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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Mobile/Smart Phones - IT Teams in Technical; Just wondering what you use for contacting support / technical staff while about your school / colleges. I find our ...
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    Mobile/Smart Phones - IT Teams

    Just wondering what you use for contacting support / technical staff while about your school / colleges. I find our technician(s) are often not in their office and sometimes there is an urgent need to contact them.

    Our requirements would be that the handset had wi-fi, could sync email / calendars with our exchange mail server (and not be an iPhone - cost basis), but also wondering what devices you guys use!



    Thanks & look forward to your replies!


    Andy

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    The problem with phones is who has the number... we are allowed to go off duty. For that reason my mobile number is a closely guarded secret with the school secretary, HT and Bursar. I don't let the staff have it.

    Otherwise, I end up being called at home or when I'm on holiday... even the Bursar rang me about an "urgent" printer jam when I was in the South of France last year.

    If you do introduce this system, please talk to your techs about how it can be managed... they'll be far happier with it if they feel you are respecting their hours and their privacy. I doubt they're paid to provide 24/7 on call cover.

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    Norphy's Avatar
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    Is it just for people who are on site? Do you have blanket wifi coverage? An iPod touch with Skype would do the trick.

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    We're looking at getting Blackberries here for all tech staff. Through OGC/Catalyst/Buying Solutions mobile frameworks there's a very low monthly cost. You'd also need to run at least a BES Express server (which is now free cut down version of full BES that should be fine for 99.9% of schools).

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    The devices would be just for use while technical staff are working or if they wish to answer it out of hours (there would be no expectations for them to).

    Blanket wi-fi coverage is available - however I was hoping to avoid the upfront cost of an iPhone.

    Will a blackberry not sync with exchange out of the box... the ports of our router are locked down by our local authority & additional software wasn't something I would be wanting - something to sync with what's there would be ideal (we use MS Exchange and OWA).



    Andy

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    BenTruscott's Avatar
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    contact on site

    dependant on how many techs you had, for those onsite what about long distance cordless phones or VoIP phones, mainly if its just a telephone call.

    But you want email support as well i was going to suggest the blackberry, mainly the curve 8520 (no need for all the features of the bold) but it can prove quiet difficult to connect over secure wifi. even though their email is very good, i don't think you want to be making mobile calls, rather connecting them over your telephone system and turning them into VoIP phones as well ashaving a connection to a BES Express server.

    That is what i would do.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    2 of us have school provided HTC touch things, the rest of use use our own (Nokia and iphone). We only have each others numbers, but the NM number is listed in the directory.

    We can phone each other, and sync our mailboxes and calendar.

    Looking at getting the 2 of us with personal phones issued school ones too.

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    BenTruscott's Avatar
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    I was thinking of the HTC option as it can be easily intergrated with windows and does a good job (dependant on model)of VoIP

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    we have a couple of Tesco pay as you go mobiles that only we know the numbers and when our techs are out of the office they take one so they are "always" contactable.

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    AJRussell's Avatar
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    we have liecenced radios with a dedicated channel for IT. these work well and provide radio coverage throughout the school. which means there is no where to hide and work quietly

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    broc's Avatar
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    We use radios... we share a channel with the caretakers & get to hear all sorts of mishaps involving leaks & breakages....

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    Fuzzz's Avatar
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    When I leave my desk I forward my (desk-)phone to my cellphone. If anyone wants to contact me they can use the internal number, so (almost) no-one knows my cellphone number (and I want to keep it that way )

    Edit: typo's

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Everyone has my mobile number and my ict-coords in my bigger schools are learning its easier to ring my mobile than to try and hunt me down

    regards

    Simon

    PS I tell them I'm available 7am till 9pm everyday except Christmas and New Year and if they do contact me outside school hours they are usually very apolgetic for disturbing me.

    I did once get a call on holiday in Cornwall once but I'd rather they contacted me at anytime than walk into a school to find that there's been no internet since the start of the summer hols

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    iPod Touch with headset mic running SmartSIP VoIP client, which connects via WiFi to our internal phone system (Mitel). Means we get email, calendaring, web access, server access (via RDP) and phone whilst on the move, without actually needing a phone.

    Those members of staff with their own iPhones just install the SIP client and connect them to the internal phone system also.

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    rush_tech's Avatar
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    <Dragging this thread back to life/>

    Our school is thinking about getting us smart phones this one(android 2.1) to be precise. My question is can you configure android(2.1) to use a proxy server? I heard only rumors that it can't be done without rooting your phone



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