Learning together, working together
Press Release
Knowledge Network will be trading in Australia under the trademark KnowNet.
           

 

 

 

 

Complete IT solution for Roedean School (SA) to equip learners for life in the information age

- Citrix MetraFrame, Internet and Knowledge Network IT Curriculum

 
The way in which education is influenced by the digital age is constantly being defined. According to Newsweek® September 6, 1999, p. 36 the question educators worldwide ask is how to teach children to think in the information age. Added to this is an even deeper and more significant issue regarding the teaching of creativity to pupils and preparing them for their role as knowledge workers in the information age.

During 1998 Roedean School (SA) realised that the biggest challenge facing the school with regard to its information technology environment, was to stay current in a world where:

  1. Expensive equipment becomes dated the moment that it is bought,
  2. The same equipment becomes obsolete within a year or two,
  3. The focus of training can be determined by software that changes virtually every year,
  4. The industry’s needs for skills change with the seasons,
  5. Skilled trainers and teachers are hard to find and difficult to keep,
  6. More often than not learners know more than their teachers.

This led to Roedean School (SA) taking a very careful and well-thought out look at the way in which they were planning to prepare and educate the pupils at the school for the digital age.

Background

Each of the three schools making up Roedean School (SA) have their own computer equipment, ranging from older 486 and Pentium I workstations and printers to newly purchased Pentium II multimedia workstations. A variety of printers, scanners and digital cameras are available to the pupils.

Added to this was the fact that the need existed to deal with three different schools – each with their own information technology needs and agendas. Numerous classrooms, multiple information technology centres and a mixture of application software and operating systems were also added to the equation.

The school wanted to make a PC available to each teacher in the school and in the administration area, so as to afford them the opportunity to have a productivity tool in the classroom to assist with their work in preparing, analysing and integrating technology in the classrooms.

Teachers at the different schools, and in the information technology centres are also faced with the problem of having to teach – and in that teach meaningful and relevant information – using the equipment listed above.

It is decided that the cost of upgrading the entire system consisting of more than 100 Personal Computers alone would be too costly for the school. An alternative would have to be found.

The choice fell on a new technology offered by CITRIX called WinFrame (which was later to be upgraded to MetaFrame). This system - working with Microsoft NT Terminal Server - offered the school the opportunity to allow the older workstations at the school to run the newest software via a Thin Client Server environment.

The idea to allow the newest software to run on old PC’s has always been an issue of having to upgrade – by buying more memory, faster processors. All of this causing the information technology budget to grow constantly.

A Thin Client Server environment allowed the schools to not only rejuvenate the existing hardware, but to cut the cost of future development considerably. It would mean that the school no longer needed to buy the newest and fastest workstations, but that more scaled down machines could perform on par with their more expensive counterparts.

Knowledge Network appointed as Project Managers

The management of the installation and upgrade was left to Knowledge Network when Knowledge Network were appointed in July 1999 as Project Managers for Roedean School (SA).

This meant that the responsibility fell on Knowledge Network to ensure that the network installation is done in a way which maximises the performance for multiple, simultaneous access of full multimedia software and is, in the long-term, maintainable by the school staff appointed to handle the day-to-day operations of the network.

From start to completion, Knowledge Network managed and continues to manage the full project. Negotiation and appointment of suppliers, quotes management, budgets and installation schedules, conditions of supply of goods per supplier and standards/quality control.

Suppliers were required to report on their progress on a weekly basis and all problem-solving would be managed by Knowledge Network to ensure that the school received the best possible service, support and pricing from the suppliers.

This appointment was made on the basis that Knowledge Network would investigate the problems that Roedean School (SA) had encountered specific to the CITRIX environment, and that solutions to these problems would be sought.

