My Learning Diary Alessandro Ruffino

Administering School ICT infrastructure: developing your knowledge and skills

About me

I teach hotel management and business tourism in a vocational high school in Pachino, a little village near the sea, in the south of Sicily. I love teaching and I love keep my mind always active. In my school, I am also an ICT Coordinator and I attend this course to improve my competences about network and ICT infrastructure.

Module 1: Optimising your school network

1.1 School case study 1: "Start simple" - I teach hotel management in a vocational school. My classroom is the same of Elena's classroom. I teach using ICT but I understand little about computer science. In my School we have an assistant of lab that help us when we have need, but I think it's important to know as it works and over all our students must know it.

My classroom lab

1.2 School case study 2: A more extensive setup. In my school the classrooms are all wired, in each class there is a LIM with Internet so teachers can work using ICT, but we don't have fiber broadband so the internet connection is very slow and to open web site or an App it's very difficult for us. Now, government has provided the possibility to connect to the broadband but we must wait a year before to have it.

1.3 School case study 3: An elaborate setup. We haven't a partner that help and support us. In my school there are some people to maintenance ordinary but if happen something regarding server or VOIP we must call the technician of Company that provides the net.

1.4 ICT vision and planning. It's important to have a vision about technology infrastucture, what you do about ICT, to involve all teachers to use it in their teaching but the technology must not be central to teaching, technology must be a support to new digital methodology

1.5 Activity 1: the educational purpose of the ICT infrastructure

What is your school using ICT for? In my school we have a vision about ICT. As a ICT Coordinator at my school I have to promote the process of digitization and dissemination of innovation-related education policies through follow-up and support in the area. In particular, it seeks to stimulate all people of education at the school in the areas of ICT, through the organization of training workshops, animation and promoting the participation of the whole school community in educational activities, such as those organized through the use computer labs. Also important the participation of students, stimulating their participation in workshops and other activities, including structured, on ICT issues. But efforts are needed coinvolgento all teachers in the creation of innovative solutions, identifying methodological and sustainable technology solutions to be diffused within the environment of the school (eg. Use of special tools for the teaching of which the school has adopted; the practice of a common methodology (eTwinning); information on existing innovations) consistent with the analysis of the needs of the same school, also in synergy with technical assistance activities conducted by other figures.

How do you give access to technology to your students? We have three computer labs, students use them for different activities. In each classroom there is a LIM, all teachers use it to present their lessons or others activities. Students cannot use their device because it is forbidden. Our network capacity is not sufficient to meet current needs, but we have confidence because next year will be installed the broadband

1.7 Activity 2: Upgrading the school infrastructure

Ways to improve the performance of your current infrastructure? One way to improve our current infrastructure is to change our provider to have more Mbps, because now Internet connection is very slow. How you could expand the school network? There are spaces where it isn't possible to access to Internet so it's necessary to expand the network in these areas. Ways to make it more secure? One way is to change password frequently and to have a good firewall. New types of devices or services you could put in place? We are pressing about to use BYOD to school. How to provide technical support and ensure the network performs reliably? Personal of support must be always updated to keep the network efficiently

by Office of Educational Technology - USA

Module 2: Wireless Networking and Bring Your Own Device

2.1 Setting up a wireless network

2.1 Setting up a wireless network: Interesting video and nice solutions in Hermann's school. In my school we have several access point to bring wifi in different parts of school. Access to wifi is protected by password and students cannot connect because it is not allowed to use smartphone at school.

2.2 Bring Your Own Device: I teach in a lab-class with computers and LIM so we needn't use BYOD in class and then it is forbidden to use it at school. However, my students use their devices at home to learn, I created a WhatsApp group: it must be used only to discuss, share or comment the tasks that I give them. Often I send them by WhatsApp the link of a video or web page that when we are in class we discuss about it.

WoW!!! I got them. ;-)

Module 3: Moving to the cloud

Which cloud services to school? In our school there isn't a service cloud, because we are in a phase to implement for using of ICT in teaching. Many teachers of my school refuse to use ICT in their teaching or to share materials with colleagues. But I'm optimist because from this year something is changing!!!

Why Cloud Services to school? I think that Cloud Services are very useful for teaching. I use them (googleApp, edmodo, thinglink, etc..) with to my students, but one of problems is the connection because in my school is very slow. So we often work when we stay at home.

Module 4: Security and safety

What are your experiences with malware, viruses, spam? How did you deal with them? My computer is protected but I know that is impossible to protect it for everything, so I pay much attention when I surf on Internet especially to open web pages or download files. In my school there is a protection system to avoid malware, viruses, etc.. in add we have an assistant of laboratory that he cleans or checks computers periodically

What top tip/s would you give other ICT administrators to protect their schools’ ICT infrastructure from attacks? In my opinion to protect own computers it will be need a good Antivirus, Firewall active and training for all so everybody knows to pay attention when surf on Internet

Module 5: The effective ICT administrator

Being and ICT Administrator: I'm a teacher full time and in the same time I'm a digital supporter for teachers (in Italy Animatore Digitale) that it isn't an ICT Administrator. I didn't do a specific training to become a digital supporter but I learnt by doing and attended courses online, MOOC, Learning Events, etc.. I'm an etwinner too, and this helped me how to apply the TIC to teaching. It would be better if I had a degree in ICT but I have a willing to learn and improve my competences. I'm a Learner

The role of an ICT administrator: Interesting videos and overall inspiring! It would be nice if I could dedicate full time to support teachers in how to apply TIC in their teaching but it's impossible because I teach. I help the teachers the same I also do courses about TIC for them but with difficult and without to be payed.

The challenges of an ICT administrator (working with limited resources): I saw videos and I have to say that my school is more equipped, we have three Lab with 20/25 computers, iPad and Tablet for students, LIM in each classroom, laptop for teachers and so on. But we have a problem only few teachers use these technologies in their teaching. It's a pity. I'm trying to involve more teachers that I can to use TIC in their teaching

Ways to reduce ICT costs in your school: In my school we saved money using open source software, ebook bought by students and all free Apps that we find on web. Regarding devices we haven't the possibility to change every three years the computers or others devices but often teachers and students work with old devices

Your own professional development

Your own professional development: I believe that I haven't necessary skills yet, but after that I read the article of Terry Freedman I have to say Yes I have. Because, usually I do hundreds of things at once, I am an assertive person and I try to extend it, I'm a good organiser, and I have an ability to see the big picture. I hope that I haven't exaggerated.

Module 5 Activities Working with difficult colleagues: In my school for the first time we have a plan about ICT, we have to apply it in three years and I started this year to train teachers to use ICT in their teaching. It's very difficult to work with people that willing not change their methods. In fact, during training my colleagues were enthusiastic to learn a different way to teach, but after nobody of them used what they learned with their students. So I changed approach, I involved teachers in a small groups in a project to realize with students (e.g. etwinning projects) and I have to say it works!!!

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