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Science Department needing Electronic Technician Calendar advice..

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by johnsav, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. johnsav

    johnsav New commenter

    I know this is a bit of a shot in the dark, but I would love to be able to set up an electronic ordering system for practical equipment within my department.

    The idea is that I would be able to set up a calendar or something simple that teachers would then be able to populate with their orders and that the technician would get another version which would aggregate all of the calendars together.

    I could theoretically embed it into our VLE and hopefully make life easier for everyone. I've tried to do it in google calendar but it's making my head hurt.....

    Does anyone else out there have a similar system or a direction that they could point me in?

    Cheers in advance.

  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    You could set up a database to do it.
  3. johnsav

    johnsav New commenter

    Possibly... I thought about a spread sheet to begin with! I just thought it would be out there... My dream is that we all sit in our lab, or at home put our orders in and they appear on a calendar that the tech has on some form of tablet. We could even attach worksheets etc...

    I'll keep thinking but I'm sure it must be out there somewhere....
  4. Ephelyon

    Ephelyon New commenter

    When you say "ordering", do you mean purchasing new equipment or just scheduling the use of existing equipment?

    If it's the latter, and you have some sort of Exchange setup (be it on-premise or O365), there are things called "resource mailboxes" that might do the trick for you.
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Despite being an advocate of electronic systems for things like this, I'm not so sure here. Going to the prep room, discussing the planned practical (perhaps ever so briefly) and then a chart on a big clipboard or something? Allows immediate discussion of resource clashes (HoD has asked for the last test tube in the department....) and also for two-way discussion of risk assessments etc.
    wanet likes this.
  6. TwoShanks

    TwoShanks New commenter

    I've done this using a shared OneNote file for the department. This allows everyone to see what has already been ordered, embed worksheets or other resources for each lesson and is accessible from anywhere.
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Googledocs / spreadsheet would fit the bill.
    Big table, one row per period, one column per teacher.
    Each teacher can either edit their column in their own document, then paste in or just put their stuff straight in.
    This enables multiple edits at the same time. The drawback might be that it keeps no record of prior versions so could lead to arguments if several people want the same stuff and you have a history of fighting.
  8. T_Maynard

    T_Maynard New commenter

    We currently use GoogleDocs for our whole department to order equipment every week. We all share the same document and update it every week and the technicians check it once a week and print off a copy for themselves. Works like a charm as since it's google we can have multiple people using the document at the same time.
  9. freeperiod

    freeperiod New commenter

    I came to post my own question but noticed yours...I created a room/resource sharing website ten years ago...it does the very thing you are trying to do...if you google freeperiod you will find me...it's not free like the other folks suggestions which may be your preference.
  10. Futureleader

    Futureleader Occasional commenter

    We had investigated doing the same. Ended up sticking with a paper ordering system. Might try again in the future though.
  11. Sisyphus_rolls_again

    Sisyphus_rolls_again Established commenter

    Set a Google calendar up for every teacher, share the calendars with the technician.
    Give the technician rights to edit the calendars.
    Pre-populate the calendars with lesson times.
  12. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    there are a variety of room booking system that also allow you to book resources.
  13. MissAnthrop

    MissAnthrop New commenter

    Does anybody have a problem with teachers placing orders at the last minute? Do you have an electronic system that helps to highlight where this problem is happening and encourages teachers to make their orders within the required time frame (in this case 48 hours in advance of the lesson).
  14. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Ask the technicians - they will know who this is if its regular. Weekly sheets done on paper will also show this.
  15. amazingpurplecow

    amazingpurplecow New commenter

    Google, google, google. Shared accounts with you and yoru technicians, documents, forms and spreadsheets that you can share with people to view, comment or edit and that talk to your calender!
  16. superscience

    superscience New commenter

    We have a spread sheet on the shared area where we put it our name and the week (2 week timetable)- it then generates all of our lessons and we fill in our requirements and email to technicians Thursday break 1 for week ahead.
    It has attached H&S considerations too.
    It also has facility for having practicals from B, C or P from drop-down menus- we simply add the number of each thing we need- this saves a lot of time as so many practicals are tried and tested and makes our life easier- also makes the technician life easier as they aren't setting up 9 different versions of the same practical.
    It is a working document so new practicals are added all the time and the new GCSE spec required practicals are also on there.

    It is working really well and the technicians can see very quickly possible clashes/ lack of equipment and iron out the issues before problems arise.
    Simply made on Excel
    MissAnthrop likes this.
  17. msuxg

    msuxg New commenter

    MissAnthrop likes this.
  18. techiejo

    techiejo New commenter

    I am a science technician and set up lablogger at my school about ten months ago. My teachers love it, no more having to write out requisition sheets and handing them in. Everything is now done online. Check it out, it's free for a year and then only £99 + VAT per year.

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