I use the computer system at school. In school there are 3 main ICT rooms. Each room has about 30 computers, 2 scanners, a black and white printer HP laserjet and an interactive whiteboard. Recently the computer rooms have been updated with flatscreen RM1 computers. The computers are especially designed for use in secondary schools and have some special features that others don't. Like a laser mouse instead of a normal mouse because pupils used to nick the balls in them. There are also some older computers in the library. Each pupil gets their own workstation. At the start of yr7 we all got a username and a password.

This area that we each log onto is individual and we work on it and store our work. The teachers can control each computer by taking over all the computers via their one. This is useful for them because they can easily get our attention but bad for us because we can't play on it while they are explaining! The computers are all linked to a network. Controlling that network is the server. It is in the ICT technicians office. Everytime we save a piece of work it goes into the hardrive of the server, not the computer we are working on. This is good because we aren't always bound to the same computer that has all our work on.

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The ICT people also take a back up of all the work every week. Describe how you use the ICT technology. I use the computers for my work quite a lot. Obviously I use them for my ICT GCSE but also for tutor lessons, french and drama, so far. I use the Word program the most but also PowerPoint, Access, Excel and Publisher. By far the program that I use most is Word. Microsoft Word is the main program for writen documents. Word has many useful things, such as spelling and grammar check. You can fiddle around with the font, colour and size, to present your work better.

The spelling usually checks your work very accurately, although occasionally does not work. The advantage of typing your work up rather than hand writing it is that you can go back and correct it easily. In the case of essays I can just go back through it, change all the mistakes, and re-save it! It's great! If you have a handwritten piece of work, it tends to be messier where you have made spelling mistakes and is not so easy for others to read particularly if you have messy handwriting. A lot of handwriting makes your arm ache too, so generally I tend to do my homework on computer.

I always do written pieces on Word, because it is easy to use. I can just print off as many copies as I like and save it, so I will never loose a piece. Other software includes Excel. This is very useful for doing spreadsheets, and you can use it as a calculator too. I have actually learnt how to use spreadsheets, then gone and used them at home. I use the software now to keep track of spending and to use as a calculator for my maths homework. I've used Powerpoint to do a presentation to the class in science. We didn't have time to complete the presentation at school so went to a friends house, and completed it there.

The school also has access to the internet. I use this lots too but find it very annoying when some sites are blocked. I use the internet in a french lesson to go on french language learning sites. However I don't just use the school computers in lessons. Quite often I do the work after school. I used to be able to do work at lunch and break too, which was so useful because if I forgot some research homework I could just go on the computer at break and run off some more research. Though since the new times of the school day we have not been allowed to do this anymore. This means that after school is the only time we can do it.

I don't really stay to play games on the computers mostly because all the good games sites are blocked but I know that some people do. I just come to do my homework. When I do get to do my work at home, like when I'm doing something on word I can use the Home-school link. The home-school link is a really useful thing that we have in our school. You can access your account at school on a computer at home. You can work on documents that you do at school at home then copy them over back onto your school account. However the link is often quite slow in copying documents back and forth.

I can't use this too much though because we don't have all the right software at home to do some of my work on. We don't have programs such as excel or powerpoint. This is unbelievably annoying for me as my dad refuses to buy them because he doesn't like microsoft. So this means that I have to spend more time after school completing my homework. However apart from this, the programs are pretty universal almost every computer has the basic programs which makes it easy to coplete work on different machines. What are the advantages of using the ICT technology. There are many advantages to using the school system.

All the computers are connected in a big network to a server. This server is backed up at least once a week so if the school were to burn down none of us would lose more than a weeks work. Also the actual computers themselves. The computers are especially designed for secondary school education. The computers are very small so take up a lot less space than our old ones. This means that we have space to write and generally more room. Plus the keyboard can sit on top of the computer for even more work space. I also play music on the computers as now they have built in speakers.

This is useful for relaxing after school and for language sites where we can listen to the words being said in the real accent. We also have a thing called the homework hand-in. This is where we can send our work to a teacher. This is very useful for getting work to your teachers because you don't have to print it out. However sometimes the system can be a little slow. We also can also go onto the school intranet. The intranet is a site which belongs to the school. It contains links to sites like google and other learning sites each linked to a department. So there are links to linguascope in the modern languages section.

There is also a list of school rules, a copy of the most recent bluesheet (a newsletter within the school) an area for the school council and an interactive map of the school. There is also a link to the shared area on the computers. All these things make using ICT easier and better. The shared area is where the worksheets and information sheets are kept for each subject. In a lesson students will go here to get a worksheet template to save into their documents. This means that we can use less paper and is quick and easy for the teachers to create. The school also runs our very own game. It's called BZflag.

It's quite addictive but it gives something for people to play. I personally don't play it that much, it's more of a boys game, with tanks and shooting each other. But it is cleverly set up so that it is on the network so friends can play against each other. Another advantage is that when pupils are on the internet we are really safe. All the school computers have a filtering system. This system does not allow things to come through which are not suitable for us. If someone tries to access a particular site the computer does not allow it. In this way, we are protected from harmful material.

However good this may be though it does have it's disadvantages . . . What are the disadvantages, if any, of the ICT technology. The filtering system is bad though too. If a pupil is caught playing games in a lesson or off task, the site they were on is blocked. So many sites, like ones that sell mobiles, psp's ect are blocked. This is bad because for my other report on my mobile phone I wasn't even allowed to access the sites that sell mobiles, like Carphone warehouse, Nokia, the Link. All I wanted was a picture of the phone! Instead, I had to do it at home. So it does act to a students disadvantage too.

Also, occasionally sites slip through the net, and offensive material is exposed This is always quickly rectified but it just goes to show that it's not as secure as you may think. The computers have to have many security features too. There are so many firewalls and programs, each designed to try and prevent viruses getting in. However, none of the systems are completely secure. Programs are only as clever as the people designing them and if they leave an obvious loophole the system will be worthless. There will always be people who can find the loopholes if they have enough time.

In fact, if there was a virus to get onto our school computer system it would go down and quite a lot of things would grind to a halt. Like for example the school registration is now automatic so it would be very hard to register pupils. I would imagine that the fire bells are controlled by computer systems too, so if they were unable to work, the school may have to be closed, until the system is sorted out. The fact that the computers can play music out loud can also be a bad thing. After school when people come to play on games on the computers they play very loud, bad music. This distracts me from my school work.

So, if abused, the fact that the computers play music is also a bad thing. If there wasn't the school computer system each computer would be individual, the teachers wouldn't be able to take control of them when they want us to listen, I would have to work at the same computer every time, so if it got broken or damaged I would have a problem. Also my work would not be backed up. I would have to print out my work and I couldn't acess the shared documents file. This means more paper is being used. The less paper we can use, the better as it is good for the environment and this makes the school a better place.