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Birmingham Grid for Learning (BGfL) Thread, BYOD and BGFL in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Hiya all, Long time, no post... back working in a school in brum. We've recently upgraded our wireless system and ...
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    OllieC's Avatar
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    BYOD and BGFL

    Hiya all,

    Long time, no post... back working in a school in brum.

    We've recently upgraded our wireless system and we're looking to introduce BYOD support for staff and students.

    We're currently a little unclear about the birmingham grid for learning's stance on BYOD. Is there anybody who is currently part of BGFL who is already providing BYOD? How do you do it? What obstacles have you faced regarding the grid?

    From our current understanding, to stick to BGFL's terms of use we would only be able to provide students access to our terminal server gateway on their own devices - accessing the internet through a TS session on our system rather than any direct access to the internet.

    Ideally we'd want to give them access to the internet - which we can have them authenticate for against our Lightspeed box to provide filtering and logging against their name.

    Would love to hear from anyone who's already doing BYOD within the grid so we can finally work out which direction to take this in. Is there any official policy or reasoning with the grid that would prevent us from providing the access that we'd like to?


    Thanks

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    My previous school was part of BGFL. We allowed BYOD for staff and they could access the guest wireless for internet access. School supplied laptops were on the secure network and these could access networked directories. Staff and students could access their files via remote desktop, but the remote desktop wasn't accessible from the guest or secure wireless, so if you BYOD'ed you couldn't access your files, unless you used some other internet, eg BT hotspot.

    I remember when SMT all rushed out and bought iPads and BYODed. They accepted that we couldn't allow these to access the secure network. ICT didn't have an iPad and until we were supplied with one for research, the IT boss said that's how it was going to be!

    Officially, there was BYOD for selected students (dyslexia, etc) and some gifted ones. These were on the guest network. In reality, everyone with a mobile phone would access the internet using the guest wireless and this was impossible to stop.

    Dunno what the BGFL policy is but I suspect they would say BYOD is right out.
    Last edited by unixman_again; 8th March 2013 at 10:21 AM.

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    limbo's Avatar
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    We already do this, currently just for our Sixth Form as phase 1.

    I have interpreted it like this: Student owned machines do not have access to the BGfL connection or any associated equipment. They connect to a different wirless network which grants access to a closed VPN that has no access to the internet directly. It does provide access to a desktop running as a proxy server. The agreement says that only School owned devices can connect to the internet connection, and the proxy server is school owned and therefore it is within the rules in the same way that a TS machine would be.

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    OllieC's Avatar
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    Hmm interesting angle. We've got it set up now so that students connect to an open BYOD SSID, they then open a URL which allows them to login to a terminal server. We use Ericom remote terminal server stuff so it can deliver it as HTML 5 so it works on tablets supposedly. Just tackling auto redirection of pages so they don't have to type in our specific URL...

    Next step, to radius for the staff ssid and do away with preshared keys!

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    DocHouse's Avatar
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    We do it for staff via a guest network for non school owned devices

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    Remember Link2ICT are running a BYOD day next week on advice to schools! Which I'm being dragged along to.

    AFAIK BGfL doesn't exist anymore. The time for a big grid with central resources for all schools has long past. Consider them really to be your ISP, filtering, potential supplier and MIS support.

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