IT at Schools

MANAGEMENT

  • Don't be a yes man. If you will not able to do that, don't say yes. 
  • If there is no ownership of a job, this job will not be completed!
  • Reporting and communication are the key elements. 
  • To plan/manage effectively, check ITIL page. (http://www.myiteducation.org/2018/11/itil-life-cycle.html)
  • You can give recommendation to your boss or manager, but you can not push them to do that! Be professional and if your recommendation is not accepted, don't take it personal. (ITIL) 
  • Don't waste your money, check the budget section.
  • Be organized! Always have to-do list for yourself and team members.  

BUDGET

I believe everyone has a budget plan for his/her life. Otherwise, some problems and cost of living is inevitable. Planning is one of the most important point. If you manage a school; you can't guess what will be happened, if you do not have any budget plan for IT.
First, the admin team should know what they need. And they need to make a decision accordingly.
Building IT infrastructure may cost high, if it is not planned well. Once IT was planned, the cost might be high but it doesn't mean, this plan is not good!

For example; You buy cheap 100 X access point (AP) this year. You spend $20,000 in total. After 2 years, they may not work well they will be trash. So, you spend $20K for 2 years. ($10K for one year.)

If you plan to buy nice, effective devices which fits your request $300 per device. It makes $30,000 in total. But they may work 6 years. So, you spend $30K for 6 years. ($5K for one year.)

In conclusion, buying cheap materials doesn't mean a good budget planning. In the meantime, don't forget to technology grows fast. Don't spend a lot of money to buy very expensive devices.

IT INFRASTRUCTURE

General

The data is important for every department. But if it is IT, it is more important. The written data comes more important. ( Especially, when IT staff is changed.) I believe the IT data should be written and on a cloud server. So all IT staff at school can reach it. To me, Google Drive is the best. It can be synchronized every time. You can restrict some user to view, only edit ...etc.

What about passwords? I believe google Drive has enough security levels to keep it in safe hands. However, if you don't want to keep it on Google Drive, you can buy a third company such as LastPass, so you can save your IT passwords in it and reach whenever you're online.

I also highly recommend all IT staff to create a general IT email account and save every important data in this account's drive. I prefer itdepartment@domainname.org. You can also create a group and add all IT staff in this group. Then forward itdepartment@domainname.org email to the group email. Then all IT staff will have all emails which are already sent to itdepartment@domainname.org. Then, you can create a team drive (Google Drive Folder) and save your data in this drive such as below.
  • An IT Department Email: itdepartment@domainname.org
  • An IT Google Drive (Team Drive)
    • IT Files
      • IP & Infos
      • Contact Information
      • Password (LastPass or a Google Sheet)
    • IT Systems (what you have as software)
    • Building Maps
    • Ports Maps
  • A blog for problems and solutions (I prefer blogger since it is a Google product.)

Hardware

A basic school infrastructure should have the following items:
  • Fiber Internet Modem
  • Firewall; Sonicwall.
  • Filter: iBoss
  • DHCP Server: I recommend Cisco Meraki Switch. (DHCP server and routing should be setup.) VLANs are also created on Cisco Meraki Switch. I recommend you create VLANs as below. 
  1. x.x.101.0/24 >> For Main Devices; servers, switches, sonicwall, timeclock... etc.
  2. x.x.102.0/24 >> Camera Devices (Camera Server+Cameras)
  3. x.x.103.0/24 >> AP Devices
  4. x.x.104.0/24 >> Phone Devices (Phone Server+Phones)
  5. x.x.105.0/24 >> Staff devices connected via cable
  6. x.x.106.0/24 >> Student devices connected via cable
  7. x.x.107.0/24 >> Devices connected to AP-Admin network
  8. x.x.108.0/24 >> Devices connected to AP-Staff network
  9. x.x.109.0/22 >> Devices connected to AP-Student network (It will not work because any subnet mask cannot mask out non-zero bits. I will keep it like it since it is a just simple. To understand the error message, visit http://www.myiteducation.org/2018/03/supernetting-and-binary-system.html to understand supernetting.)
  10. x.x.113.0/24 >> Devices connected to AP-Guest network
  • Server (Server 2012 or 2016 is recommended.)
  • Switches: I recommend Cisco Meraki switches.
  • AP ( I worked with several AP company. I believe Cisco Meraki is the best one. )

HOW TO SETUP:

If you have several buildings which need to connected, we need to setup virtual private network (VPN). The VPN settings should be set up on Sonicwall firewall.
Trunk: It is a structure which collects all vlans in one. By trunk port (TP) all vlans can be transferred to the other switches. One port of the switch should be set up as a trunk port. And all switches should be connected on these trunk port.


Think as below:
Vlans as roads in a city.
Trunk Ports as main road which connects the cities.

Please search any topic or any questions on the home page of this blog page. This page is only for a general information about IT at schools.

General IT Systems


Technology SystemsExplanationContact
Cisco MerakiLAN/WLANCisco Meraki Support
AD, DNS, Printer ServersServer 2012
IBossWeb FilterIBoss Support
Phone SystemMD-COM
Page SystemMD-COM
Security (Alarm) SystemArm/Disarm Building
PaperCut
GoogleGoogle Support
Device ManagementChromebook
Email Accounts
Google Drive
Camera SystemMD-COM
ID Card System
TV SystemRise Vision
Time Clock Service
Adobe EchoSign system
WebsiteEducational Network
Powerschool
LunchSysteme~Funds for Schools
SwiftK12Alert Solutions
Inventory SystemSchool Asset Manager
AlertUsLockdown/Evacuation
Licensing Websites
Adobe Licensing Account
Microsoft Licensing Account
Smartboard Licensing Account
Synology
LobbyguardFrontDesk ID card security system
SonicwallGateway&Security AppliancesSonicwall & CDW-G
Computer Labs
Staff Computers
Smartboard
Copiers
Chromebooks
iPads
Also, I recommend you to check the following page for a preparing school building:

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