Tag Archives for " School "

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Get 1 month of SecureSuite Email completely FREE this week!

In conjunction with Black Friday and the launch of our new SecureSuite service, we have a fantastic offer for you.

Anyone who signs up to SecureSuite Email in the next week will receive one month completely free of charge.

If you missed our launch post, SecureSuite Email is our new service that includes: Email Filtering, Email Archiving and Email Business Continuity. These are the three vital services that work together to your organisation’s email safe.

Here is a summary of what each service provides:

Email Filtering – protection against viruses, malware, spam and email spoofing/phishing attacks
Email Archiving – backup of your emails and archiving of historical email
Email Business Continuity – continue working even if your email server goes down

Make sure your business, school or charity is protected against the devastating consequences that follow a serious virus attack like Cryptolocker or a phishing attack that could result in serious financial loss.

SecureSuite email starts at only a few pounds per user per month so if you are interested in safeguarding your email, get in touch today and claim your offer. The offer begins now and will end at 5pm on Cyber Monday the 27th.

You can contact us by calling on 0800 304 7444 or by email at enquiries@coretek.co.uk or by our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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SecureInternet – A brand new solution for fast and secure internet coming soon!

Coming soon – Coretek SecureInternet!

We have some exciting news! Here at Coretek, we have been carefully listening to our school and business clients and internet lines are one of the things that is most frequently requested.
In particular, schools have been telling us there is a clear need for fast and secure internet designed specifically for education.

With this in mind, we have been busy putting together an unbeatable package that meets the following needs:

  • Value – cost-effective and fits within school budgets
  • Secure – industry leading security against threats
  • Safe – filtering that keeps pupils safe online
  • Flexible – the autonomy to decide what sites to allow and block
  • Fast – above all…FAST speeds to cope with the needs of education

This package is currently in testing and should be ready for release within the next few months.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can register your interest by calling us on 0800 304 7444 or email us at enquiries@coretek.co.uk and we will make sure to notify you as soon as SecureInternet goes live!

But what if you’re a business? Don’t panic….we’ve thought this through! The new SecureInternet package can also be optimised for business use. Contact us today, to find out more.

Technology-Heroes1

Congratulations to our first “Technology Heroes” – The Oaks CE Learning Federation!

As part of sharing fantastic examples of how IT is being used in schools, we have decided to highlight schools or individuals that are using IT in unique and exceptional ways.

We have decided to dub these schools or individuals our “Technology Heroes”. Hopefully, by sharing these success stories, this will give other schools great ideas to take away and implement in their own school.

So, on to our very first of our Technology Heroes!

We have seen some fantastic use of IT in schools throughout Hampshire and Dorset so there were a number of schools we could have chosen. The reason we chose this particular school is that technology is used at the heart of the school and goes beyond the curriculum to bring together pupils, staff, parents and the wider community. This school is The Oaks CE Learning Federation.

A bit of background on The Oaks CE Learning Federation. This is a Federation of three infant schools located in the beautiful New Forest in Hampshire. These are; Copythorne CE Infant School, Netley Marsh CE Infant School and St Michael & All Angels CE Infant School. They are successful schools for a number of reasons, including that the schools work together as a team and encourage an environment of collaboration. Or as they put it “our three schools are able to share expertise and resources and are therefore able to achieve more together than any one school can individually.”

Here are some of the ways that the Oaks CE Learning Federation have embraced technology:

Using YouTube to raise money for refugee children across the globe

Technology has enabled us to have a truly connected world where we can reach others, regardless of location.

The Oaks Federation contributed to the ‘A Million Voices’ charity by recording and creating a video of the song ‘A Million Voices.’ This has been posted on YouTube and on the ‘A Million Voices’ website, raising money through YouTube sponsorship fees, public donations and donations via the Justgiving site.

This has helped raise money for charities including: TearFund, Save the Children, UNHCR and International Refugee Trust who work in refugee camps ensuring that there is sufficient food and water for refugee children throughout the world.

 

 

Keeping parents entertained and informed with class blogs

Blogging is not exactly a new technology but its popularity is continually on the increase. This is a fantastic tool for teachers and pupils to publish news and stories and to document the pupils ongoing learning. Each class at the Oaks has their own blog full of colourful pictures and videos showing exactly what the pupils are up to.

