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School network support - who maintains your ICT network?

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Started by Rebecca Ronald 01 Aug 2013 8:47pm () Replies (12)

Hi all,

I'm wondering whether you use an external organisation for ICT network support at your school, what company you use, and what level of support they provide? I'm looking investigating options for a network upgrade at my current school.



  • Deidre Senior (View all users posts) 05 Aug 2013 12:18pm ()

    We used to have a local technician who spent half a day a week with us.  In the meantime I was used to 'fill the gaps' - however even though I have a strong ICT drive I have always maintained that 'I am a Teachie - not a Techie'.  My school don't pay me to be fixing the IT equipment - I'm not expected (and nor do I have the skills) to fix the plumbing so why should someone who has been trained to teach (and then manage) be expected to 'tinker' (and that is all that it ever was!!)?

    3 1/2 years ago we got New ERA IT in to complete an audit of our system.  They did this and their expertise, skills, openness (to my 'Teachie' questions) has meant that we have gone from strength to strength with our IT infrastructure.  Conor is quite right - a local techie does become a barrier protecting their own interest and they are often limited in product knowledge.

    With New ERA we have the remote desktop support for when our technician isn't onsite and then we have him here for 1/2 day per week (we are a school of 300).  He knows so much more than our 'local, self taught with an interest in IT, pay peanuts get monkeys' technician - and if there is something that he isn't sure about he goes back to our network engineer (who designed the infrastructure) or someone else in the Technical team.  

    Before we went with having a New ERA techie on site I gave our BOT some figures - while we were going to be paying about $2000 more a year to have him - we now had 60 more devices than when our previous techie had come on board. I felt that this was a very good investment!

    The other great thing about New ERA  (you can probably tell from the way I am ranting that I am a fan!!) is that you can lease through EQUICO or Telecom.  Every three years they just update our server and things get faster (and cheaper) and it is all well maintained - without me having to upskill or take my time away from my core job of supporting teachers and students to be the best teachers and learners that they can be.  Too often in today's political climate teachers are trying to be everything to everyone.  We need to remember what our role is and school leaders need to make sure that schools have the best people supporting their teachers.

    I'm the 'Teachie' - I let them be the 'Techie'.  

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