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Hardware Thread, i-Pad vs Laptop in Technical; Originally Posted by CyberNerd I don't think it has to go as far as locking machines down. If kids bring ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I don't think it has to go as far as locking machines down. If kids bring in porn and games to lessons then they should get in trouble for it. Teaching young people is about giving them responsibility for their actions, but also about educating them in real life situations. Whilst I agree that schools should block chat forums/porn/gambling etc from within the school, I believe that it is the schools responsibility to educate the children (and their parents) [about the internet]. Schools should be facilitating and actively encouraging BYOD as it is a better route to these goals than banning everything.
    BYOD, technology for the affluent and the newest great divide in education and the latest charge away from bothering to teach them and attempting to hand it off to yet another 'revolutionary' device. Technology is not the answer, it is a tool. Just because a tool can be used safely does not mean that it will be. Why do schools use safety giloteins instead of the old drop blade kind, safety scisors in primary schools, only large non swallowable toys in the junior areas. Tools are useful as they can get things done, they are not good or evil but they can be dangerous if not managed properly.

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    rdk
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Why do teachers need to install software anyway........
    That single quote sums up the divide that exists in schools where the relationship between IT department and teachers is dysfunctional. Like it or not the job of schools is to educate children, & the people who do that are the teachers. Everything else in a school is there to support teachers in their teaching. If a teacher decides that they would like to try some software, on a machine that is "theirs" that should be their decision. If you lock down machines in a situation where teachers have to take their school machines home to do school work at home, but are then unable to anything personal on it, it's just small minded pettiness. If your system is designed so that teachers can do all their at-home work on a personal computer they own at home and leave their school machine at school then fair enough.

    If you are in a school where the primary mode of operation is that teaching & learning needs to adapt to the demands of the tech dept rather than vice-versa then I believe that is a dysfunctional school.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdk View Post
    That single quote sums up the divide that exists in schools where the relationship between IT department and teachers is dysfunctional. Like it or not the job of schools is to educate children, & the people who do that are the teachers. Everything else in a school is there to support teachers in their teaching. If a teacher decides that they would like to try some software, on a machine that is "theirs" that should be their decision. If you lock down machines in a situation where teachers have to take their school machines home to do school work at home, but are then unable to anything personal on it, it's just small minded pettiness. If your system is designed so that teachers can do all their at-home work on a personal computer they own at home and leave their school machine at school then fair enough.

    If you are in a school where the primary mode of operation is that teaching & learning needs to adapt to the demands of the tech dept rather than vice-versa then I believe that is a dysfunctional school.
    Your post indicates that you have a rose tinted, or dare I say it, naive view of how IT works within schools then. Viruses, copyright infringement, porn. All things that appear on teacher laptops when they have full access to the system. IT equipment is there to enable teachers to do their job. If they need a piece of software to do something, that is what we are here for - to test and buy that software and deploy it for use - ensuring it is suitable and will actually work.

    It isn't a matter of trust, its a matter of the reality of what we see on a daily basis.

    As the equipment belongs to the school, this means that the school is responsible for it. This includes data protection, child protection, copyright and many other legal obligations. By not locking them down, the school is significantly opening themselves up to major problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdk View Post
    That single quote sums up the divide that exists in schools where the relationship between IT department and teachers is dysfunctional.
    Really? So remind me again as to some of your earlier posts:

    We have about 300 iPads, and we decided >1 year ago that the kids would manage their own iPads, as they are personal devices to every student and they take them home at night etc. Also, the VPP is not available in Australia so we needed the kids to install the apps (we gave out iTunes cards). So, yes, we would not like to start managing the iPads now
    We buy individual gift cards for each machine and have the kids install the apps. But these are machines that are managed buy the kids although owned by the school
    We have not tried to manage them at all, and as far as we're aware it is so difficult as to be not worth it
    If they stuff it up, its their responsibility to buy a new iTunes card to get the apps
    So remind me again what your "non-dysfunctional" department actually does? As you don't install apps, you don't support them, or even attempt to lock them as it's "too hard" and if they break it it's their own fault and need to buy it again.....

