Once you've internalised the advice so far, here are some next steps:
- Backups - know how they work, how to restore from them and ensure that the school can get its data back even if they lose you and the building.
- Backups, check them daily, fix them with your highest priority.
- Backups, make sure your maintenance and support contract for your backup software is valid.
- Teaching and Learning - delivery in classroom is the what schools (almost without exception) are all about. IT problems in classrooms affecting T+L should have your highest priority. Get issues fixed or worked-around to restore T+L asap. Return to move the quick-fix to a permanent solution, at a point that does not interrupt T+L.
- Remember the point of technology - it is to make it easier to do more work. In classroom this might be the teacher being more effective thanks to automated admin tasks, or more engaging teaching and learning tools, for the students it may be learning how to use the technology to create pieces of work, or it may be engaging with actual e-learning packages. Remember why and for whom your role exists.
- Be SMART in all that you do. It works from customer interaction (tech support / budget planning) right down to troubleshooting kernel dumps.
- Always be punctual, lessons are short and critical, those 30 seconds add up.
- Communication keep people in the loop, make sure your manager is aware of problems that are re-occurring or stacking up, make sure the users are kept informed with the progress of your work (if it stretches over a few days). Remember: The end user (generally) does not care about the technicalities.
- Read these books:
- Look into getting FITS certified. It is an implementation of ITIL which is a very transferable set of skills/tools to have. RM used to run a course.
And to address the question you asked but no-one has responded to: The Best VLE is one that the Senior and Middle Management have completely bought into and that the teachers find useful. VLE's succeed or fail mostly through the engagement of the whole school. There will always be doubters and the disgruntled. If their voice is allowed to poison the well, no VLE can succeed. If you've got access to one via your RBC you might find the greatest level of support and implementation experience in buying in through that.
Wow brilliant, Just found out because i havent seen my serve room etc, but i only have a desk in the staff room as my base.... maybe look into getting a office/room to do some work in permenantly?
I think psydii's points above are very comprehensive, but can I add that in some schools the core administrative processes are completely tied into the IT facilities. If the financial management package is down on the day that the monthly salary claims are due to be processed, whereas elsewhere in the school there is a classroom computer not working and certain lessons can't be delivered... the teacher can wait. I'd imagine scenarios of this nature are less likely to occur in a primary school (I work in a secondary), but it's a possibility.
Right okay, Also... looking at MCSE or Cisco course... can i not be funded for these?
Only a personal opinion, but I wouldn't be too focused with trying to instantly go on 9million courses as soon as you enter the door. Obviously it's good to plan for future learning, knowledge etc, but wouldn't want it to sound like you need major training before being able to manage the network.
As I said, not trying to have a go, just saying :)
As Steve21 says, if you ask for training immediately it looks as if you don't think you can do the job. I'd leave it till you've had an opportunity to identify your own more specific areas for development, then find a way to link them to the school development plan or a teaching and learning outcome (I really don't think we should have to do the latter, but we often do), then take it to your line manager or senior management (if they're not the same thing).
I would agree with this.
Originally Posted by Steve21
Ive been here just over years and am going on my first course at half term. Its an apple course and thats only because we have just done our first suite of macs this summer!!
You could wait till your first performance management meeting and bring it up then (assuming its after a year or so and youve got yourself sorted!)
Okay cool maybe im being a bit quick! haha! got a VMware system running on a sepreate PC in my bedroom practiceing etc :D so looking good
Playing devils advocate here - are you sure you're cut out/confident with this? I'm 23 and have been working in schools for the best part of 5 years and while I would be happy moving to senior technician I don't think I could manage Network Manager till at least 25 - my technical skills are fine but I coudln't "manage" anybody - what's the size of the team there? It sounds quite small as, even as a network manager, you're expected to do everything. I guess it also depends on what systems and devices you've got.
It does vary on the person and the school; I became an NM at 23, only managing one technician though (who was an apprentice first), though this was more a confluence of circumstances than a position I actively applied for. I expect the school will have been fully aware of -sweet-'s age/experience when they hired him. Managing all of this on your own can be quite daunting (which only becomes apparent when you've done it for a time), but as long as the SMT has a support package on stand-by if there are any issues, and the EduGeek community responds as we've done before, he ought to get through it.
I think it's valid devil's advocation, but if -sweet- leaves at e.g. 24 with a CV that speaks of full budgetary control, line management and significant skills in maintaining and developing IT facilities, it could set him up quite well for a job in a larger school or in industry.
You've got CC4, definitely get yourself on a course to learn how to use it ASAP. It is going to be your primary tool for getting stuff done on PCs around your school.
You can learn the Windows'y stuff through the Resource Kits/ Training Kits and through Technet. Learning CISCO stuff really isn't that useful unless you are planning on being a packet shepherd.
After the CC4 basics and bringing yourself up to speed with Windows, understanding Service Delivery is really the next most important thing, and for that we have FITS.
Because I distracted myself with a four year degree, I didn't get a budget until I was 22, and quite frankly other than being able to model the early universe in 9 dimensions, gave me no experience that evolved my ability to deliver at that age from when I was 20. Since the education system these days contains more emphasis on collaboration and project work, you are already better tooled for the role that I was. The trick is to be a sponge - absorb and learn from everything you encounter. Model and test the technology as you read about it. Don't mess with live systems until you know it will work and how to roll it back. Be friendly and approachable. At that age we have the capacity to do anything, if the motivation is there (and "you're in charge, here's your budget - you make it work" is the best motivation there is). I cannot impress upon you enough how important being it is to be SMART.
Thanks, I am definantly up for the job, it is only me as the ICT staff.... Not managing anyone! I will look at the technet site in due course.
I am fulling confident its just i want to be ready to go in and make the best impression first off! Ive decided not to take any training for at least 6 months.
Sorry for making it sound like im not going to be good for the job but like i say its just my idea of getting ready to be the best at the job!
In terms of knowing Ad i have used it in my current job that im leaving at the end of the month, I took over the role of Network Manager herer for 4 months whilst the currently NM was off sick. So ive learnt a bit and self taught, Like ive said previous ive got a VMware machine running at home with a mini network setup on there of 3 machines ( Sever and 2 clients) I am adding users etc and now moving on to Group Policies.
Hope this helps and shows that i am acutally not a jobs worth lol
That sounds good!
What have you been doing previously?
ICT Technician in a special school. with 70 workstations and 30 laptops. my new network is 75 Laptops, and 30 workstations. 2 servers 1x Rm Curric 1x Vanilla Server 2008 Admin server
Much experience with managing servers/switches before your VMware setup?