I'm still waiting on the Email addresses to become available and have already started raising concerns.
I pointed out your SSO solution penfold_99 but was told in no uncertain terms they were not interested due to the SSO solution they are working on. I can't remember the name of it now but the idea is that there should be one shared system that talks to all MIS/VLE/Email systems.
I have also heard the the BGFL are looking at making a standardised Active Directory structure for all schools. Should be fun :(
Life is fun in Zimbra world (not....) there has been a hiccup in the setup and all my useraccounts have had to be deleted - there goes 10 hours work!!!!! How is everyone else getting on??
Sent the form off, still waiting !?!?
It will take time for Link2ICT to get all schools running, but I had a first look at Zimbra today and it's all good. It's easily much better and manageable than Plus. In a nutshell many people describe it as Microsoft Outlook in a browser which would be a good way of describing it.
Personally however (I think in most cases), it would be preferable for pupil mailbox sizes to be a fraction of what staff require. I think 25MB for pupils and 250MB for staff would be a more appropriate balance.
I agree from a users point of view it is so much better than Plus but from an admin point of view not as friendly, not as adaptable, really bad field mapping, not enough data being uploaded, no grouping, lack of searching requirements, updating users is on an individual basis not by group as there aren't any groups. Just uploaded all our staff and the default quota is 50mb so have had to go into each one individually and changed it. If we had the front end of Zimbra and the backend of Plus it would be so much better. Also getting hassle as there is no synchronisation between it and PDAs/Blackberrys so it looks like Zimbra needs to be open for emails, and Outlook to synchornise calendars. If there was a link between Outlook and Zimbra that would make life so much easier too.
To my knowledge I don't think Zimbra supports PDAs directly (and neither does Plus for that matter), but the recommendation is to browse using the web interface (as you would a PC). Alternatively synchronise the PDA with MS Outlook, then use the Zimbra Outlook Connector.
I haven't had the chance to look at the back end in detail and I haven't been too worried or concerned about it, as I knew Link2ICT were going to bulk import usernames from the school MIS system. I believe eventually this process will be totally automated, so you should only need to tweak settings here and there.
As for uploading data there are two ways to do it. Either uploaded files manually in Moodle, or alternatively, bulk upload data to the 'hive' (I believe via FTP or similar), then link documents this way.
Okay great Link2ICt have transferred all our accounts to the new Zimbra system and sent us a spread sheet containing all the new email address: I know the new format is under Becta Recommendations, but come on with an email address like "email@example.com" what student is going to use it let alone remember it!
What are your thoughts on this, we might as well not have an email system for students!
I couldnt agree more. I work in a special school myself with kids who have learning difficulties, how do they expect for them to use these email addresses?
Anyway appolagies for the bump but i thought i'd let people know that im currently in the proccess of creating a simple user guide for the staff in my school to use. Some people here are useless when it comes to ICT yet still depend on their emails quite a bit.
If anyone wants one just let me know. At the moment i've only managed to do loggin on, exporting/importing contacts from the old system and composing an email.
I agree with you the e-mail format is complex, but Link2ICT/BGFL have chosen to adhere to a Becta standard.
What I usually do (and this is easy enough to do) is create a template in MS Word, then Mail Merge the Excel data to create small cards. These can then be printed onto card or laminated which younger pupils take with them to ICT lessons.
I'm sticking with our exchange implementation. Our SLT would go mad if they couldnt have emails to their phones!
we have zimbra all set up now and the thing i noticed was that there is "mywebsite" option, so students cant upload anymore to their personal webspace and couldnt see this functionality in zimbra. it wouldnt bother us normally but in the it lessons they design websites and upload.
have anyone else come across this and how have they gone about it. we have simply told the it teachers to research free webhosting.
I have been sent the email account info for pupils and staff. I am still looking on how to implement the email addresses for pupils as they are complicated to remember. The only method that I have come up with is to create a txt file and copy the email address into the txt file and save the file in each pupils home drive. Then use bginfo to display the email address when the pupil logs in.
I have not started this as it would take forever to do and I don't know if there is an esafety issue about displaying a pupils email address on the screen, while they are logged in?
Any thoughts/ideas or suggestions would be welcome.
Couple of things.
You don't have to use the Becta reccomended email address. You can upload a CSV yourself and delete the accounts Link2ICT have created. Also the Zimbra Outlook Connector works great with BGfL Zimbra. Not sure if they will turn it off when server usage goes up as it it not advertised as a feature they have enabled. Also if you visit the Zimbra page in a mobile browser it reformats it for a mobile devices such as iPhone and Blackberry etc.
@L_Smith : You could implement a simple 2,3 or 4 digit number as the username thus preserving the anonymity of the child and being perhaps more memorable
I have tested the minimum requirements for new accounts
The password needs to be 6 or more character (no complexity requirement)
username can be as short as 1 character