School ICT Management Systems

Things run a lot smoother if you have systems in place to organise gear and timetables. I have seen one school lose a laptop and a router within one term because they didn't have systems in place.

Here is a list of things to think about within a school:
  • Storage of laptops
  • Security of gear
  • Charging procedures for laptops during the day and for rechargeable batteries
  • Timetables for laptop pod/ computer suite/ lead teacher time around classes
  • Storage of digital cameras and video cameras
  • Sign out procedures for gear
  • Labelling of gear

Here are some suggestions:
  • Some schools are now moving to smaller pods that are easy to move around which then encourages teachers to take them. If you have too many in one storage container, they can get really heavy.
  • Most schools have a lockable unit to store laptops in that also can have them all charging at once when the unit is plugged in.
  • It is sensible to have digital cameras in easy to grab bags that have places for batteries and cords. One of my schools got some great bags from the $2 shop that could be won across the shoulder and had just the right number of pouches.
  • You need to have a sign out and in procedure for gear. Some schools have monitors that deliver gear to classrooms and all bookings go through them. Others have a book or sheet that people are supposed to use when taking gear (though this doesn't always work the way you might hope!). Having a whiteboard space to record that you have gear can be helpful but you will need a dedicated pen that is impossible to steal. One of the best systems I have seen is an electronic booking one where teachers booked gear out online.
  • All gear needs to be returned at the end of each day to a secure location and should be checked that it is all there.
  • Label each part of the gear with a label otherwise you won't know which bits go with which machine or camera.
  • Timetabling of a laptop pod is always an issue! You want everyone to get a fair crack at the gear but you also want to allow for flexibility for those teachable moments. I think that a combination of scheduled time in each class with some time that can be booked outside of this. Jamie McKenzie talks about having gear scheduled to two adjoining classrooms and then those teachers can talk about what would best suit them during that time so the use of the gear is maximised.
  • I really think that these days all classes need access to a digital camera and that then they are in charge of looking after it.