Tag Archives: schools

Managing school IT systems: what to consider

Jim Docherty, UK public specialist at Dell KACE, explores the effective management of IT systems in schoolsjimdocherty

The last decade has seen a real change in classroom teaching as computing devices have evolved. The computer in the classroom has gone from being a single bulky machine in the corner of the room to becoming an Internet-connected tablet or laptop in the hands of each student. Assets and lessons are delivered with IT supporting the learning experience in the classroom.

Technology has become an ever-greater part of both the curriculum itself and the vehicle by which lessons are delivered. This means that effective technology management has grown in importance as well. Parallel to the ongoing discussion about students getting value from their lessons, a debate has been sparked on how to ensure pupils are getting the most from their schools’ IT. How ever teachers want to use IT resources as part of their lesson planning, the IT team at a school or college needs to monitor, manage, secure, update and track these new devices that are entering the classroom.

As the school IT landscape grows in complexity, this is more difficult to keep up with. Previously, a school’s systems administrator could manage one set of assets, based on one operating system and a limited number of applications. However, the growth in new computing devices, including tablets and smartphones, makes that much rarer, leading to more variation in operating systems and a wider range of applications that have to be supported. At the same time, different education establishments have different sets of pupils: a primary or secondary school will have mostly school-owned devices to manage, while colleges and universities will have to deal with pupil-owned devices in the classroom or lecture hall.

Rolling out an update or patching potential vulnerabilities could therefore cause real headaches for sysadmins within education. Keeping these new assets up-to-date is becoming progressively more important as the reliance on them for learning continues to increase. There is no ‘one size fits all’ model for education IT, but there are ways in which the processes for support and IT management can be simplified.

Looking at automation for IT processes is a great way to reduce the impact that new devices can have on the classroom. From discovering and tracking assets to remote wiping and security policy enforcement, automating management tasks is one way to ensure that IT can keep up with all the different requirements they have on their plate. Similarly, reducing the manual overhead for systems management around mobile devices can be achieved through more automation of asset tracking, installation and tracking.

Sysadmin responsibilities and workload will continue to increase as the volume, complexity and vulnerability of technology in schools also continues to increase. Without the right tools, resources will be seriously drained. However, if correctly armed, a sysadmin can set and forget the automation of a large proportion of the everyday, repetitive tasks around IT assets. This allows IT to focus on the bigger projects that will drive value to the school and, ultimately, improve the education experience for its students.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Comment

#BettChat archive 18th December 2012

(All these tweets took place between 4pm and 5pm on Tuesday 18 December 2012)

Bett  ‏@Bett_show

Welcome to today’s #BettChat! Who would like to start us off by sharing why or what they love about #Bett_Show?

WebBased‏  @WebBasedLtd

A brilliant way to showcase your products & say hi to existing clients as well as meeting new ones, come see CPD Online, Stand C44 #Bettchat

Bett Workplace‏  @Bett_Workplace

If you are exhibiting at or visiting Bett 2013, join #BettChat now and tell us why or what you love about #Bett_Show.

eInstructionApacEmea  ‏@eInstruction_uk

For us, #Bett_Show is all about getting to meet new faces who share our passion for the potential of technology in education! #BettChat

Animate 2 Educate‏  @Animate2Educate

#BettChat Great opportunity to meet new people and companies. Last year I discovered the amazing @Zu3D for the first time. #Bett_Show

WebBased‏  @WebBasedLtd

A great opportunity to see & hear all about the newest & latest technology that’s around!! #Bettchat

InfoMentor UK‏  @infomentoruk

The chance to talk to people about what really matters in education & to talk to people from all over the world about learning #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@Bett_Workplace #BETTChat As well as meeting customers, it’s a great chance to meet up with colleagues we’re rarely together in such numbers

Matthew Pearson‏  @mattpearson

I can’t in all honesty say I love the BETT show, if it didn’t exist, it would probably need inventing though #bettchat

Zu3D animation‏  @Zu3D

#BettChat We love seeing the moment people realise it’s really easy to animate in the classroom. And making films all day is pretty fun.

