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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Amalgamating Networks in Technical; We have completely separate admin and curriculum networks: so separate that the LEA IT dept sort out the admin and ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    Amalgamating Networks

    We have completely separate admin and curriculum networks: so separate that the LEA IT dept sort out the admin and I am NOT ALLOWED to touch it.
    However, the new VLE type stuff coming along demands that parents can access child data and currently this is all on our admin network and never seen by me.
    The LEA does not advise amalgamating networks, and will not provide things like SIMs support if it is done.
    Here's the thing: who do I ask to amalgamate the networks -it is well beyond me, especially on 10 hours a week!
    I don't know of any companies who would do such a thing - any advice please?

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    There are companies who can do this, but I can't help as the one we used is only available in the North-East. At the same time, we got a lot of support from the LEA and seemed glad that we were willing to take the server away from them and manage it ourselves. If we needed them they were always there for us.

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    If the LEA are saying they won't support you if you do it, don't do it. It will be them stuck with the challenge of making the VLE work (as baby governments) instead.

    To be honest, its appalling.

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    depends who the VLE are. We use Uniservity and they have a tool which can currently upload kids from SIMS. they are also going to be able to create a link that will allow for a 2 way transfer of data for attendance and assesment. In other words teachers should be able to mark online and export the marks to assesment manager and vice versa.

    Parent will then be able to log into the VLE and see attendance and attainment reports.

    Obviously this will not happen overnight and will require Uniservity and Capita to work on it to ensure data security.

    Capita do have a product which can allow parental access to view Sims data and I am sue that Phil can and will be able to sell this more that me.

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    There are two solutions to the problem - either create a trust, or demote one of the domains, then join all workstations to the new domain. This can get extremely complicated depending on just how you administer the curriculum network. Do you use Active Directory, Ranger, RM or something different?

    One of my next projects at a new school I am starting at is to do just that. I plan to demote the curriculum network and use the admin server as the DC. The curriculum server itself can either become a DC as well or simply a member server hosting files, print services etc...
    All user accounts would be controlled using Active Directory in the relevant OUs. I've also recommended re-imaging all workstations and in the process joining them all to the new domain. It's by no means a small task.

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    witch's Avatar
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    We use Active Directory. No idea how to demote a domain -or even that you could (do you stand it in front of you and tell it how disappointed you are?)
    Shame you are a bit far away, or I'd come and watch!!

    Can I do some sort of arrangement that 'gets' the data needed from the other network without actually amalgamating them (much as was said above?)
    It looks like we will possibly be using Moodle
    Last edited by witch; 16th September 2008 at 07:28 PM.

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    If your LEA manage the admin network and therefore the pupil data etc, surely it's up to them to provide the info for the vle. Our lea have said that all schools should have a vle by 2010, I'm waiting to see what they recommend

    Not a good idea to tell a server/computer that you're disappointed with it, they have feelings you know and will just let you down at a crucial time

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    witch's Avatar
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    I think I will contact the LEA and see what they advise.
    I am never mean or nasty to my computers - I love them all and look after them very well

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    If SIMS data is required for the VLE and this is maintained by your LEA, it is up to your LEA to sort it out.

    But it is possible (as someone has said) to create a trust between the 2 networks. You could also create a report in SIMS which can export the data you require via a report. Could you not then use this data to import up to the VLE. IF so all this could be done without touching your networks but does require someone to run the reports. Once you were happy with the procedure I'm sure it could be done via some schedule task so that any updates would be replicated into the VLE data.

    Not the best way I'm sure but it would save you hassle in playing with 2 networks and arguning with the LEA if anything went wrong.

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    zag
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    Its actually very easy to do, simply add the admin users to your curriculum network, Create new email addresses for the admin staff and get them to forward any essential emails.

    Demote the admin DC, then join it to the curriculum network as a member server.

    Copy the data from the old network shares to the curruculum data server and your good to go.

    It took me about 45mins to do this, and was surprisingly trouble free. Its probably the best decision I have made since I started work as the network was far easier to manage after this change.

    I have no idea why someone would want their LEA to manage their admin users, sounds like a complete nightmare to me

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    My advice is not to do it.
    Do you really want to be without LA support for SIMS? I certainly wouldn't after yesterdays headache where a SIMS update went wrong and took a day an LA techs time to fix (thanks Lisa ). Without the LAs help I wouldn't even know where to start. Unless you are committed to supporting SIMS yourself and really understand how it works, then this just seems like a bad idea.

    Setting up a link from SIMS to VLE is pretty strightforward (or at least it was in our experience of SIMS and Fronter). If the LA are insisting that you don't touch the admin network then they are taking on the responsibility of setting up this link.

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    I think you are better off with the two domains separate. You will have a headache sorting it all out yourself, and think of the security problems that will occur if teachers have access to the domain with all your admin data on!!! I don't think it is necessary for extracting the user details for the learning platform either.

    We have the same split networks here, with myself managing the curriculum side and the LEA dealing with admin and broadband issues. Our LEA purchased Kaleidos for all primary schools. They initally told us that we must amalgamate the curriculum and admin domains, but I was very reluctant. Turns out that all you need is for the software that extracts all the user details from the admin software to be loaded on your admin network server. The details are extracted and then sent off across the Internet to the company that hosts the learning platform. That's all that is needed. Our teachers can log in to the platform and get all the info about attendance for their pupils, etc. that they need and we still have split networks.

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