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General Chat Thread, Laptops For Teachers programmes in General; Hello all - not sure where this should go, as it doesnt easily fit into any given category - more ...
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    Laptops For Teachers programmes

    Hello all - not sure where this should go, as it doesnt easily fit into any given category - more an 'administration' type question.

    In short - due to past incidents, we're looking to radically revise our Laptops for Teachers policy. This breaks down into two sections:

    1) Use of the laptops. The advice we've been given is to use one of two policies - allow staff to connect the laptops to our domain and network, to use them at home but not to connect to the Internet via any method than the college itself.
    Or...
    To allow free use of the laptops on the internet at home, to bring them in to work - but not to allow them to connect to the domain while here.

    Curious to see how others are tacking this issue - remember that we have had some fairly significant incidents resulting from internet use on staff laptops in the past.

    2)
    How many we give - due to the cost considerations, we'd like to get a souding of the manner in which other institutions give out laptops. Do all and sundry get them - or is there are more defined method to give to the users with the most need?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Laptops For Teachers programmes

    We allow them to access home networks and school networks. We give them a local account with full admin rights for when they are at home.

    We use Macaffee for AV and can check when the last time a particular machine was updated and scanned, and we do the same with our anti-spyware program, CounterSpy.

    We have now had to tell staff that it should be used for work purposes only, but that is due to tax issues ... but they still connect fine at home.

    We have only had a few cases of viruses being brought in and that is after the summer.

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    Re: Laptops For Teachers programmes

    We give teachers full admin rights on the laptops. Most of the staff have quite low skill levels so don't install much software and viruses are not much of a problem (we've had 1 infection in the last 7 months).

    They are allowed to configure their laptops to work however they want to, but they are on the domain. I don't see any advantages from a 'what works best for teaching' point of view to restricting them.

    I have only had to deal with a couple of incidents of staff installing tons of stuff like screensavers and chat programs. This is easily solved when I go and fix the 'slowness' and inform them of what caused it.

    However, I don't know how things will change now that we have the staff sign a form saying that they won't use the laptops for personal things. We'll see.

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    Re: Laptops For Teachers programmes

    We give two options to staff... but only the ones on the actual LFT scheme - which only ran for three years!

    1. You have it networked and I manage software installations and everything - plus work is synchronised to allow work off site.

    2. I install the factory install image and the teacher is left to it. The laptop receives NO tech support from me other than a re-install of the factory image and I make no attempt to recover lost data.

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    Re: Laptops For Teachers programmes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    We give two options to staff... but only the ones on the actual LFT scheme - which only ran for three years!

    1. You have it networked and I manage software installations and everything - plus work is synchronised to allow work off site.

    2. I install the factory install image and the teacher is left to it. The laptop receives NO tech support from me other than a re-install of the factory image and I make no attempt to recover lost data.
    Interesting - as far as I understand it, here they've decided to continue the LFT scheme in-house after the goverment portion ended.

    I must admit this is an interesting solution you're using - I assume you have the backup of SMT when it comes to being allowed to say 'no' when someone brings in a horribly infected/wrecked machine under 2?

    A lot of what we're looking at is as a result of a comprehensive look at our data security and protection policies - with the amount of sensitive data heading home on staff laptops and thus connecting to the internet, it's an avenue we've been told to look at seriously.

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    Re: Laptops For Teachers programmes

    Quote Originally Posted by derer1
    must admit this is an interesting solution you're using - I assume you have the backup of SMT when it comes to being allowed to say 'no' when someone brings in a horribly infected/wrecked machine under 2?
    The reason that we allow 'home-use' of the LFTs is because of the wording in the LFT agreement.

    We want all staff to use their laptops in lessons with IWBs and the like... 'levering our investment in ICT'

    As a consequence, I wrote it into the staff AUP

    Besides, how can I be expected to have backups for a machine that I've never seen?

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    Re: Laptops For Teachers programmes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    Quote Originally Posted by derer1
    must admit this is an interesting solution you're using - I assume you have the backup of SMT when it comes to being allowed to say 'no' when someone brings in a horribly infected/wrecked machine under 2?
    The reason that we allow 'home-use' of the LFTs is because of the wording in the LFT agreement.

    We want all staff to use their laptops in lessons with IWBs and the like... 'levering our investment in ICT'

    As a consequence, I wrote it into the staff AUP

    Besides, how can I be expected to have backups for a machine that I've never seen?
    Good point - and this puts the liability for damage either to the workstation or to the systems firmly in the hands of the end user.

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    Re: Laptops For Teachers programmes

    Which reminds me, make sure their car and home insurance cover the laptop when it's offsite.

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