Connected Network Managers

June 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

I have been very lucky to have been able to call upon some very resourceful Network Managers, in a range of school setting, to bounce ideas off. When our new ‘Moodle’ guy joined us, he brought all the goodness from his previous post and a cross polinations occurred. From my limited IT secondary experience support IT staff seemed to be always “needed” in times of training and INSET and consequently forego their training.  Fortunately Network Managers and technies tend to be well connected but I do feel that they should not be left in the dark just because they have probably been using forums most of their professional lives!

Today I wrote an email to EDICT, to put a little more pressure on developing a Networked Network Managers group! Having sat on the very resourceful and independent PE steering group for Hampshire Colleges, I noted that these meetings provided the foundations or germination for almost every co-ordinated successful PE event in the County. The conversations were rich, at time contested, but frequently valuable.

“Just to be polite – at the Lead Professionals meeting, I again raised the point of a Network manager support group. Generally well received. Who would drive, underwrite costs was again raised.”

I would be interested in your thoughts about my proposal, especially on affiliations costs.

A small affiliation fee (£50 per IT staff member) within the team – to make costs proportional. Schools only sign up those wishing to attend meetings / access support days. To include Network Managers, Techs, VLE support staff if appropriate. In our case – £150.

  • 72 Schools, broken into 4 relatively even catchments to reduce travel expenses and promote healthy conversation at Meetings.
  • 4 Chairs and vice chairs. This means only recruiting a new VC annually. VCs assuming the Chair role. It is much easier to recruit a VC than a Chair. We would encourage this post to be included in CVs.
  • Nominations for each following year to be taken and posts appointed by each working group.
  • Admin staff – central co-ordination of all four groups. Affiliation fees / venues / meeting. Cost paid to the school 100 hrs @ £10 or £1000 per year.
  • Admin staff – to underwrite costs for host and maintenance of a Hants TechNet forum. Cost paid to the school 50 hrs @ £20 or £1000 per year. (updates, forum monitoring, fortnightly updates)
  • 4 meetings per year, per area. £100 per meeting per group to schools for refreshments. £1600
  • OPTIONAL – 4 annual grants (1 per area)  @ £???? for Network projects – for staffing and not hardware costs.
  • 1 County Conference – I personally would like to see this as an extension of the HIAS conference, but that is not for me to agree. What it would do would raise attendance at the conference and therefore income – but offer Network specific Keynotes/topics.

Goodwill is the grease that would keep the Hants TechNet wheels running, but there are / will always be costs. £100-£200 should not be prohibitive for any school budget – – not considering the amount it could potentially save in good practice.

So, would you sign up the Network Team or am I barking up the wrong tree?



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