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168 posts

Master Geek


#193534 14-Mar-2016 13:49
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I've heard rumourings that Ministry of Education might be coming out with some news that may change some of the rules or guidelines around IT support in the schools but I cant find any information anywhere about it?

 

Anyone know or heard anything?


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xpd

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  #1513107 14-Mar-2016 15:40
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Maybe its that they'll hire staff that actually know what they're doing.....

 

One school I know of, had a tech who could'nt even explain what a firewall was. Job was unofficially offered to me, but it was a 100% Mac environment at the time and I knew little about MacOS......





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  #1514232 16-Mar-2016 09:54
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xpd:

 

Maybe its that they'll hire staff that actually know what they're doing.....

 

 

I know what you mean, recently saw a school with multiple physical servers running on single SATA drives with no RAID protection or backup software running.  Talk about operating by the seat of your pants!


 
 
 
 


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  #1514262 16-Mar-2016 10:39
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I worked for a company that specialized in School IT from 2002-2007.

 

Schools are a weird environment. They have a lot of seats for their size, hostile user base (students), often horrible software stacks (KidPix - rage) and often need a lot of specialized filtering and a lot of bandwidth. Oh we also need wifi to support BYOD.

 

Oh by the way there is also no budget.

 

High schools in particular are actually fairly complex environments that would rival most NZ medium businesses in scale. They offer pretty terrible money and the job often goes to someone's mate/uncle/son/nephew (not to be sexist). High school kids are the WORST users in the world.

 

We used to try and do things the right way - RAID, Tape Backup etc - but it is a REALLY hard sell when money is tight. There is a clash there - you want to spend money on tech to actually help teachers and students, so buying a new Tape Library might mean that the ICT lab doesn't get any new PCs this budget cycle.

 

MOE helped a lot by having their Microsoft Licensing agreement - making MS software really cheap - that was close to 10 years ago though.

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  #1514321 16-Mar-2016 11:36
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This would be great. We do IT support for many schools, and the amount of site audits we've done for schools where they've got horrendous setups are huge. One school we audited end of last year was running OpenSUSE - no password protection, ports open to the internet on an old desktop as their server and a bunch (About 60+) of unactivated Windows XP / 7 machines, running completely standalone with no virus protection. There really needs to be some sort of regulations / rules around how IT companies have to provide services to this sector.






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  #1514327 16-Mar-2016 11:48
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wasabi2k:

 

 

 

High schools in particular are actually fairly complex environments that would rival most NZ medium businesses in scale. They offer pretty terrible money and the job often goes to someone's mate/uncle/son/nephew (not to be sexist). High school kids are the WORST users in the world.

 

 

 

 

Im wondering that about the school near us LOL.....

 

 





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  #1514331 16-Mar-2016 11:53
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CamH:

 

This would be great. We do IT support for many schools, and the amount of site audits we've done for schools where they've got horrendous setups are huge. One school we audited end of last year was running OpenSUSE - no password protection, ports open to the internet on an old desktop as their server and a bunch (About 60+) of unactivated Windows XP / 7 machines, running completely standalone with no virus protection. There really needs to be some sort of regulations / rules around how IT companies have to provide services to this sector.

 

 

Reminds me of the old IHUG Ultra days when local traffic was free and you had a cap for international....  would just find a school with an open proxy and off you went via their expensive ADSL line....... even contacted one school multiple times to advise them of this and never heard back and the port stayed open.

 

 





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Ultimate Geek


  #1514338 16-Mar-2016 12:09
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I heard they are going to move from bespoke school It solutions to standardised cloud solutions spanning all schools.
Means they be able to employ the DIA ICT infrastructure support services such as Infrastructure As A Service.

 

I imagine will be progressive and dont understand why has taken them so long to figure it out.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #1514352 16-Mar-2016 12:43
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Sounds like a really great idea.

 

Schools by and large do not have the expertise or money to run stuff in house.


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  #1514374 16-Mar-2016 12:49
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Sometimes problem is too much expertise of IT people that manage it like their own empire and configure it to meet their "special needs".
They often favour bespoke software solutions that gives them a intellectual challenge rather than a thinking from a business and low maintenance perspective.

 

 


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  #1514395 16-Mar-2016 13:09
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D1023319:

 

Sometimes problem is too much expertise of IT people that manage it like their own empire and configure it to meet their "special needs".
They often favour bespoke software solutions that gives them a intellectual challenge rather than a thinking from a business and low maintenance perspective.

 

 

 

 

And too often the result is complete and utter garbage informed by a total lack of any knowledge or experience.

 

Not bitter.


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  #1514486 16-Mar-2016 13:50
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wasabi2k:

 

And too often the result is complete and utter garbage informed by a total lack of any knowledge or experience.

 

Not bitter.

