Who maintains the computers in your school?

Friday, February 25th, 2011 | Maintenance

All computer installations require regular maintenance; a gradual degradation of the system is to be expected unless such maintenance occurs.  The following types of maintenance are relevant in technology facilities in our schools. 

Adaptive maintenance, where improvements to the system are necessary to adapt to changing working procedures, such as when earphones, peripherals, or additional workstations must be installed to cater for changing educational needs, or when new software products are introduced. 

Corrective maintenance, where ongoing improvements are made (bug fixing) to ensure the system still meets the original user requirements.  Fixing is required when a person makes a mistake (for example unintentionally deleting an essential piece of software, or changing a system parameter), when a hardware component malfunctions, when the system has to be restored from a backup after a crash, when the system has to be restored after a virus attack and in other such scenarios.

Perfective maintenance, where the system is made safer to operate, refined and made easier for teachers to use.  Perfective maintenance aims at making the system as effective as possible for teachers, so that the use of the technology does not put the emphasis on the technology but on teaching and learning.

Upgrades – these are required when the entire system – or parts of the system – has become too old to be useful and must be replaced.

Preventive maintenance (also called predictive maintenance), where steps are taken to avert potential disasters.  This includes making regular backups and updating anti-virus software.

Warranty checkingthis has been found to be a cost effective maintenance technique.  Just before the warranty on hardware expires each piece of equipment is thoroughly inspected and all defective components referred to the vendor for replacement.

Clearly, maintenance is a complex matter and its importance can never be over-emphasized.  It forms an essential part of protecting the investment made in technology and it provides continuity of access in the schools.

Who maintains the computers in your school?

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2 Comments to Who maintains the computers in your school?

Monday, 28 February, 2011

Maintenance for disadvantage schools is a real nightmare. How this will be overcome I really don’t know. At my school we have a Telkom Lab that is 12 years old, unfortunately because of the context of where the school is situated no funding is available for maintenance. If the school fees are R600 per annum and you get less than 50%, you have to prioritize, and this leads to neglect of our computer labs.

We taught Computer Studies and later CAT, this year will be the last of the CAT classes, because you really can’t teach effectively when you busy fixing PCs thats past there sell by date. Current specs. of our PCs are P3 500MHz CPU, 128 MB ram, 6 GB hard drives.

This is inevitable, township schools will end up having dated technology and will once again be teaching subjects that are meaningless in the real world.

Unless the government can come up with a plan, but I have serious doubts.

Xolani Gontshi
Tuesday, 29 March, 2011

Monitoring progress at disadvantaged enviroments and poverty striken communities is grossly a battle of its own that we cannot run away from.Pulling off programmes that seek to empower the existing support brings our schools to a basically third world country that will take many years before we are on par with other neighbouring countries.

The private industry is doing its best to adopt schools with the aim to uplift and produce,jointly with the institutions,multi-skilled hybrids that will be able to thrive well in a connected world.

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