    Think you've really got a one-sided view on what's dysfunctional or not...

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Your post indicates that you have a rose tinted, or dare I say it, naive view of how IT works within schools then. Viruses, copyright infringement, porn. All things that appear on teacher laptops when they have full access to the system. IT equipment is there to enable teachers to do their job. If they need a piece of software to do something, that is what we are here for - to test and buy that software and deploy it for use - ensuring it is suitable and will actually work.
    again there is a fine line between policy and physical restrictions and @rdk is correct when he says we are employed to support the teachers in their work. Yes install virus protection, yes use internet filters, but I see no sence in being so draconian when it comes to staff laptops as to locking them down so completely. We make every member of staff a local administrator their laptop. There are procedures in place if we discover a laptop is being used inappropriately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    We make every member of staff a local administrator their laptop. There are procedures in place if we discover a laptop is being used inappropriately.
    For "staff only" that's fair enough, we do the same. But original question was on students 6th form etc, Don't really see how letting every student have full access on their laptop/ipad/"thing" is going to be any more secure than just giving every student in a school a local admin account too.

    End of day the restrictions of not having admin accounts at school is to protect everyone, students, teachers, etc etc. Why would you let 200+ (6th form w/e number) people run around with adminified laptops?

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    again there is a fine line between policy and physical restrictions and @rdk is correct when he says we are employed to support the teachers in their work. Yes install virus protection, yes use internet filters, but I see no sence in being so draconian when it comes to staff laptops as to locking them down so completely. We make every member of staff a local administrator their laptop. There are procedures in place if we discover a laptop is being used inappropriately.
    Do you report them for copyright infringement? No? In which case, your policy doesn't comply with the law in my view... It means that you aren't preventing your staff from breaking copyright on your school systems, which is as bad as facilitating it really.

    Its basically a cop-out answer - 'we tell them off if they do bad things', but are you looking for them doing bad things? Trying to prevent them from doing them?

    Let's look at a different aspect - data protection. Do you encrypt laptops, and enforce their encryption? If so, why? It is a preventative measure against confidential data ending up in hands it shouldn't be in, be that through theft or a teacher leaving their laptop at the pub. Why take that preventative attitude (which is the attitude that the government basically dictates we have to take now) for data protection but not other aspects of the law?

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    rdk
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Your post indicates that you have a rose tinted, or dare I say it, naive view of how IT works within schools then. Viruses, copyright infringement, porn. All things that appear on teacher laptops when they have full access to the system. IT equipment is there to enable teachers to do their job. If they need a piece of software to do something, that is what we are here for - to test and buy that software and deploy it for use - ensuring it is suitable and will actually work.
    Well, I'm the eLearning Co-ordinator at a school with 312 1:1: laptops, 300 1:1 iPads, 80+ teacher laptops plus approx 250 computers on trolleys and in labs. I work closely with the network manager and we do not generally implement any significant IT development (in teaching & learning or in IT hardware) without coming to some sort of agreement first. This sometimes requires compromise on my part, sometimes on hers. So, pretty sure I'm not naive.

    If I want to test some software in science, say, or if the Maths Co-ordinator want to test some software in maths, we're not going to the IT technicians to test it for us. We'll test it, then if we think it suitable for teaching we'll discuss with the IT dept how and whether to implement the software across the school. The idea of having the IT dept make teaching and learning decisions is ridiculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    So remind me again what your "non-dysfunctional" department actually does? As you don't install apps, you don't support them, or even attempt to lock them as it's "too hard" and if they break it it's their own fault and need to buy it again.....

    Think you've really got a one-sided view on what's dysfunctional or not... Steve
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    For "staff only" that's fair enough, we do the same. But original question was on students 6th form etc, Don't really see how letting every student have full access on their laptop/ipad/"thing" is going to be any more secure than just giving every student in a school a local admin account too.

