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MIS Systems Thread, School MIS Systems in Technical; Originally Posted by GREED Do I dare throw into the mix at this stage of a feisty conversation as to ...
  1. #181

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    Do I dare throw into the mix at this stage of a feisty conversation as to why there is the need for multiple products, in that I mean an installation per school. If we stick to the state sector for the moment for ease, all information is collected for the purpose of running the school (for argument sake). The school ultimately is run for or by the government. So... why is there not one central facility to house and access this data, rather than 1 installation per school. As someone that has worked with databases all his life, one critical thing I know is that data at the core level is just that.. data - facts and figures. If we have it in one format, one location, the data is there once (you database lovers will know - duplication is a no no!), it is maintained once, and by one source, and the is no need to make it transferable, because it won't get transferred anywhere! We don't have multiple products for the DVLA database floating around. We don't (soon) have multiple systems for patient management for each hospital all over the please (note this is not an argument for how badly that was implemented)...

    I await the tirade of abuse to follow...
    Schools are ultimately run by the government, yes, but the government has little say in their day to day running, and often they don't have any idea what a school wants or needs.

    Every school is different, and as such, centralising something like that just seems like shooting yourself in the foot. It would remove the flexibility needed within schools to change things from day to day.

  2. #182

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    @GREED - we are talking about MIS - Management Information Systems ... and cue lengthy discussion about the difference between data and information.

    The database is one thing .. the tools which make it useful to the school is another matter. Each school will want to use it in slightly different ways. Functionality again.

  3. #183
    oxide54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    @GREED - we are talking about MIS - Management Information Systems ... and cue lengthy discussion about the difference between data and information.

    The database is one thing .. the tools which make it useful to the school is another matter. Each school will want to use it in slightly different ways. Functionality again.
    agreed. same as managed vs vanilla. different strokes for different folks.

  4. #184
    EdWhittaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshharrier View Post
    @Ed - Sounds good as long as the new wonder-MIS producer doesn't get grandiose ideas of power and ruling the world (like someone else we know).

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!
    Indeed this is true , we've all read Orwell's Animal Farm; that's why the company needs to have community interest (CIC) status. This guarantees that all profits are re-invested for the benefit of the (education) community and cannot be distributed to shareholders.

    Quote Originally Posted by marshharrier View Post
    My idea FWIW is that the Government build the product you suggest i.e. the framework/backbone and then let everyone else build the components. That way you'd have a guarantee that the framework manufacturer wouldn't walk over the component manufacturers when the temptation became too strong.
    in an ideal world, yes. In this world, if it was managed by the government
    a) it would take 8 years to complete
    b) cost hundreds of millions of pounds
    c) be abandoned as unworkable 6 months after launch
    The government's track record on managing IT projects is appalling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    in an ideal world, yes. In this world, if it was managed by the government
    a) it would take 8 years to complete
    b) cost hundreds of millions of pounds
    c) be abandoned as unworkable 6 months after launch
    The government's track record on managing IT projects is appalling.
    d) be used to check for potential 'terrorist' suspects being educated at our schools so they could be picked up early

  6. #186

    GREED's Avatar
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    @GrumbleDook: Thank you for that definition, I could have used you 3 months ago when I was completing my degree in information systems
    (I'm kidding, I appreciate your thoughts!)

    @ everyone else above - We are all talking in ideal situations here, so saying one ideal situation above others will or will not work is a little off topic. Every school working differently - in this IDEAL world we all want, is rubbish and a poor reflection on education if you go somewhere and get one thing and somewhere else and you get something else. Again, real world we know this to be totally true, but too much freedom of choice opens up both opportunities for innovation, as much as wedges for diversity (in a bad way).

  7. #187

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    @ everyone else above - We are all talking in ideal situations here, so saying one ideal situation above others will or will not work is a little off topic. Every school working differently - in this IDEAL world we all want, is rubbish and a poor reflection on education if you go somewhere and get one thing and somewhere else and you get something else. Again, real world we know this to be totally true, but too much freedom of choice opens up both opportunities for innovation, as much as wedges for diversity (in a bad way).
    Disagree vehemently. Every child is different, and has their education tailored for them. So, it stands to reason that every grouping of children is different, and as such the school that is teaching them is different to other schools.

