Today I had some training at Atomwide‘s headquarters in Orpington, having a reasonably technical look at the range of services they offer, such as USO, Staff Mail, London Mail, WebScreen filtering and remote access. It was really good to see some human faces instead of just interacting with a support site, but also to understand the bigger picture of how everything works. With the demise of any sort of local authority level ICT stuff, it feels like very little is now communicated to schools about what’s going on with LGfL. And because of data-protection, Atomwide can’t just email everyone just because they’ve got all our email addresses, even though I wish they would.
It was a very organised day, with precise start and finish dates, and an individually wrapped and named sandwich at lunchtime, which had been previously ordered on their support site weeks earlier. Atomwide certainly are very thorough in their approach to ICT, with a deep commitment to an audit trail, and it was helpful to talk through issues we had been having.
- I didn’t know I had to create the aliases for our Staff Mail accounts, so they don’t end in @lgflmail.org but rather @myschool.com. I was wondering why lots of the new staff’s email accounts weren’t working correctly, but now I know it was my fault. Or rather I only found out today that it was my fault.
- LGfL 2.0 doesn’t let things like logmein for remote access for security, but the new solutions actually seem quite powerful once you know how. They also offer VNC support, which is good for remotely accessing Macs.
- I also didn’t know anything about distribution lists, but do now. Will be playing with that over the next few weeks, as some members of staff have been asking about how to easily send an email to all the teachers.
- Despite being warned off AD-Sync by someone from LGfL, it does still seem like an attractive proposal. I’m all for teachers only having to remember one login for everything and so I’m willing to sacrifice some local-level control over our Active Directory.
- WebScreen 2.0 is the new web filtering service on LGfL 2.0 and apparently I need to go back at another time for a day’s training on how to use it! But I think I’ve gleaned enough information to be able to make the WWW actually useful when we do the switch.
Hopefully I will now be in a better position to manage the switchover to LGfL 2.0 that is happening this weekend…we’ll see!