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Educational Software Thread, Controlling browsers in school in Technical; ...
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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Controlling browsers in school

    As part of a twitter conversation there has been some discussion about why so many schools stick with IE and older version at that too.

    I thought it might be a good idea to start putting together a list of why some schools need to stick with a single browser, why consistency is a pretty good thing, about how you can get other browsers working if they are really wanted, about how to lock them down if that is what is needed, the risks associated with some browsers (ie add-ons, etc) and so on ...

    If people are intertested in this please let me know. The following is in a google doc which I will update or others can if they want.

    Browsers in a school environment.

    An internet browser is now a corner stone of the IT provision in a school. Whether it is used to access search engines, online resources, VLEs, web 2.0 tools, local resources / software … we would be lost without it.

    However, not all schools make use of browsers in the same way, set them up the same, lock them down or even make use of all browsers. There are many reasons for this and I hope this document will grow to cover most areas.

    To start with I think it is worth looking purely at browsers in a windows environment. We also have to remember that how that environment is set up makes a world of difference.

    Brands of Browser
    Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8.
    Firefox version 3.4, 3.5, 3.6

    How is software / network managed (Vanilla, CC3, CC4, Ranger, Classlink, etc)?

    How is software deployed (GPO / .msi, management tools, on machine image, etc)?

    How are changes made (new .msi, management tools, new machine image, etc)?

    Please feel free to add personal experience of how you have done any of the above.


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    We use IE, Firefox and Chrome on student machines.
    It's a limited choice but they seem to cater for most things. Not really had the time to play with safari,opera or any others -but I would if the need arose.
    We stop students from installing plugins, and on every login the default settings are applied. We tend to manage the plugins remotely (flash,java etc).
    students know that if a particular app doesn't work, they should try another browser. Locking things too much is overrated. so what if a student decides to have a new homepage? as long as they can't break anything (they can't) I'm not bothered.
    Security updates is the only thing I'm really worried about, but smoothwall does a pretty decent job of blocking dodgy sites

  3. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

    GrumbleDook (2nd March 2011)

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