Hijacked — Input Requested: One School -(too)-Many Systems–

I have pasted this in from a forum I am a member of. I think it is a good conversation. I hope the IT Babble crowd can comment on it. The forum I belong to is very good for IT Administrators. Join-Up here if you are keen.

Input Requested: One School -(too)-Many Systems

Greetings fellow tech folk. We’re in the midst of working to streamline a number of systems that are concurrently running at our school in the interest of simplifying things and getting everyone on the same page. A perfect example of this would be  making a decision about which communications and calendaring system to adopt as a community standard. At present we’ve got people using it all: iCalendar/Mail, Ms Outlook, and GoogleApps for edu. This is a result of uneven evolution born of various implementations, lapses then giant ICT catch-up steps in the organization. While this does celebrate the diversity of options available, the result for the community is chaos. It’s also mighty tough for the tech team to support and service.

To put a finer point on it: we’re nearly at a final face-off between MS Outlook and GoogApps for Edu. Administration, teaching, and support staff are all still on Microsoft technologies but we just issued 700+ student school Gmail accounts and with these teacher gmail accounts for student-teacher connections as well. May sound like a no-brainer towards just going Google but much of the school still has a strong attachment to MS technologies -including the business dept. and there’s concern about Google and data protection laws which here in the EU are far more stringent than Asia or the Americas.

I know that other schools have faced or are facing similar situations so I’d welcome any sharing about your decision making process and where you ended up or hope to regarding this. For the sake of clarity -what I’m really after here is points of view from voices of experience about how to eliminate redundant systems, synergize and enhance technology dependent communications and work flow.

Thanks in advance!

I am also dealing with this right now. I want to let this topic roll for a few days before I add my thoughts. Please contribute….we all know YOU HAVE TIME.  :-).

Tony DePrato


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