Animate 2 Educate‏  @Animate2Educate

@Zu3D Great piece of software. So many great sessions with children of all ages this year. Even more planned for 2013! #BettChat #Bett_Show

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

The #Bett_Show is a wonderful opportunity to meet with ICT and e-safety staff and share our expertise. #BettChat

Vocab Express‏  @vocabexpress

We love the buzz – getting to meet so many people every day is fantastic! #BettChat #Bett_Show

Ergo Computing‏  @ergocomputing

The #Bett_Show gives you the chance to meet new & familiar faces, see the latest technology & conversations that lead to change #BettChat

Loxit‏  @loxitltd

@Bett_show is an opportunity for us to showcase new products and the invaluable #BettChat helps set a product roadmap for the following year

WebBased‏  @WebBasedLtd

Hope you all have a great Christmas, CPD Online look forward to seeing you all at the #Bett_Show in January! #BettChat

Kari Rajala‏  @KariRajala

Meet people, get new ideas, see all that new technology, visit in London #BettChat

Kari Rajala‏  @KariRajala

RT @Bett_show : Join us for #BettChat at 4pm and share why or what you love about #Bett_Show #finnbett

Kari Rajala‏  @KariRajala

@KariRajala: Meet people, get new ideas, see all that new technology, visit in London #BettChat #finnbett

Access Area Ltd‏  @Accessarea

Not having been before, I am not sure what to expect but reading the #BettChat it would appear that I am in for a treat. Am I right?

Joe Makepeace  ‏@ischoolaudit

Not having been before, I am not sure what to expect but reading the #BettChat it would appear that I am in for a treat. Am I right?

Joe Makepeace‏  @SmartAuditLtd

Not having been before, I am not sure what to expect but reading the #BettChat it would appear that I am in for a treat. Am I right?

Bett‏  @Bett_show

@ischoolaudit Definitely! 🙂 #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@SmartAuditLtd Wear comfy shoes and take a spare pair if you can! #BETTChat

Bett  ‏@Bett_show

Thanks to everyone who took part in #BettChat tonight! It is great to hear so many people passionate about #Bett_Show

Bett‏  @Bett_show

…This was our last #BettChat for 2012, so we wish everyone a merry Christmas & happy New Year! Join us on 8 Jan for the next #BettChat.

Joe Makepeace  ‏@ischoolaudit

“RT @bett_show: @ischoolaudit Definitely! 🙂 #BettChat” Not much to look forward to at the end of January……until now! #BETT2013

Leave a comment

Filed under #BETTChat archive

Improve pupils’ global awareness – and you might even get some cash too…

Dave Smith, ICT adviser at Havering School Improvement Services, shares the opportunities for schools to  connect withDave Smith others around the world.

  • Would you like to link with another country in Europe through ICT?
  • Do you have a desire to partner with a school outside of Europe?
  • Are you looking to enhance your provision for Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural?
  • Would you like some funding to help too?

Well, the British Council has some ideas that could help…

Schools with whom I work have had the pleasure of making some excellent links through international study visits, video-conferencing and linking programmes including strong relationships with Japan, Sweden and Italy amongst others.  The British Council has often been part of supporting the initiation of such links.

John Rolfe, schools marketing manager at the British Council, recently came to talk to schools who are part of the Havering International ICT Development Group to share the range of opportunities to link with schools in other countries. A fascinating talk from John provided lots of ideas about how to link with schools overseas – a great way to enhance the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) aspects of your school’s provision.

John shared various projects, including the excellent Connecting Classrooms programme.  Working in over 50 countries, Connecting Classrooms is committed to supporting partnerships between over 5000 schools in the UK and worldwide and to help over 30,000 schools to collaborate online. The programme comes with a £1500 bursary to fund inter-school activities and visits, as well as direct support from officers at the British Council to help to link you with a partner school.  You could take the opportunity to share ICT practice in your establishment with a partner school abroad and find ways to use free, online tools to work on collaborative projects as part of this too.

Working internationally to support global citizenship in the curriculum is a learning journey for schools and teachers. Connecting Classrooms has developed a range of face-to-face and online courses and workshops that are aimed at practitioners who are new to the international context and for those who are already actively engaged in school partnerships who wish to deepen their professional experiences. The programme also supports the very accessible and supportive Britsh Council International School Award accreditation framework.

The next deadline for funding applications is Monday 11 February and further information can be found at www.britishcouncil.org/connectingclassrooms

John also spoke to attendees about the fantastic etwinning (www.britishcouncil.org/etwinning) opportunity – the free and safe platform for teachers to connect, develop collaborative projects and share ideas across Europe.  We are aiming to hold an eTwinning workshop for Havering schools later in the spring term 2013 – again funded by the British Council.  We hope that schools will take this opportunity to make links through ICT and develop strong linking projects that will again enhance opportunities for pupils and help to strengthen their SMSC provision, hopefully helping them to achieve even better Ofsted inspection outcomes.

