Woolwich wires up

3rd January 2003 at 00:00
Woolwich Polytechnic Boys School, a state-funded secondary with 950 pupils, upgraded its network to RM Community Connect 3, which was implemented across desktop PCs in class and the wireless notebooks used by staff and pupils; all staff are issued with their own notebooks.

The school has four network rooms, each with 18 desktops. Departments also have computers in their teaching rooms. But as more teachers wrote ICT into their schemes of work, demand for the computer rooms increased. ICT co-ordinator John Abraham introduced wireless technology at the end of 2001 by purchasing 15 wireless-capable notebooks. This extended access to the network without requiring extra computer lab space.

Community Connect 3's extra security is especially beneficial when using the notebooks - even when they are disconnected, security is maintained on and off the network. This makes technical support much more straightforward.

For Abraham, the benefits of a Community Connect 3 network centre on the system's ability to ease tasks such as virus protection. Keeping up-to-date with virus definitions and protection can be a major management task for technical support staff, but Community Connect 3 carries this out automatically.

The students also benefit from using an up-to-date system and applications such as Windows XP, which puts into a school environment the sort of operating system they see at home and will encounter at work.

For teachers, RM's network has transformed their use of notebooks. Because files are synchronised automatically, there is no confusion between file versions. This is increasingly important as more processes and administration documents go on to the school's intranet and it becomes more critical to ensure the latest version is used.

Woolwich Polytechnic Boys School head Byron Parker is keen on creating a data-rich environment and believes it is important for all staff to have access to pupil information, ensuring they are more aware of the development of all pupils.

But for all at Woolwich, the real benefit of this robust network and the latest applications software it supports is that the school is able to forget about the complexities of ICT and get on with making good use of it.

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