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IT News Thread, Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine in Other News; Following the letter published in PC Pro magazine, and increased feedback from education IT professionals generally over the last few ...
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    Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    Following the letter published in PC Pro magazine, and increased feedback from education IT professionals generally over the last few months, we're looking at how we can improve our coverage for this sector.

    What are the hot topics at the moment? How could PC Pro improves its coverage of the education IT?

    For those PC Pro readers out there, you may read the real-world computing section at the back of the mag - this is written by people who work in the industry, for people who work in the industry. What topics could we cover in this section that would help you in your job?

    Let me know your thoughts!

    Paul Trotter - PC Pro magazine

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    Re: Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    Hi Paul,
    From what I can gather many here read PC Pro, and I, as the author of the published letter, want to quickly take this opportunity to thank you all there for the excellent magazine you create on a monthly basis.
    The real world section is always the one which I read completely, and many an article in there has saved my bacon (and hair) over the years. As for what those of us in education would like to see more of I really could not say off the top of my head. Most of the content of PC Pro and other magazines is fine for what we need day to day, such as reviews etc, but what we in education do is often far above what the private sector have to as regard to desktop security etc. Most companies security policies begin at the firewall and work their way backwards. We have to start at the desktop level and work up. A typical well run secondary network is so locked down that GCHQ would have problems accessing it! Maybe some more focus on this might be helpful perhaps?
    Anyway, welcome and its nice to have you on board.

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    Re: Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    Hows about some info on free tools that may help in regards to network auditing, adding users in bulk to AD from CSV files, tools to monitor workstations (like VNC or tools that use VNC as a base and provide an easy way to manage this) etc...

    If you have a read through some of the topics on this site i'm sure you will find the sorts of things that "we" and edugeeks.net have trouble with - surely it can't just be us that have these problems, I would assume they spread wide and far :-)

    Keep up the excellent work on PCPro - you guys really do print some fantastic stuff :-) helped me out a lot over the past few years too :-)

    p.s. schools r all about the "free" stuff, so maybe a new section on the front cover DVD ? Schools Tools ? or something

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    Re: Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    p.s. schools r all about the "free" stuff, so maybe a new section on the front cover DVD ? Schools Tools ? or something
    I am working on something like this for the site. Possibly in the form of a downloadable ISO disk, updated regularly with all of the files and scripts we would need.

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    Re: Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    Free software is the thing were most eager for. Open source or similar replacements for major software eg Open Office can replace M$ office (if only it was that simple ) or GIMP as an alternative to photoshop etc. Little gems like these we want to hear about

    Ps love the Mag :P

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    Re: Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    NICE ONE DS! :-)

    If it's "complete" enough maybe pcpro could put an iso of it on there cover DVD (as long as it's all freeware/GNU licence :-) )

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    Re: Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    I think, that approching IT from an educational support point of view that several factors should be considered for artical content.

    1. Cost

    Some schools either:
    a. Have very little money to spend on ICT support and hardware.
    b. Are unwilling to provide funds for the above.

    A focus on how to achive an ends dictated by cost would be helpful such as mail systems and internet filtering\monitoring, and more focus on OSS and Microsoft integration would be welcome. Also a look at second hand hardware and how it compares with new equipment and what we can expect to pay for it would be very, very useful for some of our members.

    2. Legal

    Schools are a legal minefield and we often have problems when it comes to data retention information (how long and in what format), privacy and child protection laws. These are often manifested in the way in which we have to create usernames, e-mail accounts and the content of school web sites. Information on best practice would be very handy for some schools. Most od us here are quite well informed in these areas and are very good at creating user accounts and mail addresses which do not confuse the pupil nor hide their identity, yet provide no clues as to their name or gender. This information is very important yet some schools still seem quite unable to come up with a decent nameing scheme.

    3. Group policies

    Some people have no idea how to use these to best effect to perform specific tasks such as locking down an XP/2000 desktop or creating a default user profile and securing it further. Some guides as to how best to do this and other tasks such as folder re-direction would be invaluable.

    4. Automation

    We are often called upon to do tasks which private companies would not consider, such as creating 250 new users in one go. Guides on how to do this (and other tasks) will go down well (especially if the tools are free!).

    I hope you find these suggestions helpful.

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    Re: Hot topics in education IT: PC Pro magazine

    Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    Paul Trotter

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