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A blank ICT strategy - what would you include?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by jammy_D, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. I find myself in the position of looking at our large secondary school network and associated systems and asking 'What should we move it to..'.
    I suspect that with recent developments you find yourself in the same position as well. I am not looking at the task with a large pot of money, but a realistic pot and a pragmatic view of implementing changes.
    If you had to design the network, access to it, learning system etc. from the position of experience of what worked well in the past, continues to work well, what is indispensible and what is a waste of time what would you do??
    I am interested in opinions and will be formulating a vision for my own school of what will ICT in the school look like in the year 2020 (You could say that is is seeing ICT (or is it Computing) with the benefit of twenty twenty vision).
    No area to be left unturned: VLE,s hardware, software, MIS, curriculum, Acceptible use, remote access, intranet, staffing, technicians and backroom support, management of processes etc.
    Hopefully opinions and discussion of them will also help others inform their own decision making in the coming weeks/months.
     
  2. Just get a job lot of electric typewriters, teach them to type and leave it at that.
     
  3. Ok, here goes:
    Cloud computing, less reliance on your server cabinet. Wireless connections around the school, no need for cables to classrooms, hybrid laptop/netbooks/tablet device for every pupil by a rental/upkeep scheme (funded by a company linked with the school), VLE with all lesson plans, resources and pupil self assessments for each subject. Remote Access included as standard as it's all in the cloud. Good luck.
     
  4. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    If we really want to move forward then I would agree that the cloud, online access to resources and BYOD is the way to go.
    Unfortunately , in my own school and I'm sure in others, too many people have a vested interest in keeping the internal "boxes and wires"
    So you too may face an uphill battle to implement such radical change


     
  5. Oh, no interactive whiteboards (waste of money) and instead have a projector on a normal whiteboard. Give those computer literate staff a windows slate/tablet that interacts with it via VNC and the non-literate a mouse clicker.
     
  6. I know this was half a joke but actually it'd probably be more useful than ICT ....
     
  7. Whoa what a great way to further the idea - I give you 'blue sky thinking' time and you come back with clouds. I can see the links now.. Thanks [​IMG]
     
  8. The typewriter joke is further compounded in that I am coming from the 'stuck in office skills network' scenario. [​IMG]
     
  9. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Not convinced that cloud is the way to go for file server. Just don't fancy the reliance on 3rd party telecomms 24/7 and the assumption that cloud based providers will be free long term.... Sure embrace it but not sure I would rely on it for functionality of my school network.
     
  10. I wouldn't now, but if I was putting together a plan for 2020 and beyond, broadband +200MB/s SDSL to every school, 4G rollout, then why not? Price will be competitive, and "the cloud" will easily split into large companies vying for education, business and personal stores.... we'll just end up storing it all at a school-specific air conditioned data center in Maidenhead rather than your overheating school server cabinet [​IMG]
     
  11. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I don't think it's backward thinking to have your kids files under our own control. Just never like relying on 3rd parties if it is not necessary. I also don't believe that I am alone with those thoughts, I know my NM thinks the same. Interestingly we run a network for a local charity and they want to move to putting all their data on the cloud. My sweep bet is 6 months before they come back asking for us to return it to the way it was....
     
  12. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    VMware!
     
  13.  
  14. Re DJP's comments and the cloud, I thought that, too, and was really sceptical until about a year ago. I started using Dropbox and haven't looked back - it's brilliant. It puts an extra folder in your file manager and you can treat it just like any other folder, adding subfolders and files. But everything I put in automatically syncs with all other devices I use. I can get access to everything via a web browser as well if I need to. I don't have to faff about with back-ups and trying to remember which version was the latest one I was working on, and can share a sub-folder with others easily. Everything I do at home is automatically at work or on my (cough, IPad). I don't have to worry about losing work either. I take the point about relying on Internet access and a third party. In one year, I've had a problem twice in the last year for about 10 minutes each time. I can live with that. I've already got the ball rolling at our place with cloud storing.
    Signed
    The Converted.
     
  15. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    not going to dipute the validity of dropbox, use it myself, but we have kids doing film editing and 2Gb of free storage is not going to be enough. Whilst unless you have an immense broadband pipe, there's a lot of lag to be had in saving solely to the cloud....
     