The British Council provides a superb collection of eTwinning ideas including a downloadable publication available at the following address http://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/index.htm

So, with these ideas in mind why not add the British Council at stand B353B to your visit planner at Bett. I’m sure that you will come away pleasantly surprised at the great opportunities available for pupils and staff alike.

Dave Smith is ICT adviser at the Havering School Improvement Services in London, England. Find out more at www.haveringict.edublogs.org, or find him on Twitter at@haveringict or @davesmithict.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comment, Dave Smith

#BettChat archive 20th November 2012

(All these tweets took place between 4pm and 5pm on Tuesday 20th November 2012)

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Welcome to today’s #BettChat. Today’s topic: The impact of technology on developing creativity in children. Any thoughts to kick us off?

LapSafe Products‏  @LapSafe

@Bett_show there’s many fantastic art related apps out there for tablets which encourage even children who think that cannot draw #BettChat

School Website‏  @schoolwebsite

Check out @bett_show for this week’s #BettChat topic: ‘The impact of technology on developing creativity in children’. As suggested by us!

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

There are some fantastic resources, and examples of how these resources have been utilised to encourage creativity. #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

@LapSafe @Bett_show Great tweet! Kerpoof looks like a good app, and they have an art app. http://bit.ly/XZ4jwa #BettChat

Bett  ‏@Bett_show

#BettChat is on now! Have you seen any examples of students being creative using tech? #Bett_Show

Smoothwall  ‏@Smoothwall

Anyone have experience of using WebQuests? This article says they can help develop creative-thinking?http://bit.ly/saKf5 #Bettchat

Nick Praulins  ‏@NickPraulins

@Bett_show We use #ComicLife on iPads to create impromptu (and very creative!) narratives. #BettChat

eInstructionApacEmea‏  @eInstruction_uk

A lot of young people have a familiarity with technology that allows them to feel confident using it to express their creativity! #BettChat

Smoothwall  ‏@Smoothwall

There’s a Learn Live session @Bett_show covering creative art on mobile devices. Looks good! http://bit.ly/XxhR2P #BettChat

SkoogMusic‏  @SkoogMusic

#bettchat Some fantastic projects to inspire creativity through music: http://tinyurl.com/c5e9h7d #YMIEdinburgh @creativescots #bestpractice

The SLN2 Team‏  @SLN2Team

@Bett_show #bettchat Staffordshire just ran a science project with 40 schools collaboratively through our County Learning platform @RM_LP

WebBased‏ @WebBasedLtd

An interesting article published by the Daily Telegraph on The impact of technology on children’s creativity http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/technology-put-kids-at-risk/story-fn6b3v4f-1226052774583 … #BettChat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

As well as creativity, what other core skills do you think using tech can help students develop? #BettChat

LapSafe Products  ‏@LapSafe

@Smoothwall @Bett_show we’ve not heard of that one, thank you for sharing the link it looks brilliant! #BettChat

XMA   ‏@XMAITSolutions

@Bett_show #bettchat – An interesting infographic about creativity being included in syllabus like maths and science http://bit.ly/T1vqAm

XMA ‏  @XMAITSolutions

@Bett_show #bettchat – there are definitely some ways technology can be integrated to support this

Zu3D animation‏  @Zu3D

@Bett_show Teachers have told us that animating particularly help in so many areas: team working, listening, language development. #BettChat

Zu3D animation‏  @Zu3D

@bett_show Here is just one example of creating an animation to reinforce learning http://ow.ly/frt5S Learning by stealth! #BettChat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

Sometimes tech can be the carrot needed to engage pupils who otherwise may not, such as scriptwriting = writing for a purpose #BettChat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

We’ve also seen tech give children the confidence to stand in front of a camera and speak when they wouldn’t normally contribute #BettChat

SkoogMusic‏  @SkoogMusic

#BETTchat @drakemusicscot New technology aiding young musicians in the cultural Olympiad 20×12 http://youtu.be/omCWAX9najY

The Whizz Prof‏  @WhizzProf

@Bett_show Teachers who regularly engage with technology can have an even bigger impact! Innovative teaching inspires students! #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Some fantastic resources for supporting creative writing in the classroom. http://bit.ly/XwBF6l #Bettchat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

@LapSafe @Bett_show You’re welcome – we hope it comes in useful! #Bettchat

School Website‏  @schoolwebsite

@WebBasedLtd Very interesting point against technology! #BettChat

Zu3D animation‏  @Zu3D

RT @whizzprof Teachers who regularly engage w/ technology can have an even bigger impact! Innovative teaching inspires students! #BettChat

SkoogMusic‏  @SkoogMusic

#BETTchat I just know you’ve all seen this from Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert: http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U

Loxit‏  @loxitltd

#BettChat topic: The impact of technology on developing creativity in children. Just look at amazing blogging project via @DeputyMitchell

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Thanks to everyone who joined today’s #BettChat! We hope to see you all next week – remember to suggest a topic!

