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Help! I want to kill the Network Manager

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by MediaBabe, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. Despite being technically literate, the school network manager treats me like an imbecile.

    I'm trying to implement A Level Media Studies at my school and my efforts are continually frustrated. The specification states clearly what facilities we must have and I have taken advice from the board and from centres with thriving Media departments, but all are rejected as he knows best.

    At the end of the day, I just want what's best for my students, but I am really not convinced that he knows what that is, or that he cares. I'm sick of dealing with his ego!

    The Head is so ICT illiterate, he won't get involved, and the DOS just sides with the network manager and won't even hear me out. I'm not allowed macs as our network is PC but I'm digging my heels in because I want to use Adobe CS as it's industry standard and I believe passionately in the vocational aspect of Media Studies, but I'm being told I have to use Paint Shop Pro. I want to use In Design and I'm being told we already have Microsoft Publisher!! I could go on, but I might explode.

    Any tips for how to deal with this? It seems to me that the Network Manager is protecting his patch and this is about his ego, not T&L. Of course, it doesn't help that I am the only woman on the ICT committee.

     
  2. Despite being technically literate, the school network manager treats me like an imbecile.

    I'm trying to implement A Level Media Studies at my school and my efforts are continually frustrated. The specification states clearly what facilities we must have and I have taken advice from the board and from centres with thriving Media departments, but all are rejected as he knows best.

    At the end of the day, I just want what's best for my students, but I am really not convinced that he knows what that is, or that he cares. I'm sick of dealing with his ego!

    The Head is so ICT illiterate, he won't get involved, and the DOS just sides with the network manager and won't even hear me out. I'm not allowed macs as our network is PC but I'm digging my heels in because I want to use Adobe CS as it's industry standard and I believe passionately in the vocational aspect of Media Studies, but I'm being told I have to use Paint Shop Pro. I want to use In Design and I'm being told we already have Microsoft Publisher!! I could go on, but I might explode.

    Any tips for how to deal with this? It seems to me that the Network Manager is protecting his patch and this is about his ego, not T&L. Of course, it doesn't help that I am the only woman on the ICT committee.

     
  3. Network managers can be real pains. I had a constant battle with mine over similar issues as yours for 5 years and I'm an ICT lecturer.
    He'd basically say no to everything but with eventual pressure and clout from line managers he'd give some ground.
    However, network managers are working under very tight budget constraints and people do misunderstand how complex/expensive networking, hardware and software can be. Macs are generally way above the quality needed by schools and their incompatibility with IBM machines makes them very hard to justify merely for specialised software. Why can't your students learn with the IBM compatible software you mentioned? Its highly unlikely they'll exhaust all the features of such programs. HE is the place to really experiment with such applications where they'll be in abundance. Hope this helps.
     
  4. A few points in a random order!

    Have you thought about running the adobe software on PCs?

    Our main problem with Adobe software is the cost, but if you shop around (we bought from Phoenix Sofware, if thats any help) you can get some "reasonable" deals. Do you really need the full CS suite? We got Adobe Premier for the Media department for not much more than the less well known package we tried.

    Also we aren't supposed to be teaching how to use particular software packages but rather the "transferable knowledge" needed. (Hope that makes sense)

    When the art department wanted to start using IT I was really pleased. The HoD wanted Photoshop but we encouraged him to try PaintShop Pro due to the cost difference. He was more than happy once he spent a bit of time with PSP. We were able to put PSP throughout the whole school for the cost of putting Photoshop in 1 room! Four years later and he'll still say it was the right move and that Photoshop doesn't offer much more that would get used in school.

    Personally I have no problems with Publisher - what can In Design do that Publisher can't? and is it worth spending the extra money for what I imagine are a few features?
     
  5. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Have you even tried using Paint Shop Pro? It's not a piece of carp you know and as pointed out once you use one graphic editor it's pretty easy to jump from that to another. I liked paint shop pro but we put in fireworks, and I like that too. We have photoshop too on limited machines and I can't see that it offers a great deal more than fireworks. I think you might need to adapt rather than causing a scene and the cost part of the deal is a much bigger issue for schools and network managers than you might have considered.....
     
  6. Thanks for all your comments.

    Basically, I've conceded on the mac/pc thing but as I used to work in industry, I'm holding out on the software because there is a world of difference between Publisher and Quark/Indesign, and PSP/Photoshop - as much in the design language they use as in the applications. You can even get Photoshop elements free!

    I should also say that we don't need site licenses - we only need half a dozen tops, and Pugh software are very reasonable. Finally, the money is coming out of my departmental budget and as a capital bid - so not the ICT budget at all!

    I see it as more a man management problem than a hardware/software problem - we will be looking to recruit our own Media technician, so the Network Manager won't even have to get his hands dirty. I just can't understand why he's being so obstructive.

     
  7. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    "You can even get Photoshop elements free!"

    Can you point me in the direction of how that is possible as that would be a useful thing for my students to be able to install on their machines rather than something like GIMP.
     
  8. 1) Who line manages the NM?
    2) Has he had an appraisal this year? Maybe now is a good time.
    3) The NM's Line Manager needs to remind the NM that he is there to support the school, not the other way around. His aim should be to find solutions to satisfy teachers' needs, or make strong cases in English why something cannot be done.
     
  9. @djphillips
    Sure - I got a copy with a computer mag about a year ago and another copy free with the scanner I bought for the department. And there's a try out version on the Adobe website:

    http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?produc...

