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Hardware Thread, Our Head Has Asked Me To Obtain Opinions From Edugeek On Laptops/Notebooks Etc. in Technical; Not just Smoothwall, we have a SA box from county that does the same, if you're going to implement them ...
  1. #16

    abillybob's Avatar
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    Not just Smoothwall, we have a SA box from county that does the same, if you're going to implement them make sure you have the kit to back them. Some schools aren't as fortunate enough to have a whole Apple based infrastructure backing the devices and this causes issues. Plus if he is going down the Apple route "knock knock, welcome to the Apple eco system" he will have to purchase a Mac Mini to manage them! Plus then Android devices and Windows devices are out of the question, Apple doesn't like Android etc... and he will find himself locked into Apple forever and this will cause endless frustrations if he ever encounters a problem.

    Smoothwall and their support is top notch funny how every other device I throw at our Smoothwall box works but Apple devices?
    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Don't equate the proxying issues that occur with the Smoothwall as the fault of iOS. Smoothwall proxying is not overly good IMO and seems to break many things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeekyPete View Post
    There is way to little information here to give an sensible recommendation. The one thing I would commend him on trying to gain some uniformity. There has been too much hype around BYOD recently and too many apparently knowledgable people touting it as the future. What happens when you try to teach a class of 30 students on BYOD? You find out that the class has a mix of WIn7, Win8.1, IOS and 4 flavours of andriod? Anyway that's off topic.
    I've heard this argument a few times recently in discussions with SLT but then I ask what are the devices actually going to be used for? Asking teachers about their use of our existing ICT suites, it seems the fast majority of use is either Word Processing and Internet Research. If we provide ICT suites and/or laptop trollies for word processing, then that just leaves Internet research. Does the base OS of the BYOD really matter? All you really need is a Web Browser, No? I suppose there are questions over HTML5 and Flash compatibility, but beyond that?

    To my mind, the problem with BYOD is the same as supplying single model 1:1 devices as replacements to existing ICT. They are fine until you need to write an essay, do CAD, music composition, etc - then the form factor and software choices start to let the devices down as what you really need is a full computer...

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    speckytecky (4th March 2014)

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    Looking here at mobile computing also, so far for the phone side of things, we went with iPhones. As much as I dislike apple products, they did the best job at what we needed, and it was a simple decision really when we weighed up the pro's and con's.

    As for physical devices which the staff used, some wanted tablets, some wanted laptops, we went to the partners and laptops were the way forward. We did research into various tablets. iPads and Droid devices fell short for what we needed (seemless networking, office, GPOs etc), so we looked heavily at Windows tablets. Asus VivoTab was where were going to go if we went for tablet devices.

    Sorry I can't be of any more help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Don't equate the proxying issues that occur with the Smoothwall as the fault of iOS. Smoothwall proxying is not overly good IMO and seems to break many things.
    He didn't mention smoothwall. @seawolf - do you have a secure solution for your IOS devices? One that can audit use by Who, What and When. Filter, including safesearch enforcement and blocking individual images in Goole Image Search but is invisible to the users not just on Safari, but also all apps and for the app store and apple updates? This I what I need and I am still looking for a solution. So far smoothwall looks like the nearest I can get.

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    He has just come up to Network Support saying that he has had a 'brilliant' idea: Use Chromebooks instead of computers in some of our smaller computer rooms. I tried to say that there were management issues that our network is not prepared for yet but he wouldn't hear me. Anyway he wants me to look into this also. Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    To my mind, the problem with BYOD is the same as supplying single model 1:1 devices as replacements to existing ICT. They are fine until you need to write an essay, do CAD, music composition, etc - then the form factor and software choices start to let the devices down as what you really need is a full computer...
    BYOD can include laptops. But then do you install AutoCAD, Sibelius etc on any device that someone happens to walk up with. No. I think you and I are on the same page regarding BYOD. For teaching and learning everyone involved needs a consistent experience. So until everything is cloud based we are still looking at school managed devices.

    Back to the original question, It's not just what the teachers want, what will the school consider as an acceptable risk and what do you have in place to mitigate that? It is irrresponsible and bad governance to give people an iPad and open access to the internet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    He has just come up to Network Support saying that he has had a 'brilliant' idea: Use Chromebooks instead of computers in some of our smaller computer rooms. I tried to say that there were management issues that our network is not prepared for yet but he wouldn't hear me. Anyway he wants me to look into this also. Thoughts?
    How much do you currently use Google Apps/Google Drive? Is he thinking about pushing Google Apps as the goto Office suite instead of Microsoft across all devices? Keep all documents on Google's cloud servers rather than on local hard drives?