These are frequently updated with current posts. The blogs have a given parents a fascinating insight into what their children have been busy doing throughout the day. An opportunity that they would not have had without the technology being available. As a parent myself, the chance to see pics and videos of the exciting lessons – whether this is creating an erupting volcano or seeing the latest chicks hatching – is a great privilege.

This has also encouraged a dialog between the schools and the parents. Parents will often read and comment on the latest class news, getting them fully involved in their children’s learning.

Check out the excellent Blog from the Swallows Class Blog at Copythorne as a perfect example.

 

Moving seamlessly between schools and working together using technology

As already mentioned, the Oaks CE Federation consists of three schools located in the New Forest. When we took over supporting the IT for the school, they were very keen to find ways that the schools could use technology to allow the schools to collaborate. At this time, each school had a server, each running a completely separate IT system.

We saw an opportunity to join all three schools together under a single domain which would allow users to log in at any of the three schools using the same account. File shares are replicated seamlessly between sites meaning that users can access their files, no matter which school they log in at.

The school has embraced this opportunity to work together whenever possible. Staff such as the executive head, Tina Daniel, move across the three schools on a weekly basis and she can now access the same familiar system regardless of location. This flexibility also extends to the pupils as well. The schools regularly plan days out where the pupils can visit the other schools in the Federation and are able to log in and use the IT systems seamlessly. If you are interested on the technology used to links the schools together, check out the Oaks CE Learning Federation Case Study for more details.

 

Encouraging the journalists of tomorrow with social media

We have been very impressed by how the schools of The Oaks CE Federation have embraced social media. In a similar way to how their class blogs allowed the schools to communicate with the parents, The Oaks have taken this one step further by using social media to interact with the community and beyond.

Each school and the head all have their own twitter accounts, which are frequently updated with informative, entertaining and often very amusing content. See below for an example:

Rather than just posting content and leaving it at that, the schools actively use Twitter to strengthen relationships with local schools. Useful information, ideas and success stories are shared between local schools by liking, retweeting and commenting on each other’s feeds. The idea being that when schools work together, everyone benefits.

As always, pupils are encouraged to contribute fully, which each Twitter account full of images and videos of them at work and play.

 

Using WhatsApp to communicate quickly between staff

The WhatsApp instant messaging phone app probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of using technology in schools. But this is another example of how the Oaks CE Federation are using technology to work for them.

More traditional forms of digital communication such as email are fine but are more formal and suited to official correspondence. When a quick message needs to be distributed to staff – whether this is notice of an imminent Ofsted inspection or a school closure – using WhatsApp is a much faster way of getting it out there. The big advantage of the app is that separate groups can be created such as school, federation, leadership team, ICT team and so forth. This encourages idea sharing between staff, and makes everyone feel part of the team. The other advantage is that all communication is securely protected by end-to-end encryption which eliminates any eSafety concerns.

 

So, here are just some of the ways that the Oaks CE Learning are using technology. How your school is using technology? Get in touch as we would love to hear from you!

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So, what is Secure School Gateway?

You may of heard about it before, but you aren’t quite sure what it is or what it does. Coretek Secure School Gateway (SSG) is safe and secure home and remote working solution for schools, allowing staff to securely access school applications and data.

So, how does Secure School Gateway work?

Secure School Gateway is a home working solution that is easily accessible from a web portal. The portal simply requires you to enter your school username and password to gain access. Upon successful authorisation, you will see the school desktop which will provide you with everything you would normally use in school.

Why do we need Secure School Gateway?

Working from home or outside of school is now part of the modern work ethos and for some schools is an absolute necessity. Access to planning resources and other such information whilst out of school can present a headache (especially during holidays), with staff usually having to take work home on a memory stick to conduct such tasks. Coretek SSG removes the need to do this and has the ability for multiple staff to use the service simultaneously.

What can Coretek do for me?

We are aware that school staff require a secure, convenient and easy to use method for accessing school resources from home. The goal for Coretek was to develop a remote working solution that is easy to use, low cost and above all, secure.

