I know the role of the School Teacher ICT Coordinator for Department of Education Public Schools can sometimes be a little overwhelming, especially when dealing with computer issues that don’t always involve pressing F12. Don’t get me wrong, teachers handle it professionally and diligently, but qualified IT specialists they are not and sometimes things are bound to go unnoticed.
Thirlmere Public School has served its semi–rural locality in the Illawarra region since 1888. A coeducational primary school, serving years K-6, with a purpose of providing students with the skills and attitudes to enable them to function effectively as life long learners in a dynamic and changing world.
It was with this purpose in mind, upon classroom technology reviews, we noticed a black spot within the WiFi network affecting all K-1 classrooms. Teachers had been experiencing continual connection issues in using their fleet of 20+ Samsung tablets, so much so that these devices were unreliable in performing daily school lessons and were quickly abandoned.
During inspection of classroom Wireless Access Points, we discovered 4 were disconnected and reportedly hadn’t been operable for 2+ years. Obviously this caused teachers much heartache and frustration at not being able to use online services on mobile devices.
After identifying a power supply issue with the HP POE (Power over Ethernet) switch, we were able to arrange overnight replacement with installation carried out by our technician. This new network switch successfully enabled all disconnected AP’s and extended the schools WiFi range adding 100 additional connections, allowing long overdue app installations and updates to be performed to newly connected devices.
So as I was saying, dealing with and understanding these types of issues can be a very overwhelming task for Teachers, especially with the added expectations to successfully diagnose and resolve them.
Today’s modern teacher wears many different hats and whilst I take mine off to them, I firmly believe that their role primarily is to teach our children, not spending valuable time diagnosing WiFi connection issues.
Ultimately, this task to diagnose and fix took several hours to remedy, enabling teachers to revive their M-Learning lessons with students.