It’s that time of year. After a long, cold winter, students all over Music City are itching to vacate the classroom and race to the beach for spring break. But it’s not vacation time for everybody. During this week-long reprieve, schools should take the time to make sure their IT systems and networks are earning an A+.
At Concept Technology we’ve worked with many schools and education centers to keep their systems in working order. Through our experience, we have just the advice to help them make the grade.
“Reimage” the Computer Lab
From elementary schools to Nashville universities, computer labs play a vital role in today’s education system. However, these labs are often treated poorly because students don’t take care of the computers like they would their own. Consider taking this time to “reimage” the lab. This process of removing and reinstalling the OS and software will take away any unwanted changes and additions that a student may have applied to a computer and reset it to a baseline setting. Good as new!
If your school issues laptops, iPads or other devices to your students, consider requesting they be returned during the break. Use the time to update operating systems, drivers, software, apps, virus scans, etc. This will alert you to and help avoid problems before they are handed in at the end of the year. Even if you can’t update all of them during this short time, start now so you don’t spend your entire summer playing catch up.
Reboot the System
Security is important for any network system, but it’s especially important when dealing with students. Student data and emails need to be protected. While the school is empty, reboot the server and firewall to make sure your network is operating as it should.
Prepare for Testing
After returning from spring break, students across Nashville and the rest of Tennessee will be going through testing. In addition to being a stressful time for students, it can be a stressful time on your network. Use the break to make sure the testing sites are compatible with your equipment and software. It would not be good to show up on the date of testing only to find out you don’t have the necessary browser or plug-ins installed.
After a week of road tripping, beach bumming or just sitting at home playing video games, there’s a good chance students will have forgotten their passwords. Go ahead and prepare for this by reissuing passwords to students when they return. After all, you don’t want a third of the student body locked out of the system because they tried guessing their password one too many times.
Test the Network
Has your network been slow and/or spotty for a few months? Have your students been coming to class with new iPads, computers or other internet-connected devices? All of these new devices may be slowing down and crashing the network. Take this time to go around and test all of the network access points. Ensure they are working at full capacity and make any improvements to increase bandwidth and network coverage.
We understand that you probably can’t do all of these over the course of a week. Spring break may simply be too short of a time to do anything major. At the very least, triage your network to see what needs your immediate attention in order to finish out the school year. If you don’t have the time to pull off these updates right now, consider using spring break as an opportunity to devise a plan for the summer so you can start the next school year at the head of the class.