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How do you do....it? Thread, Synchronized Clocks? in Technical; Hello there! I'm new to this forum, and fairly new to this job! (Network Manager at a Primary School). I ...
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    cbeeching's Avatar
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    Synchronized Clocks?

    Hello there!

    I'm new to this forum, and fairly new to this job! (Network Manager at a Primary School).
    I was sat in our daily morning meeting the other day, and the hot topic was punctuality. The head wants to clamp down on child lateness, but at the moment our own schedule can be a bit varied since we have no automatic time keeping system. Our 'system', is currently a child carrying a handheld bell down the corridor to mark for breaks/dinners. Which I think is pretty 'old skool', if you'll mind the pun..

    Well naturally, as i'm the techy, it's fallen on me to find a modern solution to time keeping. Now I just said, 'use the computer clock', because that's synced with our server, and therefore it's all good and proper. But it seems they want more than that!

    So i've been looking up synchronised clock systems etc , but it all sounds a little OTT to me. I don't think we need an automatic bell system really, as I think the manual approach is quite a nice touch, we just need a central time that everybodys working on (Hence the computer clock hurrah!). But I the teachers like having an actual clock to look at.

    Anyway, just wondered how other people tackled this in their schools and if anybody had any suggestions?

    Thanks!

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    I'd get a bell system in for starters,don't think I've ever come across a school doing it THAT manually there are a few out there which are basically just timers with bells attached, you program the times and they ring etc

    As for syncronised time keeping across classrooms I'd replace the current clocks with Radio controlled ones. Not very technical solutions but as you say theres no need to spend too much on it all.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamman960 View Post
    As for syncronised time keeping across classrooms I'd replace the current clocks with Radio controlled ones.
    I'd second that - seems like the most obvious, cheapest option. We do have a few issues getting a couple of clocks to get signals (the computer room is pretty much a dead zone for any kind of TV, mobile phone or whatever signals).

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    we supplied about 50 radio controlled alarm clocks for a school! let me know if you want any details.

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    leco's Avatar
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    Agree with previous posts. We have a bell system for lessons etc. Most of the clocks (one in each classroom and other strategic places) are radio controlled, saves a lot on batteries and gets everyone on the same schedule. We also have timed entrance gates, at registration time they close so that all pupils ariving after that time have to go to the front door and thence through the office to get marked as late in the register. Helps pupils (and parents) think of time keeping.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    Most of the clocks (one in each classroom and other strategic places) are radio controlled
    Just to avoid confusion, in case anyone hasn't come accross these before: we're talking about radio clocks - clocks that synchroise to a free radio time-signal:

    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_clock]Radio clock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSF_time_signal]Time from NPL - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    You can just buy them and use them, there's no need to buy any kind of central control system, they simply pick up a free-to-air radio signal. One thing to remember is that can only adjust forwards, so if they sync with the time signal and decide they're running a bit fast they have to fast-forward through the next 12 hours to get where they should be, giving classroom teachers keeping an eye on when the bell goes the somewhat disconcerting feeling that they're in a "time passed..." montage in a film.

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    David Hicks

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    maniac's Avatar
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    We sync the clocks on ever PC in the school with our Domain Controller which is in turn synced with the LEAs authorative time source. We then have an on-screen clock available on all staff laptops and this is the authorative time source for our school.

    Mike.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Record the child ringing the bell.
    Install a PA system around the school.
    Set automatic playback of recording at set times.
    PA system can also be used as a messaging service etc.

    Old time sound using modern tech

  9. Thanks to alan-d from:

    Little-Miss (5th February 2010)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    do all the teachers have speakers attached to there pc's that can be left perm on? as you can add a scheduled task to the pc's to play a chime sound from the system files, this can be set to go off just before break etc

    Toby

    EDIT: they also need pc in each room, plus this would be free!!

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    cbeeching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    Record the child ringing the bell.
    Install a PA system around the school.
    Set automatic playback of recording at set times.
    PA system can also be used as a messaging service etc.

    Old time sound using modern tech
    Haha, brilliant. I'm definitely tempted.

    Thanks for all the replies everyone, I think radio clocks probably are the answer for timekeeping. We do have a dedicated teachers station in each class room so I guess I could go with computer based alarms. Only problem is the teachers have a habit of leaving their speakers on MAX volume.. could be a bit of a health hazard hehe!!
    Last edited by cbeeching; 8th February 2010 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbeeching View Post
    Haha, brilliant. I'm definately tempted.

    Thanks for all the replies everyone, I think radio clocks probably are the answer for timekeeping. We do have a dedicated teachers station in each class room so I guess I could go with computer based alarms. Only problem is the teachers have a habit of leaving their speakers on MAX volume.. could be a bit of a health hazard hehe!!
    Would teach them to turn it down

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    cbeeching's Avatar
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    That's true. Bout time they learnt their lesson! Hohoho.

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    Most of the clocks (one in each classroom and other strategic places) are radio controlled, saves a lot on batteries
    How does it save batteries?

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