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    Check my plan

    I have been putting together a plan for replacing our XP computer suite with (hopefully) two suites of 20 Windows 7 laptops. We have Windows 7 on a few machines, but the network is not well setup for Windows 7 yet. Small school so only about twenty staff involved. I do not have much previous experience with imaging or using wireless laptops for whole classes, though I will have some outside help. We also need to replace our classroom management: current frontrunner is Impero. It was suggested that I run my list of tasks involved and rough time estimates past those with some more experience.

    The time estimates seem generous, but I always think that about my estimates and it rarely works out that way. Anyone got any thoughts? What have I missed?

    • Determining most suitable, best value laptop model – requires consultation with SMT, staff and governors – 20hr
    • Ensuring group policy and other settings set up appropriately for Windows 7 – 4hr
    • Setting up Windows 7 default profile and mandatory pupil profile – 16hr
    • Resolving compatibility issues of SoftEase – 6hr (potentially a lot less if all works fine)
    • Migrating school over from ActivPrimary to ActiveInspire - 20hr
    • Investigating alternatives to Impero - 2hr
    • Installing Impero - 3hr
    • Testing Impero – 4hr (spread over a month or so)
    • Potentially if Impero found unsuitable – installing and testing further monitoring software – not estimated
    • Unpacking laptops and setting up in trolley - 6hr
    • Preparing laptop for imaging - 12hr
    • Setting up and testing image – 4hr
    • Deploying image – 4hr (largely unattended)
    • Training staff in use of laptops, Windows 7, Office 2010 – 8hr (spread over multiple weeks)
    • Preparing image for current suite machines for use in pre-school – 6hr
    • Setting up and testing that image - 2hr

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    NikChillin's Avatar
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    Why laptops? We have found you can get better spec pc cheaper and the life of the laptops are limited.
    The battery will be dead after about 18 months so it will need replacing or be plugged in.
    The damage to laptops is far worse than pc's.
    Laptop trolleys are expensive cupboards - which is what they are after the battery has expired.

    We did this and have since discovered at our cost it was a waste of money.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    I have been putting together a plan for replacing our XP computer suite with (hopefully) two suites of 20 Windows 7 laptops. We have Windows 7 on a few machines, but the network is not well setup for Windows 7 yet. Small school so only about twenty staff involved. I do not have much previous experience with imaging or using wireless laptops for whole classes, though I will have some outside help. We also need to replace our classroom management: current frontrunner is Impero. It was suggested that I run my list of tasks involved and rough time estimates past those with some more experience.

    The time estimates seem generous, but I always think that about my estimates and it rarely works out that way. Anyone got any thoughts? What have I missed?
    • Determining most suitable, best value laptop model – requires consultation with SMT, staff and governors – 20hr
    • Ensuring group policy and other settings set up appropriately for Windows 7 – 4hr
    • Setting up Windows 7 default profile and mandatory pupil profile – 16hr
    • Resolving compatibility issues of SoftEase – 6hr (potentially a lot less if all works fine)
    • Migrating school over from ActivPrimary to ActiveInspire - 20hr
    • Investigating alternatives to Impero - 2hr
    • Installing Impero - 3hr
    • Testing Impero – 4hr (spread over a month or so)
    • Potentially if Impero found unsuitable – installing and testing further monitoring software – not estimated
    • Unpacking laptops and setting up in trolley - 6hr
    • Preparing laptop for imaging - 12hr
    • Setting up and testing image – 4hr
    • Deploying image – 4hr (largely unattended)
    • Training staff in use of laptops, Windows 7, Office 2010 – 8hr (spread over multiple weeks)
    • Preparing image for current suite machines for use in pre-school – 6hr
    • Setting up and testing that image - 2hr
    Install Of Impero will take 30 minutes at most when we do remote install of software we book first 30 minutes to do install and then we stay on the line as long as you want us to. So we can go over initial training and anything want help setting up.

    Russell

    p.s

    I can think of a way of reducing the list by two hours remove option 6 "Investigating alternatives to Impero - 2hr"

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    Jollity (17th February 2012)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    In many schools, @NikChillin, especially primaries, ICT Suites are going by SLT decision mostly to reclaim space... Jollity may not have a choice in this.

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    Jollity (17th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NikChillin View Post
    Why laptops? We have found you can get better spec pc cheaper and the life of the laptops are limited.
    I take your points. I have read many similar views here. The issue is space. The site is tiny and they really want to rip the ICT suite out to make room for another classroom.

