II. ServerAtSchool User Manual Overview


1. Introduction

2. The Exemplum Primary School

3. Three roles
    3.1 The local systems administrator
    3.2 The ICT coordinator
    3.3 The end user

4. Concluding remarks

1. Introduction

The ServerAtSchool User Manual is written for three target groups, embodying existing roles in an average primary school: the local systems administrator, the ICT coordinator and the end users.

In this chapter we will describe the school, the roles and the parts of this manual that apply to each of these target groups.


2. The Exemplum Primary School

An important part of designing the documentation was dreaming up a school that could be used to illustrate the various aspects of the configuration of ServerAtSchool. It can be hard, especially when you are a beginner, to determine where and how to adapt an example to your own situation. Furthermore, if effectively everything is called 'example', it can be very difficult to tell what is what and what the author is trying to say. We dealt with this problem by inventing our own 'Exemplum Primary School', using realistic names and such.

This school has a staff of 16 (13 teachers, a caretaker, a headmistress and a headmaster) and some 45 pupils. The school partners with another school (the Elisa Dolittle School) for storing backups off-site in a reciprocal relationship.

Here are some facts about our (fictitious) school:

Exemplum Primary School
Name and address: Exemplum Primary School
1, Rock Bottom street
Headmaster: Mr. Albus Dumbledore
Headmistress: Miss Amelia Cackle
Caretaker: Mr. Freddie Frinton
Faculty: Mrs. Honorine Hermelin Grønbech: teacher grade 1 + 2
Mrs. Anna Maria van Schurman: instructional assistant
Miss Mary Astell: teacher grade 1 + 2
Mrs. Wilhelmina Bladergroen: teacher grade 6
Mrs. Maria Montessori: teacher grade 7
Mrs. Helen Parkhurst: teacher grade 3
Mr. Ovide Decroly: teacher grade 4
Mr. Lev Vygotsky: teacher grade 6
Mr. Peter Petersen: music teacher
Mr. Célestin Freinet: teacher grade 8
Mr. Burrhus Frederic Skinner: physical education
Mr. Paolo Freire: teacher grade 5
Mr. Ivan Illich: teacher grade 5
Local systems administrator: Mr. Freddie Frinton
ICT coordinator Miss Amelia Cackle
Healthcare committee Mrs. Helen Parkhurst, Mrs. Maria Montessori, Mr. Lev Vygotsky
Pupils: Dolly Madison, Miriam Louise Rothschild, Caroline Lucretia Herschel, Martha Jane Cannary, Alicia Boole, Catharina Giacomo, Elizabeth Barrett, Isabelle Sojourner, Abigail Adams, Elisabeth Inchbald, Mary Wollenstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, Evita Peron, Alice Longworth, Catherine Hayes, Georgina King, May Sinclair, Gladys Aylward, Edith Newborn Jones, Mary Kingsley, Henrietta Barnett, Elisabeth Keckley, Mary Fields, Hanna More, Harold Bell Wright, Michael Faraday, William Blake, Oliver Heaviside, Irving J. Gill, Alexander McKay, Howard Carter, Bipin Chandra, Andrew Reese, William Bradford, Herbert Spencer, Branwell Bronte, Sri Nisargadatta Mahara, Simon Newcomb, William R. Morris, Edward Emerson Barnard, Thomas Johnson, Caesar Rodney, William Tilghman, Horace Beam Piper, Ludovico Ferrari, André Marie Ampère, Jaroslav Seifert, Khalil Gibran, Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Canonical servername: praeceptor.exemplum.serveratschool.net
Windows workgroup/domain: EXEMPLUM
Partner school: Elisa Dolittle School

The school is equipped with a ServerAtSchool server which is connected to internet. The installation and configuration of this server, documented in the ServerAtSchool Installation Guide, was performed by Freddie Frinton, in his role as local systems administrator. Freddie Frinton is capable of installing and configuring the ServerAtSchool server, even with his fairly limited knowledge of Linux. He does have a lot of experience with Windows computers, though. He also has an eye for detail and is able to work very conscientiously. However, even after all these years Freddie is sometimes baffled by unexpected Windows behaviour and new trickery.

