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Hardware Thread, IT Room Damage. in Technical; Hi all. We are experiencing alarming amounts of damage in a few of the IT Rooms, admitiativley some of them ...
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    IT Room Damage.

    Hi all.

    We are experiencing alarming amounts of damage in a few of the IT Rooms, admitiativley some of them are quite old and are due for replacements over the summer, however the head may not allow us to do them until the damage has decreased.
    Also rooms that are only 2-3 years old that are not slow are also getting damaged.

    Keyboards, Mice being cut. cables being unplugged...

    We have put all of the PCs on brackets under the desk to try to stop them damaging the PCs but they always unplug them!

    What are you guys doing to deter/stop damage to your machines?

    Many Thanks
    B

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    DeltaBravo's Avatar
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    Are they in the rooms unsupervised?
    If not then I think you should target the teachers before you do anything else.

  3. Thanks to DeltaBravo from:

    Novalee (19th June 2013)

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    You can mitigate the situation with CCTV somewhat. This will allow you to identify the culprits and punish/bill their parents. However this doesn't actually stop them doing the damage in the first place. Generally preventative measures need to be taken by the staff using the rooms in question. Basically not leaving pupils in the room unsupervised. It's also worth pointing out this is usually a symptom of a wider problem in a school, if you address the underlying issue then this problem will disappear.

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    Agreed - classroom management is where to start, maybe posters up saying leave this room as you find it - could put photo of how you expect it to look.

    Check rooms each morning if possible so you know at the start of the day everything was ok, possibly not your job, but it is more likely to be left tidy if it starts that way.

    Posters saying CCTV in operation (even if it isn't) work wonders.

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    themightymrp's Avatar
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    We've had this same problem for years. Unfortunately you are reliant on the member of staff in the room being vigilant and actually reporting issues! We have CCTV in a bunch of rooms but when staff don't report problems for days on end it can be a ball-ache trawling through footage to find who did it.

    In our worst rooms we have provided pre-printed sheets showing a room layout. The member of staff teaching in there has to initial the sheet at the start and end of lessons to say they have checked everything is in place (nothing obviously damaged/unplugged). They also have to write any faults onto the sheet showing which machines have the issue(s) and hand them to an admin office person after the lesson.

    Cumbersome but has helped so far...

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    CCTV is helpful - once a few kids are traced for having damaged equipment it seems to deter others in the future. We cable tie all cables to the machines as well to stop things getting stolen. But staff being in the rooms and being attentive is really important I reckon.

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    The Rooms are supposedly supervised, but we don't understand how a whole row of keyboards can be cut/swapped around damaged....

    We don't want to go down the cctv route as the teachers may complain about privacy ect...

    The school is quite hot on damage atm as £3000 worth of maintinace in the toilets was trashed after 2 days.

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    We've had very similar damage done. It usually happens when a member of staff is in the room with a very large group as opposed to a small one. They spend time helping one particular student and, while their back is turned, all hell breaks loose!!! Staff need to be drilled in the art of giving a room the once over before they leave - and that includes checking PC's where "no student was using it".

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwestlake View Post
    The Rooms are supposedly supervised, but we don't understand how a whole row of keyboards can be cut/swapped around damaged....

    We don't want to go down the cctv route as the teachers may complain about privacy ect...

    The school is quite hot on damage atm as £3000 worth of maintinace in the toilets was trashed after 2 days.
    I'd say stuff their complaints. Either ignore them or tell them the alternatives are to top slice all departments to cover the repair bills or to bill the last department that used the room when damage occurred. As for supervision, make sure the rooms are locked at break and lunch and then maybe for a week blitz them by checking each room after each use. Its a pain but it will focus the teachers and students minds. Throw the book at any student caught doing anything silly or any member of staff not toeing the line.

    I've found the only way to stop this kind of problem is to go all out guns a blazing. If staff don't like it they need to be more watchful. If students don't like it they need to treat the rooms with respect, which includes reporting damage.

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    As everyone says its more of a staffing / crowd control issue than a IT one. However we are the ones picking up the pieces afterwards. Most damage for us occurs when students get into rooms unsupervised which is currently what I am working on stopping.

    We cable tie all the cables at the back together to prevent the unplugging issue - doesn't stop them but it does reduce the amount.

    I am also looking at replacing the machines with space saving ones with cable guards, everything above the table in plain sight and all the cables are behind a panel. Costs about £400 a unit tho Could run some figures of fixing and maintenance vs initial spend if you needed to justify to SMT.

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    One place I worked at had a similar thing happen, one thing the we did was check the rooms every lesson for a months and the damage stopped after a while. Also we started charging the teachers department for the damages and this caused the teachers to be more vilage in the computer rooms.

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    We dont get as much damage here as i did at the last school i worked at, however anything that is notcied or observed the first step we take is just to revoke access to the IT room for the whole day apart from timetabled lessons and go from the peer pressure angle. As we are a boarding school we are unable to entertain the idea of CCTV in the IT classrooms but i think as someone else has suggested maybe start looking at speaking with SMT and have the teachers addressed to be more vigilant

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwestlake View Post
    The Rooms are supposedly supervised, but we don't understand how a whole row of keyboards can be cut/swapped around damaged....

    We don't want to go down the cctv route as the teachers may complain about privacy ect...

    The school is quite hot on damage atm as £3000 worth of maintinace in the toilets was trashed after 2 days.
    I feel your pain: I am tearing my hair out.

    On the subject of room supervision I was called to one of our network rooms yesterday to address an Adobe CS5 issue. While I was working on the problem I saw two students who were clearly off task. One had picked up a mouse by the cord and was swinging it so that it hit the keyboard/mouse of the other students' computer [The teacher was right next to them] I asked them to stand to one side and then asked them what they were doing.

    "Workin' innit?" came the reply. After much to and fro I asked them to remain standing and got the teacher to talk to them. While I was walking away I caught some of the conversation which took the tone:

    "Come on. Network Support is giving me a hard time here. Don't do that while they are in the room" rather than telling them that they can't use the computers and their work will have to be submitted hand-written, parents will be notified etc...

    Before you ask it wasn't a big class: There were no more that 10 students in the class.

    This member of staff is one who complains all of the time that the computers in his room do not work. We know why now!



    Rant over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaBravo View Post
    Are they in the rooms unsupervised?
    If not then I think you should target the teachers before you do anything else.
    I agree, I think this is a human problem not a IT problem. How much do they want to spend to fix and protect PC's against wilful damage.

    If your car is slow you don't start smashing it to bits do you.

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    We had quite a few issues in one particular room mainly with cable being removed from the back of machines, when we updated opted for some Viglen Genie Pro which have a cable guard shield fitted on the back & that has stopped pretty much all of that. They just loosen the network cables from the wall sockets now, little darlings

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