In addition, the school indicated that there were other short term needs, of which the provision of an Internet solution for the school was paramount. Among the other needs indicated by the school were:

  • The purchase of additional application and server software licenses,
  • Teacher development,
  • Better utilisation of existing equipment,
  • Planning of additional technology solutions and
  • The integration of technology into the classrooms at the school

The school furthermore decided to upgrade their existing Internet service, so as to accommodate every one of the more than 700 pupils at the school having Internet and e-mail access.

It was decided that Roedean School (SA) would host and maintain their own Internet website at www.roedeanschool.co.za. They wanted a Firewall and Proxy server, their own mail server to handle the messages generated by the staff and pupils at the school and the option to create an Intranet at the school to publish information that the pupils could use in a digital environment for research and development.

Roedean School (SA) also required of Knowledge Network to research and recommend the best possible solution for their Internet needs.

CITRIX solution / Internet solution

After a comprehensive report and recommendations by Knowledge Network it was decided to implement a networking solution from Accronym and an Internet service via CiTEC at Roedean School (SA). These suppliers could offer the school the hardware and Internet solutions that were required.

The Internet service was fully implemented in August 1999 and the process of installing the CITRIX environment at the school commenced in August 1999.

The CITRIX environment was fully tested under use by the school, and has proven to provide the school with a long term solution to its information technology needs.

The school is currently hosting their website at www.roedeanschool.co.za and every teacher and pupil are to have their own e-mail address in the roedeanschool.co.za domain.

The school’s network is well protected and hidden behind the Linux firewall installed by CiTEC and maintained by them. Linux – an operating system installed by CiTEC - offered the school a cost effective way of acquiring a high-end Internet solution.

According the Mrs. Linda Asselbergs, the bursar at Roedean School (SA), the solution implemented by CiTEC gives the school the freedom to have unlimited and guaranteed access to the Internet and e-mail at a reasonably priced fixed rate every month.

With all this technology being implemented at Roedean School (SA) the time arrived in September 1999 to decide on the best way to use it…

Teaching creativity, thinking skills - developing tomorrow's corporate leaders in the information age

After very careful consideration Roedean School (SA) decided to adopt the Knowledge Network IT Curriculum in September 1999.

The decision was made to train two teachers at the school, Mrs. Michelle Macaulay and Mrs. Jacqueline Topping in the Knowledge Network ILAMM (Integrated Learning and Mentoring Methodology) so as to equip them to present the Knowledge Network IT Curriculum for schools at Roedean School (SA).

The Knowledge Network project-oriented curriculum incorporates five key elements in every session – fun; technology; the application of technology to everyday life; using technology tools for overall development - creativity, logical thinking, lateral thinking, listening skills, and general knowledge; and personal achievement and growth for every learner.

Learners learn how to use a computer as a tool, are equipped with the skills they need for life in the information age - the business world they are set to inherit.

Mrs. Topping, the senior school Information Technology teacher, who has also completed the Knowledge Network Web site Development  Diploma course, feels that the key for her in using the Knowledge Network IT Curriculum has been the fact that she has input into the way the curriculum is implemented, and on which level it is implemented.

"Knowledge Network are not rigid in the way they expect you to teach in their sessions. I have found that they listen to your feedback on the sessions and are always ready to assist you in the way the sessions are run."

The Knowledge Network IT Curriculum solution for Roedean School (SA) accommodates the level of skill of the learners. There are six levels in the curriculum. Schools are accommodated according to the level of knowledge and skill of the learner. Teachers attend ongoing training which forms part of the Knowledge Network teacher development programme for schools.

Learners at Roedean School (SA) will complete the Knowledge Network Diploma Curriculum and will leave school with a qualification.

 

Contact details
Knowledge Network
Email
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

               
Copyright© 1994-2009 Knowledge Network® (PTY) Limited
All rights reserved. Information subject to change without prior notice.
Any information submitted online via the web site (http://www.knowledgenetwork.co.za) or by email will not be made available to any third party outside of Knowledge Network®.
Website www.knowledgenetwork.co.za Email info@knowledgenetwork.co.za
Date of update: 18 February 2009