Leave a comment

Filed under #BETTChat archive

#BettChat archive 30th October 2012

(All these tweets took place between 4pm and 5pm on Tuesday 30th October 2012)

 Bett‏  @Bett_show

Welcome to #BettChat! Topic: how can schools create a balance between enabling online learning, but empowering safe use at the same time?

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

It is a special responsibility to protect students from web-borne threats and to promote safe internet use. #BettChat

Productivity, LLC‏  @productivityllc

RT @Bett_show: Welcome to #BettChat! Topic: how can schools create a balance between enabling online learning, but empowering safe use at…

Bryan Plumb‏  @BryanPlumb

#BettChat it’s about treading that fine line of providing quality e-safety solutions but also educating pupils about appropriate uses of web

Capita SIMS‏  @CapitaSIMS

Hello fellow #BETTChat people, who is out there?

InfoMentor UK‏  @infomentoruk

@Smoothwall Absolutely, pupils need to have information about what to do / where to go if they are unsure #BettChat

Life Lara‏  @reallara

Encourage safe use of online learning through using online tools for real purposes – not relying on simulations #BettChat

Life Lara‏  @reallara

@capitasims I’m here posting as me rather than @lifeisabout this week. I think! #BettChat

IrritableTech‏  @IrritableTech

I believe that a well educated net user can be shown trust. Less blocking, more monitoring. It helps keep the balance right. #BettChat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

#bettchat Schools ensure children adopt the online policy & generate a culture where children report things they feel uncomfortable with

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

In our experience schools, colleges & academies want to focus on education without worrying about web security issues. #BettChat

InfoMentor UK  ‏@infomentoruk

#BettChat Involving parents / carers in the learning experience helps

David Tindall‏  @SchoolBroadband

@Bett_show #bettchat Our new Mobile Device Manager: teachers control which sites to block AND unblock in an instant. Demo at D322 #Bett_Show

Bryan Plumb‏  @BryanPlumb

@Smoothwall Agreed. We need to educate about potential hazards, but we need to protect the pupils foremost. Esafety sols do this #BettChat

InfoMentor UK  @infomentoruk

Pupils need to be taught about how to make sensible choices from a young age, schools can support this #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

@infomentoruk .Parents need to be kept informed about the schools policy for protecting the students online.#BettChat

Life Lara‏  @reallara

@irritabletech Absolutely. Trust with clear expectations with explanations of their improtance is useful in & out of school #BettChat

IrritableTech  ‏@IrritableTech

Pupils education continues at home. How do schools protect students there? Teach the skills. Don’t rely on tech. #BettChat

Smoothwall  ‏@Smoothwall

@BryanPlumb Absolutely, solutions like ‘Read-Only Facebook’ can enable online learning http://bit.ly/Q3TlTD #BettChat

Bloxx‏  @Bloxx

#BettChat@BryanPlumb Agree. It is about educating children about safe use of the Internet. They wont always have a filter to protect them

Bloxx‏  @Bloxx

@IrritableTech – Think I just reiterated your point unintentionally! #BettChat

buddy 2shoes wilson‏  @2shoesWilson

#BettChat educate well, so they understand/take ownership of responsibility, monitor not block, if it goes wrong they will come to u

Bryan Plumb  ‏@BryanPlumb

@IrritableTech Totally. Relying on tech alone (in any circumstance) is dangerous. We need to know how to survive without the tech #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

#BETTChat are there any school colleagues involved in today’s chat?

IrritableTech  ‏@IrritableTech

@ClaireAshton I work in and represent ten schools. #BETTChat

Life Lara  ‏@reallara

@irritabletech Yes – education rather than protection will be more useful both in the short and long term #BettChat

Claire Ashton  @ClaireAshton

There’s so many elements to the internet and is with kids everywhere. It needs breaking down and explaining to them and parents #BETTChat

David Tindall  ‏@SchoolBroadband

Agree unilateral blocking isn’t helpful – unblocking temporarily is just as important for effective lessons in a safe environment. #bettchat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Some brilliant thoughts so far on today’s #BettChat – let’s keep them coming! Have you got any examples of school balancing this well?

