Computer Naming Scheme for your School

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While on the theme of best practises for IT networks in schools I thought it would be a good idea to bring some thoughts around computer and laptop names after discussing server name schemes in a previous post.

There are all sorts of different devices going into schools that connect to your wireless network ranging from laptop, iPhones, tablets and slates.  Bearing this is mind, it brings up two major factors

  • Network security
  • Device management

One of the ways we can manage each device is to ensure there is a good naming scheme in place, ensuring you know what device is which in error monitor applications and enterprise anti virus programs will help you to fix the issues quickly.

Creating a naming scheme

Your naming scheme will depend on several different categories.  Device types such as laptops, desktop, iPads are some while you also have different stakeholders such as staff, students.  You may have laptops that are assigned to students and this will be a certain type of naming scheme but you also have machines that are assigned to classrooms, prep rooms and offices.  As you can see, all of a sudden you have a lot of different categories so you need to make sure they are covered in your naming scheme.

It’s important to understand that you may need 2 or 3 different naming schemes. One may be for all the computers that aren’t assigned to individuals such as classrooms and offices, another for staff laptops and another for student laptops but it is important that the naming schemes start differently so you can tell the different from these 3 groups.

Here is a scenario which we will use to create a naming scheme.

Scenario

New Wave Academy are a school with 5 year groups with around 100 students per year group.  Students in Year 7 are given an iPad and when they move into Year 10 they are given a laptop to use.  Each member of the 70 staff have a laptop and they can use this laptop or the provided desktop in the classroom in their lesson.  There are 6 ICT suites with small pockets of computers in other classrooms around the school.  There are about 20 office machines used by the senior leadership and the admin team.

What we are going to do is create a 2 or 3 letter character to start off the 3 main stake holders which are staff, students and classrooms.

Category Naming Scheme
Staff ST
Student PU (for pupil)
Admin/Office AD
Laptops LP
Classroom computers ICT
iPad AP

There are some other categories that need to be used but these will be added in the next stage of some of the above.

Category Add to Example
Room Classroom Computer ICT07, ICT12 (for rooms 7 and 12)
Year Group Students and Laptops/iPad PU-AP-11 (Pupil who has an iPad and entered the school in the academic year 2011)
PU-LP-08 (Pupil who has a laptop and entered the school in academic year 2008)

Many schools will add a number to the end of the device name and then log the number to the member of staff.  This should be done with any naming scheme or device in your school ensuring that devices are up to date if you swap out faulty equipment.  ICT rooms are easy when it comes to naming schemes as you can start the count at the first computer in the room and then move around the room number to the next device.

Instead of numbering the laptop for students or staff you could use the unique ID that is given to the student when they enter the school in the MIS database (Management Information System), this then helps the identify the computer and who it belongs to.  Staff could be the same, even if its their number of code, it is better than a random number.

Stakeholder Device Name
Year 08 Student PU-10-PA-64827
Year 11 Student PU-07-LP-89726
Member of Staff ST-LP-AJP

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