Parental Engagement–bringing parents on to the Learning Gateway

Last week I wrote about schools using Learning Gateway to connect with parents and followed that with looking at the practical issue of making sure your data is up-to-date. The targets for schools to provide online parental reporting are DCSF & Becta guidelines, not legislation – and as such there probably aren’t penalties for schools…

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Understanding how Windows 7 improves secure remote access for staff

With all of the changes in the way that ICT is being used in learning, there’s an increasing demand for staff to have remote access to schools systems, from home or other times when they are away from school. Sometimes it can be enough to provide access to your learning platform, but it is becoming…

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The TES writes a scary Information Security headline

People are definitely getting concerned about the need to secure data in schools. On Tuesday, in the "When too much security means less security" post I mentioned that there are new stricter penalties faced by organisations for losing/disclosing personal data, with fines up to £500,000. And there has been some discussion about the need for…

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When too much security means less security

In December, my local BBC News station showed an interview with a head teacher, who’d had to crawl across a sloping playground, covered in black ice, to send out a text to let parents know the school was closed. Which surprised me because he was using one of the systems that allows you to send…

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Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips – 5 – Switch the way you do remote access

Part five of the series of Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips for schools, based on my BETT 2010 presentation. Every time we release a new version of our software, and you upgrade to it, it is well worth doing a review of what extra features it includes that may be able to save you…

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Using Windows 7 Direct Access to connect teachers to your school network securely

Ever since Windows 7 was launched, I’ve had a steady stream of people asking me if I know of schools who have implemented Direct Access. Direct Access allows you to setup your staff laptops so that teachers can always have secure access to your school network wherever they are, but without forcing them to use…

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A plain English Guide to Data Protection

I keep an eye on the Information Commissioner’s Office press releases on their website (in the hope that we’re not going to see schools appearing too often), where I suspect they have a busy Press Officer producing a constant stream of news (last 2 weeks : Recruitment firms fined; mobile phone customers record sold illegally;…

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Microsoft SQL Server Data Management Conference – Sept 29 in London

This is probably something for local authorities, who’re running big datacentres, but there are likely to be readers of this blog that are either in that role, or are running big datacentres in their school. And given the size of some of the transactional databases in schools today, this might apply to you… I’ve just…

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The Data Protection Act and exam results

One of the websites I read via its RSS feed is that of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). And you need to read today’s release before your students! Students receiving exam results this summer can find out more about their grades by using their rights under the Data Protection Act. Guidance produced by the Information…

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Information Security in Education and Two-Factor Authentication

This is just a quick one for Monday morning. Last week, when I talked about Information Security, and Becta’s guidance, at the Learning Gateway Conference, there was quite a bit of interest in the two-factor authentication that would be required for all teacher access to sensitive data from outside the school (eg if they are…

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