Amelia Cackle is not only the school's headmistress but also acts as the ICT coordinator. She has 'a bit above average' Windows knowledge. She can install software, make- and restore disk images (with g4u) and use the web-interface of the Janitor program to manage users and workgroups. She is enthousiastic about ICT's possibilites in education but keeps her hand firmly on the purse. "In the end ICT should save money which can be spend at improving education", she says, disliking all that ugly hardware in the school.

The roles of Freddie Frinton and Amelia Cackle show some overlap. When Amelia needs to install a complicated piece of software, she turns to Freddie for a quick look and some guidance. They also work together when moving pupils to their new grades at the start of the new school year: Amelia prepares the pupil data and Freddie makes sure the new data are processed.

The remaining members of the Exemplum Primary School community (administration, faculty, staff, pupils, parents and volunteers) play no special role other than ICT end users. They are embodied in a thrilling teacher, Helen Parkhurst. She is a teacher of grade 3, of course a faculty member and, with her two colleagues Maria Montessori and Lev Vygotsky, she is part of the Healthcare Committee of the Exemplum Primary School. She knows how to switch on a computer, can do some word processing, save and retrieve documents, loves internettting. She also knows how to navigate to the school's website and does simple maintenance tasks on the website, She can use webmail at home and loves to work there, retrieving documents from the school's server via her domestic internet connection.


3. Three roles

In this manual the tasks for these three groups (local systems administrator, ICT coordinator and end users) are discussed in more or less the same order as they need to be performed. This implies that you can read this manual from beginning to end, chapter by chapter. However, most of the earlier chapters are specifically aimed at the local systems administrator whereas later chapters are intended for the ICT coordinator and the end users. Chapter III. Janitor applies to both the local systems administrator and the ICT coordinator.

This manual is based on the assumption that the installation and configuration of the ServerAtSchool server is completed successfully. This process is described in detail in the ServerAtSchool Installation Guide. Specifically in this User Manual we assume that the connection with the Internet is fully functional. Also there should be at least one workstation available on a functional LAN. In the course of this manual Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition will be installed on this workstation.

3.1 The local systems administrator

The local systems administrator is the person who really knows how to setup a solid workstation. In order to get a functional workstation, several tasks need to be performed. The following chapters discuss the task of setting up a workstation. It is highly recommended that the local systems administrator reads these chapters, preferably in the order specified.

After working your way through these chapters, you will have one fully functional workstation, well documented, relatively stable and above all, reproducable. By that time you know how to use 'ghost for unix' and are able to distribute this disk image to all client computers throughout the school. You could also ask your ICT coordinator to perform that task.

At this point. the 'hard' work of the local systems administrator is done. However, it is still a good idea to read the remainder of this User Manual, even if it is only in a casual way.

3.2 The ICT coordinator

The ICT coordinator is assigned the task to install educational software and create and restore disk images with g4u. Her tasks sometimes overlap with those of the local systems administrator. It is highly recommended that the ICT coordinator reads at least the following chapters.

After working your way through these chapters, you will be able to bring back workstations to a known good state by restoring a disk image. You are able to install educational software, manage user accounts and workgroups. This includes promoting the pupils to the next grade at the start of the new school year. Finally you know how to assign shortcuts (icons) to the personal Desktop and Start Menu of the end users.

At this point, all 'administrative' tasks are discussed. However, it is a good idea to read the remainder of this User Manual. You may even want to create hardcopies of the remaining chapters, as a hand-out for the others, making it easier for them to actually use the workstations in the network.

3.3 The end user

The remaining members of the Exemplum Primary School community (administration, faculty, staff, pupils, parents and volunteers) play no special role other than ICT end users. All they want is to be able to use the computer as a means to achieve an (educational) goal. This does require basic computer knowledge which is not specific for the school.

However, a few things are indeed specific for the ServerAtSchool network, notably authenticating (logging in and out) and managing documents. This is discussed in the following chapters.

NOTICE: Some of these chapters can be printed out on paper and handed to the end users as quick howto's.


4. Concluding remarks

Additional information can be found via the references and links in Appendix B. Bibliography.

Appendix C. Worksheets contains worksheets that can be of assistance during installation and configuration of the network clients.

You may want to construct a booklet containing hardcopies of the relevant parts of this User Manual. That might lower the threshold for some of the end users to get started with the computer in the classroom.


Authors: Dirk Schouten <schoutdi (at) knoware.nl> and Peter Fokker <peter (at) berestijn.nl>
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