General Chat Thread, Helpdesk tickets all complete & No Money - Any (Cheap or Free) Project ideas please? in General; As per title, we have a great network, worked really hard over the last couple of years after a full ...
15th October 2010, 08:08 PM #1
Helpdesk tickets all complete & No Money - Any (Cheap or Free) Project ideas please?
As per title, we have a great network, worked really hard over the last couple of years after a full rebuild and now have everything ticking away just as we like it...
We have no money left to implement any new large projects, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for cheap or "free" projects that might make a difference in the school?
We are not sat twiddling our thumbs as there are always the usual IT tickets, but as the budgets are getting slashed it seems that we are just keeping everything ticking over and not moving forward. We would love to have something to work on and challenge us when we are done with the tickets??
Few previous free projects done:
Password Self Service
Truecrypt rolled out
In house School website,
Custom start/homepages for staff/students/Admin
Any suggestions would be great !!!
(We do have around 7k that we will have to use to replace aging computers around the school, but if your idea can pursuade me that this money would better benifit the school im all ears)
Thanks in Advance
Last edited by burgemaster; 16th October 2010 at 07:29 PM.
15th October 2010, 08:15 PM #2
How about a technical knowledge base using some wiki software. The site could host articles on how to resolve common issues and instructions on how to do stuff.
15th October 2010, 08:20 PM #3
Have a word with other support staff departments - office, first aid, behaviour, those sort of areas. Ask people if there are any manual or time-consuming processes you could help improve or develop software for (if that's your thing) to do something better.
Several things we've done based on what needs have arisen:
- Internal searchable phone directory on intranet (search-as-you-type style)
- First aid requests via intranet (room number, sent to receptionist, they then radio for roving first aiders)
- Database to manage detentions (staff enter student names/reasons; can be updated if they don't attend; letter generation)
Do students always know where they need to be? An idea of bossman's would suit us, and possibly others: A touch-screen terminal for students to quickly look up what lesson they should be in now, or later in the day. Entirely possible and cheap using touch screen LCD monitor, ITX/SFF PC and a custom GUI (web based?).
From a technical side, you could look at server/service monitoring with tools like Nagios and Cacti if you don't already.
Last edited by webman; 15th October 2010 at 08:22 PM.
15th October 2010, 10:25 PM #4
Moodle! and then possibly Mahara at a later stage. But defiantly Moodle.
if moneys that tight think about google apps and maybe linux desktops as well
15th October 2010, 11:03 PM #5
I would look at looking at services you could possibly bring in house (if you wanted to!) such as Email etc and work on building them.
Alternatively, I would look at some systems you could get your head around to enhance support you offer. For instance, I was in a similar posistion to you and I messed around with SIMS (and a test DB at that!) in my spare time and I now am pretty much a SIMS manager/Assistant IT Manager.
15th October 2010, 11:17 PM #6
Some really hardcore monitoring stuff? Thats always fun! Budget for 1 linux box and a big telly to display the results
15th October 2010, 11:23 PM #7
Personally, I'd speak to your admin office and ask them about tasks they have to do which take ages, and see if anything can be improved there.
16th October 2010, 07:23 PM #8
16th October 2010, 08:28 PM #9
Do you use any digital signage? Some standard templates based on XIBO would be good.
17th October 2010, 08:29 PM #10
Thanks mate, we have 2 OneLan box displays setup (that the receptionist`s manage). The PE department has a 32" LCD on the wall running powerpoints that they manage... they seem to be doing a really good job with it. Even though I might enjoy setting it all up and all that, i think if they had to learn a new software we would end up doing it all for them on a regular basis!!.....
Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
17th October 2010, 08:46 PM #11
Do you fancy getting more involved in educational stuff? I have quite a few ideas for you there ... some to do with programming, computer clubs, youtube / flickr style resource banks, etc ...
Then there are a few things which come down to how much access you allow staff to do things too ... things like changing passwords, etc.
And then we have things like the introduction of guest devices onto your network (segregation of network traffic, network access control, etc) and looking at the various mobile devices that are about (or shortly to be about) to see what you can do there.
18th October 2010, 10:05 AM #12
Things I am looking at doing when I have a second or 2 (HA!):
Online forms (either sharepoint or a.nother)
Digital resource server (videos & possibly pictures)
& funnily enough after reading something else, documentation Wiki.
18th October 2010, 10:33 AM #13
3 of those 4 can be done in Sharepoint
Originally Posted by TechMonkey
18th October 2010, 11:20 AM #14
I'm assuming Online forms, documentation/wikis and Resource Server? I'm hesitant though to put so much reliance on Sharepoint, no reason to it I suppose. How much of a setup is needed with sharepoint and does it need a beefy server? I've looked before but always had to remove it due to other projects coming along and needing the space or the web port.
Originally Posted by localzuk
18th October 2010, 11:24 AM #15
The thing about Sharepoint is that it is hugely customisable. You can take it as it comes, create some document libraries and work with a basic out of the box setup, or you can customise it completely. Its completely your decision.
Originally Posted by TechMonkey
The server beefiness depends on how many users are using it - it can vary vastly.
Putting it all in one place makes sense in my mind, as it becomes a single portal containing everything useful to your staff. You can get custom web parts for it, customise a front end completely and use it as a public facing website, have multiple sub-sites so that you can have a site for parents, pupils etc... sharing information across them, or isolating information as desired.
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