 

 

I've had fun with my kids school, kids are allowed to take laptops/tablets in for some work, teacher sets up a single Gmail account on the device which is used by all students AND the teacher. So that teacher (and other kids) now have access to one anothers Chrome history etc, sharing the same email account....  emailed the school and went "WTF" and they ignored me.... the IT guy either 1) dosent know about Google For Education, or 2) is too lazy to set it up.

 

I refuse to send my kids with a laptop/tablet until that model is gone or the IT guy has gone and Ill go talk to the new one and hope they have a clue....

 

 

 

 





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  #1514487 16-Mar-2016 13:55
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xpd:

 

 

 

I've had fun with my kids school, kids are allowed to take laptops/tablets in for some work, teacher sets up a single Gmail account on the device which is used by all students AND the teacher. So that teacher (and other kids) now have access to one anothers Chrome history etc, sharing the same email account....  emailed the school and went "WTF" and they ignored me.... the IT guy either 1) dosent know about Google For Education, or 2) is too lazy to set it up.

 

I refuse to send my kids with a laptop/tablet until that model is gone or the IT guy has gone and Ill go talk to the new one and hope they have a clue.... 

 

 

That is so braindead it's not funny.  They use Google for Education at my son's school and it's absolutely brilliant.


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  #1514568 16-Mar-2016 15:29
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'The teacher who knows IT stuff' is definitely a major problem in schools but the one big experience that I remember was lack of competence from N4L.

 

Situation was the school had a VoIP solution from us and as such we did all the config on the 'core' router (Firewall, VLAN's, QoS, etc). At the time it was just a normal ISP and then came along N4L. No consulting. No one informed anybody of what the implications might be. Just simply removed our router, plugged in their monstrous Cisco router and left it at that.

 

The same afternoon I get a call "our phones aren't working". Tried to remote in (via a L2TP vpn that used to terminate on the router) and couldn't. Tried some other basics, no luck. So go on site and find the N4L cisco router there. Gave them a call - went something like "what the hell have you done here, where are my vlans, where are my firewall rules etc etc" to which the tech said, "oh well I don't know how to configure a VLAN so will have to get the higher up techs to deal with it", "fine, how long will that take", "oh they are quite busy so maybe a day or two...." Too which I said that was ridiculous and just give me the exec password and I'll do it myself, "oh no no no, we couldn't do that". At which point I told the principal the ridiculousness of it all and that his service contract was no longer valid as we didn't run the gateway - bad time for him.

 

So probably a good thing that MoE and trying to standardise things, but they need to make sure their 'specialist provider' can provide decent, and flexible, support.


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  #1514854 17-Mar-2016 09:20
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chevrolux:

 

'The teacher who knows IT stuff' is definitely a major problem in schools but the one big experience that I remember was lack of competence from N4L.

 

Situation was the school had a VoIP solution from us and as such we did all the config on the 'core' router (Firewall, VLAN's, QoS, etc). At the time it was just a normal ISP and then came along N4L. No consulting. No one informed anybody of what the implications might be. Just simply removed our router, plugged in their monstrous Cisco router and left it at that.

 

The same afternoon I get a call "our phones aren't working". Tried to remote in (via a L2TP vpn that used to terminate on the router) and couldn't. Tried some other basics, no luck. So go on site and find the N4L cisco router there. Gave them a call - went something like "what the hell have you done here, where are my vlans, where are my firewall rules etc etc" to which the tech said, "oh well I don't know how to configure a VLAN so will have to get the higher up techs to deal with it", "fine, how long will that take", "oh they are quite busy so maybe a day or two...." Too which I said that was ridiculous and just give me the exec password and I'll do it myself, "oh no no no, we couldn't do that". At which point I told the principal the ridiculousness of it all and that his service contract was no longer valid as we didn't run the gateway - bad time for him.

 

So probably a good thing that MoE and trying to standardise things, but they need to make sure their 'specialist provider' can provide decent, and flexible, support.

 

 

Sounds like whoever filled in the N4L audit form did a pretty shoddy job!

 

Whenever we perform an audit we work closely with the school, the onsite IT person (or IT support), and any other providers of services to the school (VIOP, Genesis Energy HOT-E, etc) to ensure there is limited downtime for the school's services at the time of the cut over.

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  #1515004 17-Mar-2016 13:32
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wasabi2k:

 

D1023319:

 

Sometimes problem is too much expertise of IT people that manage it like their own empire and configure it to meet their "special needs".
They often favour bespoke software solutions that gives them a intellectual challenge rather than a thinking from a business and low maintenance perspective.

 

 

 

 

And too often the result is complete and utter garbage informed by a total lack of any knowledge or experience.

 

Not bitter.

 

 

 

 

And then the teacher in charge leaves, only to be replaced by another that decides that the entire IT empire should be rebuilt in an entirely new form, only for them to leave... rinse, lather and repeat.


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