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Comments and Suggestions Thread, Registered workers ONLY (schools + companies) forums? in EduGeek Stuff; I'm convinced I've read this being touched on in another thread but despite hefty searches can't find it! Would it ...
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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Registered workers ONLY (schools + companies) forums?

    I'm convinced I've read this being touched on in another thread but despite hefty searches can't find it!

    Would it be possible to create a secure area (in terms of who can view / submit, not in terms of SSL) that ONLY users who have been confirmed as working in schools, or working in registered companies could enter, view and submit messages?
    Thinking more technically, would it be possible to develop a system where existing forums are still used but are unaccessible to unverified users?

    Obviously this facility would require additional administrative effort (for which I'm more than willing to volunteer!), but the system would allow users the peace of mind when posting messages.
    The worst case scenario would see users have to email / fax to have their position verified (which again, I'd volunteer to assist with), but I'm sure this could be adapted and made easier if we pooled ideas?

    The concept might be viewed as slightly controversial as one could argue that EduGeek's popularity is partly based on the fact that anyone can (and does) contribute, which I wouldn't want to stop. Having a separate secure area that users could choose to post to as an alternative to the public areas would allow the users to make informed choices about who they wanted to see their messages - and generally increasing user choice leads to positives!

    What do others think?

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    I'm sure they could do it but... imagine the administration involved, maybe by e-mail address they could automate it, we'd all need to sign up with our school e-mails, have an extra field in our profile and an automated clickable link is sent to confirm the address - could be a bit of a tough one to administer.

    If i leave my job in 2 weeks, i'd still have access with my method above, it'd have to be e-mails sent every few months

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    leco's Avatar
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    Leaving the administration aside for a moment, though I realise that it is an important factor. I think such an area would give a certain amount of credence to posts, if I was sure that they came from people in a similar situation. From people who are aware of the constraints and/or environment within which we work, not just the technological side.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I really cannot think of situations where I would want to post so that only people employed in the education sector can see what I've said.

    The issues we discuss are pertinent to IT and schools... you get little protection (whatever that may be) from restricting thread views to education employees... if it's something risky that you need to say, maybe it shouldn't be said here.

    Your job is probably more at risk from other education employees (and sadly this has happened in the last 12 months) who identify you from your posting than from those outside the sector.

    I can't say that pre-approved membership appeals at all... and that's before thinking of the costs involved.

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    markcuk's Avatar
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    Here we go again

    Imagine people not in the UK having to fax someone or whatever just to prove they work in a school.

    This site as just been advertised in a New Zealand computer magazine as a open forum for anyone.

    If you are worried about someone from your school reading something you post maybe you should sort that issue out first.

    mark

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    leco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    The issues we discuss are pertinent to IT and schools... you get little protection (whatever that may be) from restricting thread views to education employees... if it's something risky that you need to say, maybe it shouldn't be said here.

    Your job is probably more at risk from other education employees (and sadly this has happened in the last 12 months) who identify you from your posting than from those outside the sector.
    I wasn't really thinking about security, nor being recognised, though I agree it is sad if jobs have been put at risk through posting. I was thinking more in terms of procedures and policies, physical (or virtual) resources not to mention budgets.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    I wasn't really thinking about security, nor being recognised, though I agree it is sad if jobs have been put at risk through posting. I was thinking more in terms of procedures and policies, physical (or virtual) resources not to mention budgets.


    Why does working in a school make a difference here?

    Procedure and policies do differ a little in schools as there are child-protection issues in addition to the usual data-protection ones. However, people not currently employed in schools may have equally valid opinions and lengthy experience, perhaps having previously worked in a school or with young people.

    As for budgeting, these issues apply in every buiness whether schools or not, across the world. At private schools we have a slightly different set of budgetary challenges (start with having to pay VAT), but that doesn't mean our opinions or suggestions are any less useful.

    I build my opinions on other posters based on 'getting to know them' around these boards. You rapidly pick who's an expert in what area. (Got a legalistic problem - get Grumbledook in! )

    If you follow this line of thought, you prevent US or NZ posters from posting on UK threads, because they don't know about the economy or education rules in the UK... total nonsense!

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    leco's Avatar
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    Point taken elsiegee40, having the discussion brings out ideas that may not otherwise surface. I am obviously suffering from typing first and thinking second. Sorry.

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    elsiegee40 (25th April 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    Point taken elsiegee40, having the discussion brings out ideas that may not otherwise surface. I am obviously suffering from typing first and thinking second. Sorry.

    No offence taken. It's Saturday morning (well, in the Uk anyway! ) and we're having an open discussion between people on these boards. All opinions welcome, as long as they are polite!

  11. Thanks to elsiegee40 from:

    leco (25th April 2009)

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    russdev's Avatar
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    To say we have visited this idea and we did look at it long and hard. Also we looked at some of the sites around like us that needed to prove you where in a school. I would say the names but none of them around anymore.

    We made decision it just wouldn't work both on admin side and the fact it goes against ethos which DB created this site under which was a free & open site. This has always followed through to things we do like our events (all free etc).

    But we did look at it etc and if members say we will look at it again.

    Russ

  13. 2 Thanks to russdev:

    elsiegee40 (25th April 2009), leco (25th April 2009)

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markcuk View Post
    Here we go again

    Imagine people not in the UK having to fax someone or whatever just to prove they work in a school.