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    Google chromebooks can cause issues. To be honest matey the point being is if you have a Windows infrastructure already in place and more than capable then why try to change that! Staff and users will only get annoyed as their favourite Document editor isn't on there or they can't register children with Sims. It's a no brainer to me

    Oh and this isn't from first experience but apparently trying to get printers to work with Chromebooks is a nightmare (so I've heard, could be wrong)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    He has just come up to Network Support saying that he has had a 'brilliant' idea: Use Chromebooks instead of computers in some of our smaller computer rooms. I tried to say that there were management issues that our network is not prepared for yet but he wouldn't hear me. Anyway he wants me to look into this also. Thoughts?
    Give him two lists, everything it can do, Browse the internet, use google docs. And everything it can't do, everything else.

    In fairness, These might actually have a place in schools. I've seen FE colleges use them in library settings, but again, what will they be used for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbillbridgnorth View Post
    Not just Smoothwall, we have a SA box from county that does the same, if you're going to implement them make sure you have the kit to back them. Some schools aren't as fortunate enough to have a whole Apple based infrastructure backing the devices and this causes issues. Plus if he is going down the Apple route "knock knock, welcome to the Apple eco system" he will have to purchase a Mac Mini to manage them! Plus then Android devices and Windows devices are out of the question, Apple doesn't like Android etc... and he will find himself locked into Apple forever and this will cause endless frustrations if he ever encounters a problem.

    Smoothwall and their support is top notch funny how every other device I throw at our Smoothwall box works but Apple devices?
    Oh boy. You don't need an Apple based infrastructure to use iPads or Macs. Even Apple doesn't use an Apple-based backend. You just need systems that aren't designed to operate just like it's 1999. And no, he doesn't need a Mac Mini, but even if that were absolutely necessary a whole $670 bucks, wow.

    Anyway, that's not what this topic is about so let's drop it.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    @DaveP this would be a good review for your boss on chrome books.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi2VNVRbftc

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  15. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeekyPete View Post
    He didn't mention smoothwall. @seawolf - do you have a secure solution for your IOS devices? One that can audit use by Who, What and When. Filter, including safesearch enforcement and blocking individual images in Goole Image Search but is invisible to the users not just on Safari, but also all apps and for the app store and apple updates? This I what I need and I am still looking for a solution. So far smoothwall looks like the nearest I can get.
    Yes, I do absolutely and it blows the doors off of Smoothwall. We use the iBoss by Phantom. I have found nothing that even comes close to it.

    It can also provide that secure filtering everywhere the iOS device goes and not by using the hokey reverse proxy method of the Smoothwall. I tried Smoothwall, and after moving to the iBoss 3 years ago, I can't for the life of me figure out why so many people are so loyal to Smoothwall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbillbridgnorth View Post
    Google chromebooks can cause issues. To be honest matey the point being is if you have a Windows infrastructure already in place and more than capable then why try to change that! Staff and users will only get annoyed as their favourite Document editor isn't on there or they can't register children with Sims. It's a no brainer to me

    Oh and this isn't from first experience but apparently trying to get printers to work with Chromebooks is a nightmare (so I've heard, could be wrong)
    Chromebooks work very well if the school is already a Google Apps school. Getting printers to work is dinky and buggy though.

  17. #29

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    Should add, Chris Pirillo has no ties to Apple, MS or Google, he uses whatever he is in the mood for, his reviews are fair. He is now being approached by various companies (Toshiba, Samsung, and Asus) to begin testing their equipment and doing reviews.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Oh boy. You don't need an Apple based infrastructure to use iPads or Macs. Even Apple doesn't use an Apple-based backend. You just need systems that aren't designed to operate just like it's 1999. And no, he doesn't need a Mac Mini, but even if that were absolutely necessary a whole $670 bucks, wow.

    Anyway, that's not what this topic is about so let's drop it.
    That's funny our systems run Windows Server 2012, filecloud on site cloud storage, 1Gigabit Switches, 5Ghz AC Wireless around the whole school. I didn't know all this was available in 1999, please tell me more.... If he wants to use Apple Configurator (which he needs to supervise devices) he needs a Mac please show me otherwise. Plus the screen, mouse and keyboard then any other software he may want to add such as printing capability through the Mac Mini, Mac Server application, I could continue but don't want to waste my breath.

    Your whole comment is basically invalid, iOS limitations and known bugs to Apple themselves aren't an issue with our brand new network but Apples incapability of allowing the consumer to manage these devices properly.

    Edit: I would be very interested to see how you have your infrastructure setup! I find all you do is brag about how good Mac's are for your school but haven't made much contribution on the exact details on how you manage them. If they work as well as they you say they do stop whining about it on random forums and create a blog on here to let people know how to manage these devices properly. I'm sure there are 100's of people on here that would like to know the golden answer that you apparently have to the majority of people on EduGeek struggling with these devices.
    Last edited by abillybob; 4th March 2014 at 10:41 AM.

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