Bloxx  ‏@Bloxx

#BettChat Although we all agree on not solely relying on filters/tech, policies restricting access based on age should be implemented..1/2

Bloxx  ‏@Bloxx

#BettChat…to avoid unintentional viewing of inappropriate content that could really harm younger students. 2/2

Claire Ashton  ‏@ClaireAshton

Some kids compete for the most Facebook friends, regardless if they know them. Parents don’t always know what smart phones can do #BETTChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Stoke Damerel Community College achieved a balance by using reporting tools & identifying vulnerable users http://bit.ly/SrdrXd #BettChat

IrritableTech‏  @IrritableTech

@ClaireAshton This is true. One reason why schools must offer help to parents too. Schools should promote life long learning. #BettChat

Bloxx‏  @Bloxx

@Schoolbroadband It could be argued that better and more dynamic filtering is more effective than temp unblocking #BettChat

BESA  ‏@besatweet

Please vist #BettChat now where we are discussing finding the balance between enabling online learning and empowering safety

IrritableTech  ‏@IrritableTech

Filtering companies have done great work in creating filtering systems. Should more work be in monitoring and flagging now? #BettChat

Daydream Education  ‏@DaydreamEdu

@IrritableTech @ClaireAshton I encourage the practice of online life skills. Pupils’ can’t be protected 24/7 online or real life #bettchat

Bloxx‏  @Bloxx

#BettChat @IrritableTech – Thank you 😉 Yes, we may see some schools adopting the Uni’s approach of only reporting and not filtering

David Tindall  ‏@SchoolBroadband

@bloxx Yes & we do that too, but sometimes sites best blocked as a rule are appropriate for specific lessons. Flexibility is key. #bettchat

Daydream Education‏  @DaydreamEdu

@IrritableTech Would this be an ethical issue? Should we encourage trust in pupils? #bettchat

Rebecca Avery‏  @esafety_officer

#BettChat Filtering is useful but can’t be the only focus. We don’t rely on pedestrian crossings alone to keep children safe on roads…

Claire Ashton  ‏@ClaireAshton

@DaydreamEdu @IrritableTech The school I know trains their pupils in assembly about sensible Facebook use. It’s working for them #BETTChat

Rebecca Avery‏  @esafety_officer

#BettChat Most effective approach is engaging & empowering CYP to develop safe online behaviors, filtering can help but is not the solution

IrritableTech  ‏@IrritableTech

@DaydreamEdu We should trust, yes. Flagging possible grooming, cyberbullying etc. Other subjects harder. There is a fine balance! #BETTChat

Smoothwall  ‏@Smoothwall

@esafety_officer Absolutely agree, having an AUP policy, and educating teachers on how to identify illicit surfing or proxy abuse #BettChat

Bloxx‏  @Bloxx

@ClaireAshton – That’s great! As the world becomes increasingly digital, its almost a requirement for schools to talk about it! #BettChat

Rebecca Avery‏  @esafety_officer

Also important that #esafety isn’t something just “done” by ICT staff. This is a whole school issue & everyone has a role to play #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@Bloxx And for teachers to understand it and not leave it to the IT department!! #BETTChat

Bloxx‏  @Bloxx

#BettChat If anyone is interested, @olliebray did a great presentation on new tech & social media in education. Video – http://bit.ly/Q2TBi2

David Tindall‏  @SchoolBroadband

@esafety_officer Like your ped. crossing analogy. Exactly the same – striking balance between practical protection & commonsense. #bettchat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Just over 5 mins left of #BettChat for this week – any final thoughts or words of advice?

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Cyberbullies are using anonymous proxies to taunt & disrupt other students. Guide on How Prevent Proxy Abuse http://bitly.com/Q3TlTD #BettChat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Thanks for another great #BettChat everyone – some great input and ideas! Remember to let us know your suggestions ready for next week!

InfoMentor UK‏  @infomentoruk

Great discussing online learning & #esafety with everyone today, looking forward to next week’s #BettChat #BettShow

IrritableTech‏  @IrritableTech

@Bett_show: Thank you. Glad to be involved. #BettChat

Leave a comment

Filed under #BETTChat archive