    End of day the restrictions of not having admin accounts at school is to protect everyone, students, teachers, etc etc. Why would you let 200+ (6th form w/e number) people run around with adminified laptops?Steve
    Any computer at school that students use (whether desktop or laptop) that has access to the network is accessed as a user, not administrator. The 500+ 1:1 devices listed above are administered locally and do not have access to the network, only the internet. In this case I cannot see any reason to have them locked down. We aim to have very few (<100) student use computers on the network over the next couple of years.

    Data protection - student data resides on the network, not on teachers' laptops and is accessed over the network. The amount of confidential data available over the network is pretty limited anyway. Reporting is through a web interface (Accelerus) and again the data resides on the network. The teachers are likely to have more personal stuff written down about kids in notebooks than on their laptops.

    Copyright - how can an IT department prevent copyright breaches? Do you check every photocopy? Do you stop teachers scanning? If a staff member or student reasonably requires software for teaching and learning it is supplied. If a staff member or student installs pirated software they have broken the law regardless of who owns the machine.

    In my experience IT departments that overly restrict the use of IT through extensive "locking down" of student and teacher devices are a great impediment to the successful implementation of ICT in teaching and learning. Often (like anyone) they enjoy the control, and it is hard to let go.

    And in case anyone thinks that with that many 1:1 devices I work in some sort of leafy upper class school, we have an "Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage" (ICSEA) value much less than the Australian average and are substantially over the Australian average with kids/families in the two lower quartiles. But we do have a "non-dysfunctional" school with teaching & learning, admin and the IT department working closely together to get the best outcomes for the kids.
    Last edited by rdk; 11th August 2012 at 02:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdk View Post
    Well, I'm the eLearning Co-ordinator at a school with 312 1:1: laptops, 300 1:1 iPads, 80+ teacher laptops plus approx 250 computers on trolleys and in labs. I work closely with the network manager and we do not generally implement any significant IT development (in teaching & learning or in IT hardware) without coming to some sort of agreement first. This sometimes requires compromise on my part, sometimes on hers. So, pretty sure I'm not naive.

    If I want to test some software in science, say, or if the Maths Co-ordinator want to test some software in maths, we're not going to the IT technicians to test it for us. We'll test it, then if we think it suitable for teaching we'll discuss with the IT dept how and whether to implement the software across the school. The idea of having the IT dept make teaching and learning decisions is ridiculous.
    Maybe this is a AUS vs UK difference then but 99% of the time here, eLearning doesn't include software on local computers at all... It's all VLE based etc. Shouldn't be installing/touching any software wise really.

    And same goes for departmental software, "testing" sure the departments can do, "installation and securing software" hell no... It's not for them to install any random bits of software they want to use, and potentially open up the entire network to security holes without it being checked over, and I'd be seriously worried if that's the general process happening in your school... Whether it's illegal software that could be installed, or huge security risks.

    What would happen if one department decides to install a webserver, and posts all student information on it? Or something like that?


    Any computer at school that students use (whether desktop or laptop) that has access to the network is accessed as a user, not administrator. The 500+ 1:1 devices listed above are administered locally and do not have access to the network, only the internet. In this case I cannot see any reason to have them locked down. We aim to have very few (<100) student use computers on the network over the next couple of years.
    So none of the 500 devices have any access to the networked software/data anyway? So kind of defeats the point of having the devices, and the ability to install software locally anyway? Not to mention the fact that they're not allowed access is a lock down surely?

    Data protection - student data resides on the network, not on teachers' laptops and is accessed over the network. The amount of confidential data available over the network is pretty limited anyway. Reporting is through a web interface (Accelerus) and again the data resides on the network. The teachers are likely to have more personal stuff written down about kids in notebooks than on their laptops.
    But all of these devices accessing the data on the network have full rights to install any software/viruses etc they want? So if someone got a keylogger etc on their laptop through installing stupid "insert bloatware software here" they could get full access to your system?