    Even if I strongly objected, I do not think I could get a change from laptops - the decision on laptops was already taken when I joined the school and they have already purchased the Wi-Fi system. I think that part of the plan must be treated as a fixed point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    Install Of Impero will take 30 minutes at most when we do remote install of software we book first 30 minutes to do install and then we stay on the line as long as you want us to. So we can go over initial training and anything want help setting up.
    Glad to hear. That would include clearing up the existing monitoring solution as well, but I take your point and will cut that estimate somewhat.

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    •Preparing laptop for imaging - 12hr
    Guess it depends how your imaging is setup, but apart from enabling PXE boot etc, what needs setting up? (Roughly 30 mins per laptop in your example). Or are you doing manual removals etc etc?

    Steve

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    HarryMonkey's Avatar
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    Why are you spreading your training over multiple weeks? If people are going to use them they'll want to be able to do so straight away. I think you'll need to concentrate your training in to the beginning of term in as a short a time as possible.

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    Jollity (17th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Guess it depends how your imaging is setup, but apart from enabling PXE boot etc, what needs setting up? (Roughly 30 mins per laptop in your example). Or are you doing manual removals etc etc?
    Imaging would be WDS. My meaning by that step was setting up the machine from which the image is taken: installing all the software needed and setting up the (per-machine) settings correctly. It may have been better to say "preparing the image".

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Why are you spreading your training over multiple weeks? If people are going to use them they'll want to be able to do so straight away. I think you'll need to concentrate your training in to the beginning of term in as a short a time as possible.
    Fair point: there should be a training session or sessions in the first week. The multiple weeks was to indicate the requirement for extra support when staff hit problems, but it would probably be better to split the item in two.

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    how you going to licence your win 7 machines
    oem ?
    volume licence

    only ask as we only have 20 machines with win 7 so was not worth setting up the volume licence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    I take your points. I have read many similar views here. The issue is space. The site is tiny and they really want to rip the ICT suite out to make room for another classroom.

    Even if I strongly objected, I do not think I could get a change from laptops - the decision on laptops was already taken when I joined the school and they have already purchased the Wi-Fi system. I think that part of the plan must be treated as a fixed point.
    Fair doo's

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    Do you need time remove and dispose of current XP computers?

    Other things you may need - curriculum software (if not part of image), AV software - usually left off an image, MIS software?

    I'd be tempted to allow a bit more time for the GPO set up and the profile creation. Took me double that (a full week) to get it to my liking.

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    Jollity (17th February 2012)

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    Migrating school over from ActivPrimary to ActiveInspire - 20hr
    20 Hours? it can be rolled out via MSI in a matter in mins? Unless you mean training time which even so i don't think takes 20hr's.

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    Jollity (17th February 2012)

  20. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by round2it View Post
    how you going to licence your win 7 machines
    oem ?
    volume licence

    only ask as we only have 20 machines with win 7 so was not worth setting up the volume licence
    Probably OEM for Windows itself from whoever sells the machines, then Select Licensing from a supplier to get Office - Select is a volume license system, but you don't actually need volume to take advantage of it as a school, as the educational software suppliers lump all the schools together. That is how we have done it so far. I possibly should check whether the latest terms of the OVS licensing would make it worthwhile, but my predecessor concluded the school was too small to make software rental worthwhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by NikChillin View Post
    Fair doo's
    Sorry if I was snappy. Reports of the problems with laptops make me nervous at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    Do you need time remove and dispose of current XP computers?
    Yes good point. I am planning to reuse some in the pre-school in an isolate network, stash some and dispose of the rest, but I have not put in any time for hauling them around.

    Quote Originally Posted by NikChillin View Post
    Other things you may need - curriculum software (if not part of image), AV software - usually left off an image, MIS software?
    AV install should probably be on there, though it seems to deploy fine to Windows 7, so only half hour or so. MIS software will not be on the laptops I don't think. TextEase seems to be the only non-web based curriculum software that is used at the moment, but I should keep an eye out for other things. Though you have just reminded me I should check the scanner drivers work on 64-bit Windows 7.

    Quote Originally Posted by NikChillin View Post
    I'd be tempted to allow a bit more time for the GPO set up and the profile creation. Took me double that (a full week) to get it to my liking.
    Could be right. I will bump that up a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    20 Hours? it can be rolled out via MSI in a matter in mins? Unless you mean training time which even so i don't think takes 20hr's.
    I was using a broad meaning of "deploy" to include all the human factors of training. I was also including time for testing it worked with our set up and resolving any problems with it. However it is probably over-generous, and I did not know they provided a MSI - that should certainly cut the estimate. Do you happen to know if the MSI clears up ActivPrimary as well?

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