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General Chat Thread, Run! Its a Student! in General; Yes I am a student, and I did think about making this post for awhile and wasn't sure to or ...
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    Run! Its a Student!

    Yes I am a student, and I did think about making this post for awhile and wasn't sure to or not.
    I was interested, what does been a Techie or a Network Manager involve, like all the jobs. I know what some are but I was just wondering what the rest were.
    Thanks

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Take a look at Becta's Technical Competencies as an initial idea, but the job vaires from school to school, depending on the needs and specialisms of the school, depending on the age of the students, depending on the location and depending on whether other people in the school have any idea how to turn on a computer (or even a toaster for that matter!)

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Basically, if something has a plug on it - we have to deal with it

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    I think I proabably do a lot more then what was on my original job description, though I'd have to dish it out to check.

    My job basically consists of the following in two schools:

    - Fixing broken PCs, whether it is hardware or software. This includes the ordering of any new parts. I also think I shouls mention the constant updating of the school PCs software wise for security (windows updates).

    - Network maintenance is a major part. Installing software across the network, maintaining network virus scanner and other security software, keeping an audit of what PCs we have on the network and ordering new PCs to replace the ones that are getting old. Once they are ordered, I'll obviously be the one required to set them up and join them to the domain (put them on the network). The PCs are obviously only part of the network and switches, servers, physical cabling etc. are all things I have to fix/maintain/keep up to date. Occasionally getting some ladders, a very long patch cable and some tools and physically securing the wire around the classroom wall with trunking is also required.

    - Adding user accounts is a common one.

    - Then there are the two school websites which I was/am required to build from scratch and maintain.

    - Projectors and whiteboards also come under my job to maintain and fix and these also appear in each classroom.

    - Peripheral devices, such as printers (especially), scanners, digital cameras etc. also come under our job description. This includes general maintenance such as replacing toners.

    - Many of us have an admin network in each school for the secretaries which require bespoke software and this often requires calls to the people who made the software etc. because it is so rubbish and keeps breaking. Many times it isn't possible for us to fix it due to the nature of the problem and requires the creators of the software to release a patch.

    Anything else I have forgotten?

    EDIT: Yes there is, all teachers have laptops which are quite hard work cos they aren't always connected to the network and have to be able to operate on their own. So they require a lot more maintance then the school PCs.

    I'm sure there is much more that I can't think of at the moment.

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    Friez's Avatar
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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    What _Bat_ said but in addition:

    We help a bunch numpties with things that any ordinary person could easily handle.

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Along with this there is the day to day 'someone has pulled all the plugs out of the projector and I couldn't possibly plug the yellow cable into the yellow hole, the red into the red and the black into the black'.

    And then there are other odd bits - some deal with VOIP internal phone systems, and I also have to deal with a computerised proximity door access system and the ID cards to go with it.

    So, it is basically as webman said - if it has a plug on it, or even if it doesn't and it looks slightly technical, we deal with it.

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Well Bat I can add Loads more to that list, I currently work at a school and I am part of the network support team. We do anything from fixing projectors which are damaged, to helping setting up whiteboards which were not installed correctly by the manafacturers to making sure websites not managed by us are responding. I would have to say that IT technicians, in the public sector are called above and beyond there duties aswell as there job description. This is apparent everywhere in a variety of jobs, I just deal with it take it on the chin. My chin is getting very sore at the moment.
    A rule of thumb anything that requires 99% common sense and 1% technical skill falls into our category.

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Quote Originally Posted by _Bat_
    I think I proabably do a lot more then what was on my original job description, though I'd have to dish it out to check.

    My job basically consists of the following in two schools:

    - Fixing broken PCs, whether it is hardware or software. This includes the ordering of any new parts. I also think I shouls mention the constant updating of the school PCs software wise for security (windows updates).

    - Network maintenance is a major part. Installing software across the network, maintaining network virus scanner and other security software, keeping an audit of what PCs we have on the network and ordering new PCs to replace the ones that are getting old. Once they are ordered, I'll obviously be the one required to set them up and join them to the domain (put them on the network). The PCs are obviously only part of the network and switches, servers, physical cabling etc. are all things I have to fix/maintain/keep up to date. Occasionally getting some ladders, a very long patch cable and some tools and physically securing the wire around the classroom wall with trunking is also required.

