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Hardware Thread, Where to start... in Technical; Right, have started the new job at a primary school and am really enjoyng it, but the last Technician has ...
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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Where to start...

    Right, have started the new job at a primary school and am really enjoyng it, but the last Technician has left it in a right state.

    I dont know when it was last backed up cus it looks like she started using NAS but didnt get any further then plugging it in. I know that needs sorting, that's obvious.

    One thing that has really confused me is that non of the Laptops are on the domain, have got all sorts of anti-virus software on them and god know what else. They use winsuite but this isnt installed on the laptops as they were worried about licensing. When it comes to networking i am a beginner (but am very keen to learn!) but surely they can at least be added to the domain to start with?

    Security is non existant. The majority of staff passwords is password!

    I know they've got policy central installed but who should be monitoring the internet?

    Do you get your staff to sign contracts of some sort.

    I just dont know where to start.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Probably your first port of call is going to be backup everything and make sure you can recover from any disasters.

    Then do a full audit of everything so you know what's what. Then organise a meeting with your head and explain everything you've found out in professional terms so they understand that getting mundane requests sorted is not the priority.

    From there you'll probably have a greater understanding of what's right, wrong or just plain nuts.

    As for the laptops I'd leave them as is for now and concentrate on getting your infrastructure sorted, your skillset up to speed and a plan of some sorts.


    Obviously you want a plan but the audit will be the thing that informs you and better informs folks on here how to proceed. I feel your pain though, just been through one similar school setup last term and it was hard work getting it up to speed.

    Good luck

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    Are these staff laptops or used by the kids? We have Winsuite but only on the curriculum machines. I think it will die a slow death, so one of the things you could look at is sorting out group policies as an alternative. This is one of the things I'm working on here.

    How big is your school and how long had the previous technician been there. You may find that she has been fire-fighting for years trying to maintain a system with limited resources. It's a bit like that here, I'm trying to gradually sort it out but am hampered by too little time and staff who refuse to accept the policies I'm trying to implement.

    One thing I am planning to do when we get our new computers is get the County Support team to come in and help me set up the Group Policies. This will save me a lot of time and when staff raise objections I can say "sorry that one came from County, you'll need to address it with them".

    ANyway, best of luck with the new job

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    witch's Avatar
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    Making an audit of what's what is a good idea to start with.
    With respect to the laptops - If they are staff ones DON'T put them on the domain unless you have looked at them and sorted out the anti-virus. Obviously it depends on your LEA, but ours allows the network anti-virus (NOD) to be installed on teacher laptops, which is what I have done, after cleaning them up and sorting them out first.
    Do you have a curriculum network only or has it got the SIMS type stuff on it? If it doesn't, then security is not such an issue - I work in a first and a middle school and I have forced one password change and then just left it - so they have the same passwords all the time. Anything else just proves to be too much for them to cope with.
    There are some other edugeek threads about Winsuite that may be of help.

    Why don't you put a call out to see if there is anyone in a nearby school who could help you? I think that we have one or two members in your area!
    Also, on Edugeek you will find examples of User policies etc if your school does not have them.

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Well, i have got a guy coming out to me soon who was trying to clean up the mess that was left before he had to go off sick. He's probably got more of an understanding of how everything is set up there and why.

    I think i need to stop worrying about the bigger picture for a moment, concentrate on the back up and any issues that i can sort for the staff so i get left alone for a bit.

    Winsuite is only sat on curriculum machines, so i'll leave it be for now.

    The curriculum server and SIMS are seperate.

    Thanks everyone, glad i'm not alone.

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    if theyre not on the domain its likely to be for teacher convenience (being abel to add printers, add to home networks that sort of thing) which doesn't happen in a bigger school for the greater good.

    As for antivirus i'd write a short report on it outlining its importance and ask smt to look at it and allocate the relevant funds and put the relevant policys in place (ie each machine MUST have anti virus)

    staff contracts are the smts problem, not yours. Get them to write the releavant aup, it should include security, legal issues, data protection, replacement policy, behaviour policy etc etc.

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    if theyre not on the domain its likely to be for teacher convenience (being abel to add printers, add to home networks that sort of thing) which doesn't happen in a bigger school for the greater good.
    In a bigger school? We have 1250 students, and 3 specialisms yet we allow that. - It's all down to how the network is set up and which policies you have in place both technically and physically.

    Should probably note AVG Free shouldn't be installed on a Domain as its for Home Use only which may be a reason for why they aren't on a domain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    In a bigger school? We have 1250 students, and 3 specialisms yet we allow that. - It's all down to how the network is set up and which policies you have in place both technically and physically.
    But it isn't as common on the machines as it would seem in Little-Miss's school which suggests its the norm there, whereas I wouldn't expect it to be the norm at a school with a bigger ict infrastructure.

    The loss of things like WSUS, auditing and software installations compared to the staff being able to add printers at home and install there own software I imagine would become magnified in a larger enviroment, whereas it can be of benefit for machines to be standalone in a smaller enviroment.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Ours are both - they can log on as standalones at home or onto the network or standalone with internet access at school. - I have set up the antivirus to update through the server, via the proxy if not on the network, or via any internet connection they have at home.

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Well see Witch, this is what i imagined it could be. They've got the drop down list so they can connect as a standalone with t'internet or to the domain. Now the way you've got your Anti-virus set up sounds like what we need here.

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