    This site as just been advertised in a New Zealand computer magazine as a open forum for anyone.

    If you are worried about someone from your school reading something you post maybe you should sort that issue out first.

    mark
    I'm surprised / saddened by the replies so far.
    This post was put in the comments and suggestions area for a reason - it is purely a suggestion, and open to comments. I didn't think it would appear SO negative!

    Mark,
    I'm not suggesting that the main focus of the site should be changed and not allow anyone to join. It's the reason I joined in the first place which is probably the same for a large proportion of other members.

    What Iím saying is, in my opinion, it would be nice to be able to post in an area that only verified users in similar roles to ourselves could contribute. Sometimes it would be entirely appropriate to wish to post something which you don't want current / ex-students (or ex-workers for that fact) to be able to see. All I'm suggesting is that 1) the functionality would be nice and 2) the creator of the thread might be able to have the option to choose themselves.

    Your final sentence about being worried / sorting out issues is completely out of context (if aimed at me) and does not apply at all. I have never posted anything that I would be unwilling to say in any of my work environments. The only reason I stay reasonably anonymous is so that anyone with a specific negative agenda (perhaps a pupil wanting to know what technologies we use, or pinpoint any vulnerabilities we may have at some point) would be unable to find me easily.

    If I may reply with an equally blunt, but entirely appropriate remark, I would suggest that in this wonderful public forum which you value so highly you perhaps consider the tone of your responses so as not to alienate the people you seek to assist or receive help from.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    MB2K01, the opinions differ from yours and this thread has opened a discussion. I wouldn't describe it as a negative thread. Without discussion, things don't move forward. It seems that, so far, perhaps people prefer things the way they are.

    However, opinions from 5 members are hardly a representive sample of the 10k+ edugeekers... so who knows where this thread will go or what it will lead to!

  16. Thanks to elsiegee40 from:

    mb2k01 (25th April 2009)

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    I guess the groups could be used to this effect if the group owners/administrators moderated?

    I can see some use for it, although prior to starting at the school I wouldn't have been able to search the information i needed.
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 25th April 2009 at 12:27 PM. Reason: forgot a bit

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    MB2K01, the opinions differ from yours and this thread has opened a discussion. I wouldn't describe it as a negative thread. Without discussion, things don't move forward. It seems that, so far, perhaps people prefer things the way they are.

    However, opinions from 5 members are hardly a representive sample of the 10k+ edugeekers... so who knows where this thread will go or what it will lead to!
    Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    No offence taken. It's Saturday morning (well, in the Uk anyway! ) and we're having an open discussion between people on these boards. All opinions welcome, as long as they are polite!
    Also agreed! This is kind of what I was getting at in my previous post in response to Mark.
    I welcome discussion, I welcome alternative opinions, I welcome disagreement. I don't welcome inpoliteness - there's never any need for it!

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    This has been discussed in depth here: Verified Role Status for EduGeek and as the discussion got heated the thread was locked.

    Personally I am against this and will repost some of the reasons why from the other thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK
    Just a word of caution for this, the more information that is collected the more chance there is for something to go wrong. Members have already had to quit the forum because their details got out. Its not that I don't trust the site or the people who run it or anything like that but the mere presence of the data increases the danger.

    There have already been attempts to hack the site - admittedly to use it a a proxy - and this would make it an even more tempting and valuable target. The other thing is that all it would take would be one weak link in the system to cause trouble, one volunteer checker with a grudge or compromised email for all hell to break loose.

    I think that although it could be useful it would cause a large administrative burden and put a lot more of a burden on the site than anyone has predicted.

    There is also a strange sense of security that comes with being anonymous that enables people to participate that otherwise may not be able to. The demonizing of students is also a dangerous path as there may well be be students that are able to provide value to the forum. The forum came along after I had left school but if it had been around back then it would have been useful to me and I could have been useful to it as I was in fact supporting some school computers. Drawing lines is sometimes necessary but it should be considered very carefully.
    I agree fully with markcuk that this kind of move would affect the welcoming image of the site community which can already be a little 'cold' for international visitors* and will limit the amount of participation further. This kind of move would be more likely to cause cliques and break down the group dynamic. You would also leave yourself open to attacks from the groupthink monster which may heavily constrain the amount of new ideas that you are exposed to. This would also involve putting your faith entirely in the system to protect you which could be dangerous if it was ever circumvented.

    Additionally in my opinion at least I don't think that markcuk was being rude, just coveying his opinion in an emotive way which is understandable as it effectly locks out many of us from continuing to participate in the forum as a whole.

    A simmilar idea that may give you some of the features that you are after would be friend limited discussions where your posts were limited to those people that you had added as friends and trust on an individual basis. This would be quite heavy on the server though and so there would need to be a big benifit to justify its implementation.

    You could also start your own group and restrict joining with the existing system, you could then apply whatever criteria to joining you wanted and have your discussions in there but I have to say that that would be rather anti-social.

    Anyhow, these are just my opinions and are not intended to be inpolite.

    * by this I mean the welcome threads for other countries which are left abandoned by the vast majority.

  21. 2 Thanks to SYNACK:

    mark (25th April 2009), mb2k01 (25th April 2009)

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