    - Adding user accounts is a common one.

    - Then there are the two school websites which I was/am required to build from scratch and maintain.

    - Projectors and whiteboards also come under my job to maintain and fix and these also appear in each classroom.

    - Peripheral devices, such as printers (especially), scanners, digital cameras etc. also come under our job description. This includes general maintenance such as replacing toners.

    - Many of us have an admin network in each school for the secretaries which require bespoke software and this often requires calls to the people who made the software etc. because it is so rubbish and keeps breaking. Many times it isn't possible for us to fix it due to the nature of the problem and requires the creators of the software to release a patch.

    Anything else I have forgotten?

    EDIT: Yes there is, all teachers have laptops which are quite hard work cos they aren't always connected to the network and have to be able to operate on their own. So they require a lot more maintance then the school PCs.

    I'm sure there is much more that I can't think of at the moment.
    Very similar to mine although I don't replace toner unless it's a special case (like the last cartridge exploded!)

    I also:

    1. Control the I.T. budget and am responsible for any hardware/software purchases, most major purchases have to be signed off by senior management first though. Budget varies wildly depending on what I can get out of management but averages out at about £100,000 / year.

    2. Advice for local primary schools on I.T. use and infrastructure. Oddly they don't like going to the central I.T. department for this sort of thing as they rarely get decent advice.

    3. Everything to do with servers, most importantly security, policies and BACKUP!

    4. School websites (although the external one I'm not claiming as it's dreadful and done by ex-pupils :?

    Technically it's not that challenging most of the time sadly.

  9. #9
    kerrymoralee9280
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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Yeah all those jobs and the inevitable "and any other duties the headteacher may reasonably assign"...... Thats the real kick in the teeth.

    My old network manager used to say, if it ain't got a keyboard on it then he doesn't want to know...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Ooh, don't get me started on 'reasonably'... Trying to stretch that one seems to be a favourite in some schools!

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    As a tech i do pretty much anything, there are somethings i dont do and try avoid; these are SIMS, and KS3 Online testing.
    Apart from that il do anything, even if i know nothing about it (thats when google is your friend...) il replace toners, build packages, scan stuff, fix servers, laptops, pcs, take stuff apart, get quotes for equipment, and general day to day problems.
    TBH i find it pretty dull, most of it is common sence, there isnt much interesting complex technical stuff that goes on.

    I was a student last year, if id known what the job actually involved and all the crap that goes with it, i would have definately thought twice, or found a better school haha. yeah im moaning again...

  12. #12
    kerrymoralee9280
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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Yeah, we all start(ed) at the bottom. I have been in this line of work now for three years, working at the same school. And to be truthful, the bottom guy gets all the rubbish jobs, same anywhere you go in any career.

    But our Network manager left a month ago and haven't replaced him and now I have to pick up the slack. It's harder, more stressful but I am enjoying it because no two days are the same.

    I look back and think how glad I am I stuck through all the poor jobs because things are slwoly getting better.

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    For those who say it isnt challanging - surely that just means your network is running well? You dont WANT problems do you?

    I'm the same, most of the time it is problem free, so I use the time to keep on finding improvements and new additions to make the network run better and our lives easier

  14. #14
    kerrymoralee9280
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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Exactly, would you rather be running in circles fixing the same problems day in day out or sat at your desk looking for ways to push things forward.

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    Re: Run! Its a Student!

    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder
    For those who say it isnt challanging - surely that just means your network is running well? You dont WANT problems do you?

    I'm the same, most of the time it is problem free, so I use the time to keep on finding improvements and new additions to make the network run better and our lives easier
    No i just dont think its challanging personally due to theclimate were in. Having an RM network, undervalued in general and staff that have no desire for interesting solutions or cool tricks, it makes it dull.
    At some schools staff would be really interested in having say a freeview recording server, that would stream bitesize and programs to pcs on demand. Thats the kind of stuff im interested in implimenting.

    but at my school, there was demand from teachers, but not from slt, they said i could have some money with the new budget, i find out that was cut from £6000 to £1200, and now we have no development budget.
    So i tried to just make a standard myth box on legacy hardware, all runs nicely (after much effort)
    but there isnt £120 for a new ariel.
    im leaving next week, Awesome.

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