    @mymouse
    Thanks - you're right of course. And I will try and find out about the appraisal - hadn't thought of that. But it's a pretty closed shop. We seem to spend thousands of pounds a year on things that don't seem to directly benefit the pupils - I have questioned it numerous times but the priorities seem to be elsewhere. Trouble is, although I'm good at the software stuff, when he starts speaking computer geek jargon at me, I'm lost, and he knows it.

    My argument is always that the ICT is there to support T&L, not impress visitors, or make anyone look good. It's a tool, like pens and books, and Media Studies needs specific tools.
     
  10. Just something to think about - No technicians outside of IT in our school have the rights or would get the rights to install software on the network. I'd get the NM sorted before getting your own technician!
     
  11. grumbledook

    grumbledook New commenter

    There is a certain level of time / effort / retraining involved with combining a Mac system onto a windows network .. but it can be done with little fuss.

    You can always ask your Head for permission to get advice fromother schools as you want the best for your students.

    At that point you can got to www.ict-register.net for schools local to you that have Macs ... and get their Network Manager to talk to yours. If he is not listening to you then he might listen to others.

    I also put the usual caveat that this is only one side of the story and I would like to chat with your NM myself as I wonder whether it is just that he does not have the staff, the time, the money or the training.

    I would also not have your own technician ... either it all works together or there is little point.
     
  12. MediaBabe I sympathise with you. We have exactly the same problems, apparently microsoft is the only safe stuff out their according to our NM.

    PSP and Publisher are nice for lower levels or non specialist use but in your case you are not doing the students any favours if you do not expose them to what they will be doing in the workforce.

    We queried the other day why we must use M$ Office when Open Office is just as good got told by NM that M$ is industry standard and used in most work places. Told him good so we are now getting industry standard software for all departments. hehehehehe
    someone refused to answer.
     
  13. "I need Apples because I want to use Adobe CS "

    Hi

    You don't need Apples to run Adobe Photoshop as all Adobe Products run just as well on PC... plus you can get more Core Duo PC's for the price of 1 Apple..

    Also your network Manager is right.. Apples on a PC Network are a security risk..

     
  14. Another Thing..

    The Conversation normally goes like this..

    Teacher "I need Apples to run Media..

    NM "Why do yo need Apples"?

    Teacher "Because it is Industry Standard"

    NM "What is Industry Standard and I know Lots of Publishing Houses that Use PC's"?

    Teacher "We need it To run the Photoshop/Media Software"

    NM "The Software can run on PC's perfectly fine and works the same way as on an Apple"

    Teacher "We Still Need Apples"

    NM "Why do you need Apples"?

    Teacher "Beacuse Apples are better"

    NM "How are Apples better"?

    Teacher "They just are"

    NM "Err.. how"?

    Teacher "They are Cooler, prettier and look impressive"

    NM "Err.. OK"
     
  15. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    I'm disappointed in the tone of this item. I had got myself geared up to provide advice on how to assassinate and not get caught... however...

    Our Media studies dept had old iMacs and these had reached end of useful life. I spent a while trying to convince head of Media to go PC - can add to network easily, can use more machines etc.

    After a long discussion along the lines that we get on here we went for stand alone iMacs.

    Reasons:

    Cost. Ease of use.

    To do the same job, to the same standard of output on a PC as the iMac costs double in hardware and software costs.

    We have Adobe Premiere & PhotoShop Elements on all the PCs and these are used in other departments across the school.


    The Mac can be integrated into the school network and our network manager is working on this at the moment. I have to say our tech support are superb. They know the priorities of the school and readily support them. We're just south of Leeds and I'm sure our Media Studies dept would happily show you what they do. emsleyd at hotmail.co.uk
     
  16. Maybe if you thought about it from the NM side instead of ranting on you might understand. He does not want macs prob as they do not integrate well on a pc network - authentication is a nightmare with active directory. They costs more. The ict side would have to learn a whole knew skillset (news alert the NM does not psychically know how to use all software and hardware ) not just for the macs but for the other software. It makes sense to push publisher at least to start with if you already have it on your network. that way the kids and staff already know it and when they want to edit their media stuff on a pc somewhere other than the mac suite they have it on the pc. Theyre also more likely to have it at home. Last time I looked quark was an astronomical price.

    He also has to consider the vast amount of storage that media studies will consume - does he need mac / pc server. he also has to consider how this will be backed up which also throws up many issues. Paint shop pro and adobe are v similar so if you have it already makes sense to try it first. Doesnt matter who budget it is it all comes out of the same pot try thinking about the whole school not just you. To make out its a sexist thing is just pathetic and no wonder he treats you like he does thats how i would treat a child too.
     
  17. ps yes i was in a bad mood this morning sorry!
     
  18. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    I think network managers get a very bad name sometimes; a lot of the decisions they come to that annoy teachers (especially about security) are normally based on very good experience and research. I doubt they'd tell you they couldn't do something just because they wanted to annoy you.

    So the school has a network of PCs and some useful software installed, but you want to use Macs and other software just because that's what you want? Have you thought how much it would cost and how much better than money could be spent elsewhere? At the end of the day, you admit that you're not technically the most able, yet you want to challenge the network managers about the resourcing of hardware and software.

    Sorry, I'm with the network manager.
     
  19. PS.. The Media teacher doesn't like me either...
     
  20. Is the qualification package-independent? It should be - in which case why insist on CS if the functionality needed is provided by Elements or PSP? Who controls the budget? You or the NM? No NM should be able to veto educational issues on technical grounds without good cause. But if you are trying to bring Macs onto a PC network, he deserves a say.

    If he's using techie-ludditism to maintain a lazy status-quo - that's different again!
     

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