LGfL's Response to Coronavirus

Moving your School to the Cloud

Why is the Cloud important?

The Cloud enables ways of working that are hosted and managed online, rather than locally in the school building (which can prove costly). This means access to your email, calendar, files and folders can be accessed through one single sign-on anywhere, at any time. Computers, including tablets and mobile devices, now increasingly operate in this way.

Moving your ways of working and services to the cloud:

  • have the potential to make services more productive and engaging for Staff and Students
  • enable you to access those important emails, files and planning documents on any device, anywhere - anytime
  • can lead to a cost saving that enables new devices and kit to be purchased for your school
  • can be more secure with added layers of protection (including 2-step authentication)

Some of your school community will already be experiencing the benefits of having made the move to the cloud including parents, pupils and staff. It is important that we seek to provide this service in all aspects of life for that intuitive way of working and learning.

You may already be using some cloud-based services, such as:

  • communication tools - including email, instant messaging, video conferencing and telephony
  • new versions of core office applications - including online collaborative versions of word processor, presentation and spreadsheet software
  • specialist applications - including HR and finance systems, management information systems (MIS) and curriculum software and content
  • back office systems - including document storage, backup, content, filtering and user and device management
  • online servers - for example, full versions of school servers hosted online and managed over the internet

Some schools may have everything in the cloud with a server free solution. For others, a ‘hybrid’ approach will be suitable, with a mix of cloud and locally hosted systems or services.

Moving to the cloud can be gradual and at a pace that suits your school. This allows a clear and progressive digital framework to be created.  specific to your school’s or trust’s requirements. At LGfL, we offer cloud-adoption training and support to help accelerate your adoption and drive the growth mindset behind it.

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Benefits for schools

Saving money

Moving to cloud-based services can reduce costs by:

  • reducing licence costs – Global technology providers offer free-to-use cloud services, including communication and collaboration tools (Visit our LGfL Services page to see what is on offer)
  • using cloud only user devices – cost effective and reliable devices, designed to link directly to cloud applications, are widely available and usually cheaper than the systems they replace (Unique single sign on with all personalised applications and settings ready for the user)
  • using pay as you go services – some cloud-based services are charged on a pay as you go basis
  • saving money on the energy required to run and cool on-site servers

Cloud based services could also help financial planning as you:

  • move to predictable annual subscriptions
  • may see a reduction in capital refresh costs - for example, reducing the need to replace old servers
  • do not need to replace ‘cloud only’ devices as often, and it may extend the lifespan of older devices

 

Saving Teachers’ time

Moving to cloud-based services can:

  • give staff the flexibility to access services from wherever they are, using the devices that are most convenient for them
  • support collaboration by helping staff to easily share and co-author documents, files, lesson content and plans – reducing duplication of effort
  • make it easier for teachers and pupils to research, analyse and use new curriculum resources
  • reduce the time it takes to access data and applications anywhere, due to faster log in times

Effectiveness – what you can do

Moving to cloud-based services can make it easier to access applications and content, wherever there is an internet connection:

  • reducing the workload of local technical support teams, as applications can be automatically updated and managed
  • mitigating the risk of files and data being lost

It could also support flexible working as you can access data remotely at any time.

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What schools should consider

If you’re thinking about moving to cloud-based services, you should consider the following questions.

How are you using the cloud already?

You should consider:

  • what cloud-based services you’re already using
  • whether staff, pupils or parents are using unofficial services, where you are not currently using a cloud-based service
  • if you’re using services to their full potential
  • your current mix of old and new systems
  • what benefits you’ve seen by using these services – such as efficiency, access, security and online safety

Could you use more cloud-based services?

You should consider:

  • what other functions you could use in the cloud
  • how you would introduce this functionality to teachers and pupils
  • how using cloud-based services would support your overall school strategy
  • whether you need a cloud champion to support your school or multi-academy trust strategy
  • how much you could save and how to reinvest it
  • whether you can make use of a cloud system already being used in your area or multi-academy trust
  • what you can learn from existing developments and expertise

Do you have the right infrastructure?

You should think about whether your:

  • current internet connection is sufficient – many schools will need a full fibre connection
  • school network offers the right level of connectivity – many schools will use both wired and wireless infrastructure

Both of these can act as a single point of failure. Plan how to make your system as resilient as possible as part of your move to the cloud.

More information is available in:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

You may need to update your policies for managing personal data as part of your move to the cloud.

The data protection toolkit for schools includes more information.

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Ready to get started?

Choosing the right cloud-based solution is easy and we offer in-house training and guidance on helping you make that decision. Here's how to get started:

  1. Visit our Training Portal and sign up to our upcoming Cloud Technology events
  2. Complete our 'Digital Transformation Framework' to help us capture information aboout your school and how we can best support. Please Complete Here
  3. Contact our Cloud Solutions Expert team if you have a specific question or need further information about our services at SuperCloud@lgfl.net 

 

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