When taking into account the sensitive nature of pupil information and other such data present on school networks, security concerns continue to be at the top of the agenda. For this reason, several security measures are built in the Secure School Gateway that make this solution both highly usable and as safe as possible, with the goal being an experience the same as being in-school. Here is an example of what the Secure School Gateway looks like from one of our schools:

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What is the technology behind your Secure School Gateway Service?

Secure School Gateway services is based upon Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, a secure industry leading technology designed to make remote access easy and seamless. In comparison to some competitors solutions this is more secure and scalable. The system is hosted and managed within the school and requires no additional hardware.

What are the key benefits of your Secure Gateway Service?

There are many benefits that the Secure School Gateway services offers. Here are a few of our key benefits:

  • It aligns with the requirements on secure data set by OFSTEDs eSafety Policy.
  • Multi user support meaning that staff can use the service at the same time.
  • No USB sticks are needed!
  • Ability to print to local printers.
  • Access from anywhere, on almost any device.
  • Ability to restrict use to certain users or groups.
  • SSL secured web portal and complex password requirements.
  • No additional hardware is needed.
How do I get Secure School Gateway?

Coretek are happy to carry out a free, live demonstration which will allow you to see first-hand how the platform works. We offer Secure School Gateway free of charge for all schools who take out our flexible Coretek Total Care support package. We will also license the platform for 5 initial users at no extra cost. Additional user licenses will need to be procured by the school, however these are very low cost to educational institutions, even more so if you are already using a licensing scheme such as Microsoft EES.

So if you want to know more about our service or want to book in your free live demonstration then please get in contact with us today! Call us on 0800 304 7444 or email us at enquries@coretek.co.uk, we hope to hear from you soon!

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An introduction to Office 365 with Cowplain school!

Following on from our successful event at Microsoft HQ, we visited Cowplain School so they could receive their prize from being the runners up on the day!

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The theme for the Microsoft event was ‘Office 365 in Education’, so we decided to develop and expand on this topic in order to enhance the students knowledge on what really is Office 365.

The day consisted of two 2 hour sessions with the year 7 pupils at Cowplain School. We begun the day with a presentation that outlined what Office 365 is and how to sign up. We then touched on each of the Office 365 apps and how they can be used in education. The last app of the presentation was Sway, this is wen we introduced the days activity. The pupils were tasked with creating a Sway on their school, to be showcased at the upcoming open evening for new potential year 7 students.

The students separated off into 3 IT suites and begun the activity. The students currently have experience with Google Drive but wanted to learn more about Office 365 in order to begin using it at home and at school. So this was a totally new experience for all of the students. What followed was an array of collaborative, exciting sways that outlined why they enjoy their school. Throughout this activity we took into account how the students were working and how they were using the Office 365 app.

We gathered back in the gym at the end of each session to have a roundup of the days activities. We then announced a group from each class who really impressed us with their work. Each group was awarded with an Amazon voucher to use at their pleasure.

This day enabled us to teach many students about the wonders of Office 365 and how each of the apps can help within their education. It also meant the students were able develop within an app they had never even heard of before! Overall, a successful day!

Did you know that Coretek can design your website for you?

Did you know that Coretek offer a website design service?

At Coretek, we work closely with our clients’ to gain a good idea of a responsive design that suits our client’s needs and wants.

Any website designed by Coretek is built on the rock-solid WordPress platform. WordPress is widely agreed to be the leading website publishing platform in the world with over 74 million sites and counting. This also provides access to the largest collection of plugins to ensure that almost any website functionality can be achieved. 

We build our sites to the latest standards, ensuring they take full advantage of the latest advancements in website technology.  We also ensure they render correctly on all web browsers. As well as ensuring they work on different browsers, we also ensure they display well on all devices i.e. smartphones and tablets.

As well as all of this, a CMS (Content Management System) will be included which allows users to carry out updates to the website content. Training will be provided for this. After the website is created, there will be no extra fees for support. This is because a robust website and CMS should result in very few issues.

Lastly, we perform automated daily and weekly backups to ensure the website can be restored to a previous date if required.

We have recently completed the design of Highbury Primary School’s website, as seen in the image above. Below is another website we have created for a Primary School.

Romsey Primary Tablet Mock Up-1

If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact marketing@coretek.co.uk, or alternatively please call us on 0800 304 7444.