I was recently at a school and we had a bit of difficulty in trying to get the finance board/governors to approve the new £120,000 ($150,000) wireless network. The wireless is N standard and designed to allow over 2,000 devices to use it at the same time. The network back bone was already CAT6 so it we could provide a lot of the wireless points with power through Ethernet but even though that’s all good its not easy to get the the finance approval group to spend that amount of money when budgets are tight and most schools are having to reduce budgets rather than spend more.
We saw this vital technology as a key part to our development of the school and transforming the teaching at the school. Just telling them that it improves education at the school isn’t going to get it approved.
We were asked to give a presentation as to the benefits of the wireless networks.
A few years ago I saw a presentation that linked IT Services to the business goals and issues within the current organisation. For the presentation I put together some slides that showed how the wireless system would benefit each of the goals and targets for the departments, e-learning and the school.
These targets are
- Increase student collaboration
- Home learning
- Devices for pupils
- Increase Student access to resource online
- Changes to exams (online examinations)
- Ability to access online exam preparation material
- Effective tracking of student progress
- Raise Attainment
- Raise literacy standards
- Setting and monitoring home learning
The first thing we did was mapped the different objectives between the levels of the school to each other. For example if E-Learning got Device for Pupils right it would help the school to increase is attainment levels. But looking at it the other way if E-Learning don’t get device right, the school can’t reach its goal to increase attainment.
We then took the IT system at the school and linked these to the E-Learning Objectives as well, mapping where the product and services to any of the objectives.
As you can see from the image above is how the Learning Platform affects all the school, department and e-learning objectives.
What School Objectives would be impacted by no Wireless System
Now it was just a matter of showing the links between the wireless network and the school objectives.
What you will see is that the wireless system impacts all but one of the objectives throughout the school – if the finance board don’t approve the wireless they can’t expect the school, each of the departments or the e-learning to achieve its objectives.