Two School Networks (Admin And Curriculum) Are No Longer Necessary
Wed 16 July, 2014
Two School IT Networks Are No Longer Necessary
The time was when having two IT networks installed in a school made complete sense. But not anymore.
In the early days of networks, schools typically had a curriculum network and an admin network. This made sense because there wasn’t any need for them to meet in the middle.
Nowadays, however, it’s a pain.
Take registration for example.
A Single Network Makes Registration Simpler
In the oldest systems, a registration is taken on paper then entered onto the admin network.
In more advanced systems, a teacher will take a register by computer then email it to the admin office in an Excel spreadsheet, where it will be compiled into another spreadsheet.
Both systems are usually still in place where there are two networks. The trouble is they duplicate tasks. Why can’t a teacher the register and it gets automatically recorded?
This is what can happen in a single network. It takes pressure off admin staff allowing them time for the other jobs which really matter and aren’t simply about duplicating data.
The same can be said for recording exam results. In an efficient network, data won’t need to be re-entered or duplicated – the teacher will enter results directly into the system in its final form.
Moving Between Networks Is A Pain
In schools where two networks are in place, anyone who has to work on both systems needs to physically unplug a computer or a memory stick and plug it into the other network. Again this is an unnecessary in-efficiency.
Security Is Great On A Single Network
The time was when everybody thought an admin network had to be separate in order to be secure. Some were worried about children getting into admin networks and causing havoc. This is the stuff of 80s films (think War Games).
Single networks have multiple levels of access that restrict access at multiple levels, and allow access to users with permissions via a single password. Single networks are secure and make it easier to work in a joined up way.
Two Networks Can Be More Expensive
Running a single network can be cheaper. Simply put, you’re looking after one network, not two. Therefore you need less equipment. Updates are rolled out once, not twice.
The truth is that two networks no longer work for schools. They involve more work, and prevent the efficient flow of information. They stop joined up working and thinking. They waste administrative time on low value tasks that duplicate work.
If you’re finding yourself in this position, there are solutions that can support you in the development of a robust IT framework which makes everyday work more efficient.
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