    Saying that being taught differently in different places is a bad thing is ridiculous, and akin to going back 50 years in the education system.

  8. #188

    GREED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Disagree vehemently. Every child is different, and has their education tailored for them. So, it stands to reason that every grouping of children is different, and as such the school that is teaching them is different to other schools.

    Saying that being taught differently in different places is a bad thing is ridiculous, and akin to going back 50 years in the education system.
    So... depending on the school you/your children go to, urgo where you live, you should have a different (lower) standard of education.

  9. #189

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    So... depending on the school you/your children go to, urgo where you live, you should have a different (lower) standard of education.
    Why does different mean lower to you? Should we all drive the same type of car? Eat the same food? Wear the same clothes? Different means 'personalised and tailored to the needs of the people in question' to me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Why does different mean lower to you? Should we all drive the same type of car? Eat the same food? Wear the same clothes? Different means 'personalised and tailored to the needs of the people in question' to me...
    When it comes to education, we are in a world now where a qualification are being devalued (and because when it comes to your first or next job, qualifications mean something, not always the education behind it) with all the changes in the qualification structure. My learners in 6 months can achieve a diploma. It took me (somewhat) longer to achieve that. It is no way the same level or standard due to these changes, but on paper it says the same. The standards here have been significantly clouded.

    When it comes to education, do not misinterpret - in no way shape or form am I suggesting that the education method is not tailored to suit an individual's needs, but I am suggesting that the quality of that education should be standard (hense the word standard used above) regardless of your conditions, location or school.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    When it comes to education, do not misinterpret - in no way shape or form am I suggesting that the education method is not tailored to suit an individual's needs, but I am suggesting that the quality of that education should be standard (hense the word standard used above) regardless of your conditions, location or school.
    Then why are you talking about a 'centralised' solution which cannot be tailored to individual needs? Monolithic systems are not flexible.

    You can't have it both ways - flexible education with flexible systems to back that up or a rigid 'everyone gets treated the same' with rigid pre-determined systems.

  12. #192

    GREED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Then why are you talking about a 'centralised' solution which cannot be tailored to individual needs? Monolithic systems are not flexible.

    You can't have it both ways - flexible education with flexible systems to back that up or a rigid 'everyone gets treated the same' with rigid pre-determined systems.
    As a teacher/trainer, my teachings rely on my experience, ability and knowledge. Information and its use are used as support mechanisms, nothing more. My learners get an individual, tailored experience based on the information recorded about them that can be used by my organisation and selected other support services (connexions for example), all talking the same language and using (essentually) the same system.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    As a teacher/trainer, my teachings rely on my experience, ability and knowledge. Information and its use are used as support mechanisms, nothing more. My learners get an individual, tailored experience based on the information recorded about them that can be used by my organisation and selected other support services (connexions for example), all talking the same language and using (essentually) the same system.
    Do you work in a school? Training is a LOT different to dealing with the education of hundreds of children, whilst maintaining their behaviour, welfare and keeping them motivated.

    An example for you. We now use a custom written merit tracking system for our school, as the system provided within SIMS.net isn't flexible enough and doesn't allow us to track the level of detail required in order to provide the best motivation to our children, and to be able to keep track of minor, low level, behaviour issues (eg. the system tracks every lesson whether they have their equipment, if they've done their homework, are in uniform etc...). All this data is not directly 'teaching' based, but allows teachers to tailor their lessons better to that child's needs.

    This system works great for us, but, say, for a primary school it would be of no use. The kids don't move around classes, their is no need to track equipment etc...

  14. Thanks to localzuk from:

    GREED (8th November 2010)

  15. #194

    GREED's Avatar
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    To answer your first question, I work with scores of 16-19+ age groups on foundation learning programmes, not totally alien to the school environment. I worked 7 years within schools so I am aware of how everything works.

    HOWEVER...

    I am holding my hands up and your second paragraph has merit (parden the pun!) in that this aspect I had not considered, and is an excellent example and thank you for sharing. I am always pleased to have pointed out where my arguments fall down, and this is a perfect example.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    @localzuk the fact that you have a second data source is a fine example of where SIF comes in horizontally. The student and staff details are the sort of things transferred round via SIF between the MIS and your merits system. If we have been talking about a single common standard of database then the 'extra' information which is relating to how your school works is not likely to go into it is it?

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