Ideas for the New Year
Often, schools ask “If this was your school, what would you do?”. Clearly budget restraints have to tailor our responses.
We have been providing IT solutions to local primary schools since 1998. Looking forward to 2014 here are 14 things that any headteacher should consider.
1. Sort out the Internet
The shake up on internet provision, especially in Leicestershire schools, has been problematic. The options recommended by the LA have not been good. If contracts stop you sorting it out this year then see idea 11. Take control.
2. Plan for the end of Windows XP
Windows XP is end of life in April 2014. The schools who do not plan for this may be acting recklessly. This “worksheet” may help you understand some of the tasks involved. While you’re at it, see idea 10.
3. Make email a school tool
Managed properly email can be a powerful internal tool. Schools should be getting the same benefits as businesses. When staff use Hotmail (and even AOL) accounts for school communications, they shouldn’t be surprised to see them filtered inside the school.
4. Investigate options from Open Source
There are some powerful free tools available. Many schools don’t even know that Microsoft also has open source solutions at Codeplex. Open source may be the way forward as Windows XP and Office 2003 become end of life.
5. Prepare for the computing curriculum
Most schools have the tools to provide solutions for the new curriculum. If not, check out some ideas on our website. Buy nothing to start with.
6. Make sure the school website meets the rules
The government have issued rules for school websites. Make sure your site matches the requirements. Ofsted may use your site to plan their visits.
7. Master how to use digital photographs
Some simple, free, tools can help you store, use and edit photographs quickly and easily.
8. Sort out the backups
Secure cloud back up is now available at reasonable costs. Schools need to be aware of these.
9. Keep support packages up to date
Packages like Flash and Acobat have had serious security problems. Make sure these are kept up to date.
10. Ditch Server 2003 and Office 2003
These products go end of life in April. After that date these products could help introduce many problems into your school networks.
11. Add a caching server to your network
This would allow the speed of internet, as seen by the pupils, to be much faster. There are ways to introduce a cache and keep the filtering at the required level.
12. Tidy up the cables
Many technical issues can be traced back to poor cabling or cables thrown down the back of desks. These are straightforward to correct
13. Ditch the shelfware
Many schools insist on loading software because they bought it 10 years ago. These pacakges slow down computers and are often never actually used.
14. Make your own list
This list is a start for ICT. Have the staff make your own for Maths, Literacy and other subjects.
We can help you on the first thirteen items. Item 14 is down to you!
What would you add?