Business

ICT Support for Schools

By Jason R Dempsey 

With ICT expanding and becoming more complex in education, schools are now more reliant on the need for all of their systems, network and equipment to be running at its optimum performance throughout the school day.

Managed ICT support for schools is, therefore, a crucial element in ensuring the smooth running of network and computer equipment. In larger schools or colleges then such managed support may well be in-house and that’s great, but what can smaller schools with fewer resources achieve for their ICT support.

Day to day ICT support will encompass monitoring your server’s critical life signs, such as; memory usage, disk space, backup, antivirus and a number of other checks to ensure your server is functioning at its optimum performance. Other varied requirements may include fixing network connections, replacing printer parts, returning faulty devices that are still under warranty, fixing faulty machines that are no longer under warranty, installing software, uninstalling software, maintaining or installing a wireless network, project managing a new ICT suite design, installing a new switch, monitoring software licences, procuring new equipment and so the very long list goes on.

If you are an ICT co-ordinator, such lists of duties as above can seem quite daunting to fit into your day especially if you don’t have other colleagues to help and you probably have to teach too! So what is the alternative?

There have, for a long time, been special ICT companies offering domestic and business technical support contracts and many of these companies will also now offer specialised ICT support for schools and colleges. So excellent, get an expert to do all your jobs! Well yes, but there is a cost associated which such services, of course, so ensuring you receive the best value is very important.

Here are some of the key elements to think about when thinking about ICT support for schools:

o Choose a company with a good, long term track record 
o Investigate their history of support services and installations 
o Get a selection of references from other schools and colleges using their services 
o Get a feel for their innovation of new technology and how they implement it 
o Check they have a depth of engineering skills within their company. ICT can be a very specialised subject, so one engineer is unlikely to know everything about every aspect of IT. 
o Do they offer a flexible approach to support cover so that you can manage the engineering hours you pay for to maximise your budget? 
o Can they offer remote support? This can be a quick effective way of solving problems and saving call out’s. 
o Check that the support contract covers all the necessary requirements for the smooth running of your network and see if any issues may be excluded 
o Test their suggested solutions to your future strategy and judge how well those solutions will meet your requirements in the long term 
o How efficient is their system of communication ahead of their onsite visits? 
o Will they offer you any free telephone support? 
o See if they apply an energy saving ‘green’ attitude 
o Remember, cheapest isn’t necessarily the best value in the long term!

Regular ICT technical support visits to your school are usually a great thing, you can plan ahead your list of jobs that need attending to and know that your system has a regular pattern of suitable checks. However, ICT equipment doesn’t always adhere to regularity and can go wrong at any time, so look for a system that gives you the flexibility to organise ad-hoc visits. You may also (but lets hope not) have a bad term in which your needs for specialised support are heavier than usual so check that your proposed support company will enable affordable ‘top-ups’ to your time.

So search through your local service suppliers for ICT support for schools and tick as many of the above list as possible!

SchoolCare are specialists in providing ICT support for schools and education establishments.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jason_R_Dempsey/457199

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With ICT expanding and becoming more complex in education, schools are now more reliant on the need for all of their systems, network and equipment to be running at its optimum performance throughout the school day.

Managed ICT support for schools is, therefore, a crucial element in ensuring the smooth running of network and computer equipment. In larger schools or colleges then such managed support may well be in-house and that’s great, but what can smaller schools with fewer resources achieve for their ICT support.

Day to day ICT support will encompass monitoring your server’s critical life signs, such as; memory usage, disk space, backup, antivirus and a number of other checks to ensure your server is functioning at its optimum performance. Other varied requirements may include fixing network connections, replacing printer parts, returning faulty devices that are still under warranty, fixing faulty machines that are no longer under warranty, installing software, uninstalling software, maintaining or installing a wireless network, project managing a new ICT suite design, installing a new switch, monitoring software licences, procuring new equipment and so the very long list goes on.

If you are an ICT co-ordinator, such lists of duties as above can seem quite daunting to fit into your day especially if you don’t have other colleagues to help and you probably have to teach too! So what is the alternative?

There have, for a long time, been special ICT companies offering domestic and business technical support contracts and many of these companies will also now offer specialised ICT support for schools and colleges. So excellent, get an expert to do all your jobs! Well yes, but there is a cost associated which such services, of course, so ensuring you receive the best value is very important.

Here are some of the key elements to think about when thinking about ICT support for schools:

o Choose a company with a good, long term track record 
o Investigate their history of support services and installations 
o Get a selection of references from other schools and colleges using their services 
o Get a feel for their innovation of new technology and how they implement it 
o Check they have a depth of engineering skills within their company. ICT can be a very specialised subject, so one engineer is unlikely to know everything about every aspect of IT. 
o Do they offer a flexible approach to support cover so that you can manage the engineering hours you pay for to maximise your budget? 
o Can they offer remote support? This can be a quick effective way of solving problems and saving call out’s. 
o Check that the support contract covers all the necessary requirements for the smooth running of your network and see if any issues may be excluded 
o Test their suggested solutions to your future strategy and judge how well those solutions will meet your requirements in the long term 
o How efficient is their system of communication ahead of their onsite visits? 
o Will they offer you any free telephone support? 
o See if they apply an energy saving ‘green’ attitude 
o Remember, cheapest isn’t necessarily the best value in the long term!

Regular ICT technical support visits to your school are usually a great thing, you can plan ahead your list of jobs that need attending to and know that your system has a regular pattern of suitable checks. However, ICT equipment doesn’t always adhere to regularity and can go wrong at any time, so look for a system that gives you the flexibility to organise ad-hoc visits. You may also (but lets hope not) have a bad term in which your needs for specialised support are heavier than usual so check that your proposed support company will enable affordable ‘top-ups’ to your time.

So search through your local service suppliers for ICT support for schools and tick as many of the above list as possible!

SchoolCare are specialists in providing ICT support for schools and education establishments.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jason_R_Dempsey/457199

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