix it the whole time, which might be some encouragement not to break things so much.

    As for the broadband market being already competitive ... why is that a reason not to get the ISPs round the table and continue to drive down costs? If some of my taxes were to be wasted on this then I would demand that the cost comes down ... i would also want to see where the money is going .. whether some providers have monopolies in certain areas ... since it is taxpayers money we are talking about why should it just be a handout for someone to possibly waste.
    But the competativness or otherwise of the broadband market is a separate issue, better solved by regulation than directed funding. 20 should get you a decent broadband connection in a certain chunk of the country (I reckon that covers 80% of the population, but I could be wrong there), making a decent broadband connection cost less than 20 is a separate issue.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by korifugi View Post
    I have a policy regarding iTunes:

    The school does not hold the licenses for the music so, I see it... I delete it.

    Draconian measures away!!!! :-)
    I give the member of staff one warning and give them a day to remove it. Next time it just gets deleted (& I have the blessing of Senior management to do this)

  12. #41

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Any idea how much of the country is currently covered by resonably decent broadband service? 80%-ish?
    David Hicks
    I think Grumbldooks point covers areas like mine pretty well. We are a rural school on the edge of the Norfolk Broads and a fair number of our staff commute in from surrounding villages. The school as a 100mbps fibre(?) link via county hall to the RBC, nice. Local residents would be lucky to get 8mbps ADSL and more outlying villages would barely get 1mbps ADSL. And 3G wireless is not a suitable alternative since we're are lucky to get a 2G signal from any network in school.

    As a business model, doing a CBA, I doubt any mobile operator or ISP would seriously consider upgrading their networks around here has the number of potential customers compared to costs of work mean it is just not worth their while doing. This is where government subsudies are needed to drive up available decent internet access.

  13. #42
    Galway's Avatar
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    I very rarely get these requests ... My yorkshire charm and blunt replies are probebly the reason.

  14. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Local residents would be lucky to get 8mbps ADSL and more outlying villages would barely get 1mbps ADSL.
    I remember when 28.8kb/s was considered "fast"... 1mbps isn't fast, but it should be usable - I think RDP is capable of working over that kind fo speed, so you could have staff remote in to use remote desktop from home.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    I give the member of staff one warning and give them a day to remove it. Next time it just gets deleted (& I have the blessing of Senior management to do this)
    I do this for anyone I have not seen with it before, explaining about copyright laws and such - then give them a few days to sort themselves out...

    I'm not totally heartless.

  16. #45
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    There is a debate here, as we have supplied usb drives before. Personally I have always bought my own.

    As an aside, my wifes schools server was knackered by photos and music all loaded onto it my the ICT co-ordinator.

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