  16. And it can't transfer data faster than the internet can cope with it.
    You do have to worry about losing work. It wouldn't be the first service that disappeared overnight. Even if it doesn't, they will probably want to charge at some time, or increase it if they don't already.

     
  17. I could say your points about the cloud are good, clear and wise - but that would only mean I happen to agree with you and I have no doubt there are some who do not and so think they are lousy ideas. What we probably need are practical uses of the could - and they certainly do exist.
    As for the 4G you mentioned, there are issues: for example, the new "not the iPad3" tablet will be a waste of time in the UK since it uses 4G.... and the UK will use different frequencies for 4G than the frequencies the iPad is made to use.
    All of this is just yet another example of why we should concentrate on the purely practcal issues of what should be taught rather than how it should be taught and the equipment we should use for that "how" to be taught. We simply are not yet ready for the "how" and "with what" discussions.
     
  18. Two options as far as I see it for file storage:


    <ol>
    [*]Go in house, use whatever (probably Windows) install you have and make the most of the licensing e.g. Sharepoint as your VLE. Go the whole hog, make the most of Outlook/Exchange integration with SP2010 and set up everything from Task/Line management to shared workspaces and MIS integration to have fully online homework/resources etc with built in reporting systems to track work/submission vs attendance etc.


    [*]Go cloud/wifi and take the initial investment hit on a fat internet pipe (100MB/1GB) and hopefully it won't break the bank. Fit loads of decent WAPs and hope that your device access control can keep up with the phones/pads/laptops
    </ol>

    If you want to go a bit further off the end of the spectrum - forget traditional IWBs - VMWare + Win tablet or more to my liking - iTv and iPad will do the same job with the iTv plugged into a hopefully HDMI-equipped projector.


    Better again - a proper subsidised BYOD / lease program where the pupils can inherit the machines as they leave the school after a number of years so you can implement some level of protection but also offload old/out of data stock without big recycling fees. Sad by possibly pragmatic way of avoiding stockpiling Pentium 4 boxes that weigh a ton!


    Curriculum

    Think different (good ol' Steve) - dare to go early with ICT and get a structured process from cradle to mandatory educational grave and get staff as well as students/parents on board. Esafety and digital literacy to be drummed in at an early age - we could be teaching responsibility and restraint instead of polarising behaviour through censorship in school and mostly total freedom outside.

    Bring the Computer Studies/Science/ Computing in for THOSE WHO WANT IT. They should all gain exposure but why not let them decide if they are going to take it further.



    Failing that, rip the whole curriculum up and start again with a US college style approach and they earn credits in courses and stay til they're done?!?! :S
     
  19. Not sure I agree with the cloud ideas, every time we have 4 labs accessing internet resources we have connection issues and we are supposed to have a 20Gb async connection.

    More cloud /VLE use is obviously the way to go but a sole repository its a dead loss.

    Fancy ideas aside, until schools pay for proper technical support things will not move forward.

    Teaching needs to diversify too. ICT is a tool and schools need to recruit more staff in other depts who are consummate IT users to bring out the real benefits instead of the stream of esoteric ICT tasks like the NC provide. More Computing,sure, but for those student it appeals to. ICT teacher should be able to move onto become facilitators and innovation leaders. Sadly increasing class sizes and reducing budgets and salaries mean this is never going to happen.
     
  20. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    As I stated previously. Too many are tied to the idea of "wires and boxes"; the idea that "the school will provide..." and perhaps worst of all the conceit that school would fall apart if the students couldn't access IT.
    2020 is probably too soon, but not too long after that, the school won't provide anything . The students will use their own devices on a 3/4/5G whatever network.
    No big school servers/pipes/IT rooms/wifi networks, technicians etc etc they'll have all gone the way of the the typing room, the tech drawing* room, the Prestel link and the big box of calculators
    The school won't come in to the equation. The only places that you'll see any IT infrastructure is for admin
    As for IT being essential. Go in tomorrow and turn off the student network - will teaching stop ?; will learning grid to a halt ?; will distraught teachers throw themselves off their pencil cases in anguish ?
    Our student network went down for three weeks a couple of years back - it taught me a very salutary lesson as to how important IT is in the wider scheme of T&L
    *we found an old flip-over drawing board table in one of the stores a few weeks ago. Very sadly very few of the current staff had a clue as to what it was . I told my year seven it was an old form of student punishment from the olden days (the 1990s) - I think they believed me

     

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