Get your feelings known to Steve and his team on the Atomwide help desk by posting your comments and suggestions here
Staff at Atomwide are absolutely brilliant. Prompt response to all queries, very knowledgeable, eager to help and very friendly at all times. Thank you for all the assistance you have provided us with.
The Hollyfield School
We used to have the ability to create “all staff” groups from the webmail email list (approx 130 staff) . This now only works for very small groups.
After many contacts with the support desk the final response was “I’m afraid you will have to create multiple groups. ”
As we used to be able to this and can’t now, not really the response I was expecting.
Shame because all other contacts have been resolved well.
Great Marlow School
This is a feature of the SurgeMail system that Bucks LA use. In the past the product delivered large scale email and distribution/group lists but a change in the product to address reliability issues with large numbers of addresses in these lists has restricted the size of lists available.
Whilst it’s unfortunate that the number of entries in these lists has had to be reduced it is better than losing random members of the lists as they are used, which is the fault that was corrected by the software update.
There are no current plans by the developers of the mail package to fix this feature. It is worth noting that most mail systems, including Exchange, impose limits on these kinds of lists so this behaviour is by no means unusual.
There is an alternative way of achieving a large distribution list of this kind and it does have the advantage that maintenance of the addresses is automated. Atomwide can set up for you a mailing lists, linked to USO, which could operate as an all-staff list. However, the setting up of this system does take time and thus there is a charge for the creation of the mailing list in the first place.
Further details of this option is available by contacting the support desk on firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve – Excellent Blog site. Why has it taken so long for you to get one up and running?
Please can everyone in Atomwide use it so I can get all the latest via RSS feed into Outlook!
Hi Stewart – thanks for the very positive comment.
We are aiming to get more people using this site over the coming weeks, and gradually embed it into the culture of how we (Atomwide) communicate with customers and users of our services, and how our users interact and share with us and each other.
As such, I will welcome any and all observations about how successful we are in the process.
I agree about the impressive response by Atomwide to issues – I wish you guys could train BT up to the same standard!
I do have some current concerns – firstly I only found this blog by accident yet it could have been bradcast to IT contacts??
Secondly I see Opencheck exists – yet no Bucks school uses it – and I have not seen any info about it at all!
Thirdly emails – we too have used a staff group successfully in the past – how large a list is now possible in Bucks? We do stil have problems with one email turning into multiple identical copies on receipt and deeting an email sometimes deletes the one below as well – an interesting feature which has caused difficulties and undermined the reliability of email as a medium for school communication.
Finally the issue of YouTube and Google Images. Users really want these yet I am somewhat paranoid about ‘naughty’ images/videos. I wuld be most interested in the views of other schools as to their approach re YouTube – we block it and tell staff to download to realplayer on laptops at home and bring in to play, which is not ideal – what I really wan tis a Google safesearch option for Youtube. Google Images I would like to unblock but force safe search on. Yorkshire and Humberside do this and I would be similarly interested in seeing how many other schools resolve this issue.
Loads of questions here – BT I can’t do anything about that – sorry …..
Blog site is principally advertised on the pages of the support site so anybody logging into the support site gets a Big Red blog link in the top left hand corner. I’d considered email but it’s almost spam
Open Check in Bucks is configurable on the support site here
Home : Resources : School OpenCheck
Bucks use SurgeMail as an email system so my advise to you on the email subject is you should raise a case on the support site in the normal way – the guys should be able to help you with your questions.
On YouTube and Google – you have the flexibility of WebScreen that can pretty much apply whatever you would like to do in your school but others here in schools might well be able to offer suggestions to you with regard to your concerns.
YouTube / Google images: we block by default but suggest the following initially on all unblock requests:
For Google Images use Picsearch – its comparable, vetted and has a “remove porn” button which works.
For YouTube we take the requested URL, fetch the file and post it on our Intranet for two weeks for them to download. We use VideoGet, an application we find superior to most video fetching websites which if you allow them, can simply be used as YouTube proxies anyway. From request to posting is normally about 30-60 minutes so no real delay if you are planning a lesson. In the primary sector where YT has been permitted it’s often caused an internal staff war with half wanting it and the other half saying it destroys their lessons thru timewasting.
For schools that still want access it’s granted with the acknowledgement of the increased risk by HT’s.
OpenCheck: marvelous – we have about 50% uptake and only one negative comment from one school (we’ll do our own thing on our website). It’s been very well recieved by our emergency planning team too.
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