Ramblings of a Digital Educator

May 7, 2007

Visit to CGA…Network/System Administration Center for Andalusia, Spain

Filed under: General Blogging — dtrask @ 11:27 am

Today was a very exciting day! I was invited to tour the CGA which is essentially the Andalusia region Department of Education’s Computer nervous center. They administer, deploy, develop, and so forth…for the entire region of Andalusia in Spain. They use Linux exclusively….50 people are able to support almost 200,000 computers! Very cool to see in action. This deployment in Spain is a perfect example. They have a ratio of 2:1 in primary schools….moving up to 5:1 in high schools with many laptop deployments as well. All easily rolled out with automatic unattended installs…tech support…call centers for tech support…etc. Very cool and very well managed. A server goes down…the center knows before the school does! 🙂 Each school has an ICT Teacher (in the US it might be referred to as a Technology Integrationist). The folks from CGA were very explicit in the fact that the ICT Teacher is not a technician, but rather a pedagogical leader who assists teachers with integrating the computers into the existing curriculum as a tool for learning. The ICT Teacher does have a small amount of troubleshooting training and is also the single point of contact to the CGA should anything require support. The ICT Teacher simply calls the tech center and a support person either walks them through the issue, remotely fixes the issue, or dispatches a technician. The tech support center fields about 900 calls a week with an average wait time of 12 seconds! Given that there are 16 people in the tech center (phone support) at once…(40 in all)…it figures out to about 56 calls per week or 11 calls per day. The CGA develops their own applications for things like system management, database administration, SIS, and so forth. The users are all managed via LDAP from a central server which then synchronizes to the individual schools and is tied into the Andalusia student information database as well. Very cool and extremely efficient. (In Maine it would be like having the user accounts authenticating via MEDMS) Kids move…the username and so forth moves with them. I could go into SO much more detail, but I simply want to close by indicating that the people who work in the CGA and the teachers who are served by the CGA are all very happy to be doing what they do. The operating system is a locally modified version of Ubuntu called Guadalinex. (They have a very cute mascot ) Tomorrow I am going to a local school here in Sevilla, Spain for a tour and a chance to interact with the teachers and students! I’m so psyched! I have posted pics from today see them by clicking below:

Visit to Andalucia Computer Center

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