Most schools have come a long way in the last 10 years in their integration and use of ICT systems. The continuing challenge for schools is to use ICT effectively and appropriately, and what that means will depend on each school’s facilities, their teachers’ competencies and the tasks presented. Making choices about the systems that you will implement that are considered and flexible enough to cope with developing technology and changing requirements is no easy feat.
Cost-effective ICT has been written with the objective of ensuring that the principles involved in ICT management are outlined as clearly as possible. This practical and easy-to-read guide will ensure that non-technical managers will know exactly what questions to ask of their technical advisors.
The purpose of Cost-effective ICT is to help senior managers within a school consider how ICT provision can be maintained, and even grow, whilst the funding available to support it shrinks.
Cost-effective ICT is a comprehensive resource that will:
help your school to save money
provide practical and relevant case studies to develop effective ICT management in your school
help you to use ICT effectively in the classroom
assist you in assessing the security of your ICT systems
help you to understand the cost implications of various aspects of ICT
cover a broad range of ICT provision, including networks, telephony and mobile technologies
enable you to ‘future-proof’ your school.
Summary of contents
The aim of this book is to help you to implement cost-effective and appropriate ICT provision in your school. It will ensure that you purchase the most relevant technology for your school and provide the best support for your staff and students.
Cost-effective ICT is a practical resource that will enable you to:
audit ICT use in your school
understand what makes good ICT provision
save money on ICT by planning for the future
manage the different expectations of staff and students when it comes to ICT provision
develop cost-effective ICT policies
effectively monitor and evaluate your school’s ICT provision.
Chapter 1: Context – how are schools now?
This chapter considers student expectations of how ICT is used in the education system, and how this differs from adults.
What does good ICT look like?
The latest technology or sustainability and longevity?
IT or ICT?
Chapter 2: Envisioning the future
The second chapter helps explore what you think good ICT provision might look like in the future.
Projecting future development needs: what technologies might help promote access for all?
Developing a vision for the future
Changing role of teachers and learners – not just the guide on the side
Mobile devices for learning and accessing the Internet
Sharing personal education resources
Where do we want to be?
Chapter 3: Auditing what you’ve got
Chapter 3 considers how to go about auditing the resources you currently have in place in the widest context including skills among staff and students as well as technical and software resources.
Auditing ICT in your school
Auditing the students
Many schools now send a regular questionnaire to students to establish the access pupils have to computers at home. The questions typically include some or all of the following:
Service requirements for administration staff
Walking around audit
When you have completed the audit, what next?
Chapter 4: Planning for the future
The fourth chapter looks at the issue of planning and some of the steps you might consider in planning developments effectively.
Chapter 5: Challenges and threats
This chapter focuses on the issues surrounding security of your system, an issue that is really important in our ICT connected society.
Relying on your network
Teaching that relies on the network
Specific steps to enhance network reliability
Power supply units
Protection against viruses
Who can access what
Proving your identity
School Website for pupils and parents
VPN access for staff
Controlling access to public websites
Peer-to-peer File sharing
Creating clear guidance for use including Home/School requirements
Chapter 6: Future-proofing
Chapter 6 looks at new ideas, and potential opportunities to use the next generation of computer resources and equipment in different ways and to consider what these might mean for future-proofing your resource provision.
When to upgrade, when to replace and what else is there?
What is cloud computing?
The downside of cloud computing
Open source, or bespoke software?
Benefits of using OSS within schools
Issues schools should consider
What software is Open Source?
Companies that can help you install and support Open Source system software
Licensing arrangements for Open Source software
Cost of ownership – training implications
What is IP telephony?
The downsides of IPT
Adopting mobile technologies
Chapter 7: Case studies
This chapter offers some case studies of schools that have developed systems in a number of different ways and explores sources of information and expertise that you might draw on, to help with the delivery of the service you need.
Chapter 8: Products that can be considered
Chapter 9: Working out the total cost of ownership
The final chapter reviews the issues associated with the total cost of ownership, and how you can go about monitoring and evaluating the system that you have put in place.
A concluding glossary of terms is designed to support the non-specialist in understanding the concepts behind the terminology, not necessarily the full technical detail.