    If a staff member or student reasonably requires software for teaching and learning it is supplied.
    Isn't that the opposite of what was originally said? They install what they want when they want, not by anyone in charge of the network?

    In my experience IT departments that overly restrict the use of IT through extensive "locking down" of student and teacher devices are a great impediment to the successful implementation of ICT in teaching and learning. Often (like anyone) they enjoy the control, and it is hard to let go.
    I don't see how restricting any of the student devices from the network and only allowing internet isn't even worse... You're giving them 0 access to any shared resources, printers, or anything.

    Whether or not it's "hard" to control shouldn't just be a reason to deny all access.

    But we do have a "non-dysfunctional" school with teaching & learning, admin and the IT department working closely together to get the best outcomes for the kids.
    Again, I'd highly disagree... You're basically denying all access to student devices to any shared resources, and giving anyone full access to anything they want the rest of the time... Which is HIGHLY dangerous, and really quite worrying to be honest.

    That's not working together, it's ignoring every standard/policy ever created within schools/IT just for an easy life....

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Do you report them for copyright infringement? No? In which case, your policy doesn't comply with the law in my view... It means that you aren't preventing your staff from breaking copyright on your school systems, which is as bad as facilitating it really.
    I think your argument is a little too black and white when in reality theres a lot of grey. In terms of teachers, they are adults and should be treated as such. To answer your question though, it depends on the individual circumstances. It might be a slap on the wrist, it might be a wiping of the hard, or it could be more serious. Breaches in policy or more seriously the law are reported to the head and it is his responsibility, along with the governing body, to decide the correct course of action, not mine.

    As for students, I think it depends on the device and ownership as to what you do and why. BYOD devices are out if your control. 1:1 devices would probably have less restrictions than shared devices.

    As I said, I believe there is a fine between restrictions and monitoring and being unecersarily obstructive.

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    rdk
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    The students with 1:1 computers don't need any network access, beyond accessing the internet & printing, and printing is done through a web client: PaperCut Web print. Internet access through a username and password - bandwidth not really an issue, and usual filtering applied. There are a couple of year levels without 1:1 devices and we let them BYOD if they wish, but supply nothing beyond internet access. It is up to individual teachers to control how, when and whether they are used in class.

    At the start of the year each student is supplied with a laptop with all software installed - imaging is done by our vendor. There is an admin account in the student's name and another hidden admin account for the IT dept to use if necessary. The student is supplied with a external HDD for back-up as there is no local drive at school that the laptop can communicate with.

    The kids get iWork, iLife & CS4, plus some subject specific software such as Vernier Logger Pro & some other apps that we think useful.

    Student-teacher interaction (setting & collecting work etc) is done online, either through our VLE (which is rubbish), through Google Apps, or the kids print things out or present in front of class. Occasionally a teacher may use AirDrop. The online stuff is home/school/device neutral.

    Parents and students sign the ICT agreement, and if parents wish we make them the administrator and give the kids a user account so the parent can set the restrictions they wish. If the student abuses the privilege of being an administrator of their machine we delete their admin account and make them a local user with various restrictions. Only took a couple for word to get around - for many of our kids this computer is their only machine & they don't have another at home so they don't want to lose the privilege.

    This is a genuine question - for what reason would we give kids access to our network using these computers?

    As for the role of eLearning Co-ordinator, the best description would be "working with teachers and students to integrate ICT into teaching & learning across the curriculum". We have very little in the way of "IT classes" but if you walked into the school you would see ICT integrated into vast majority of classes in the year levels with 1:1 devices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdk View Post
    Well, I'm the eLearning Co-ordinator at a school with 312 1:1: laptops, 300 1:1 iPads, 80+ teacher laptops plus approx 250 computers on trolleys and in labs. I work closely with the network manager and we do not generally implement any significant IT development (in teaching & learning or in IT hardware) without coming to some sort of agreement first. This sometimes requires compromise on my part, sometimes on hers. So, pretty sure I'm not naive.

    If I want to test some software in science, say, or if the Maths Co-ordinator want to test some software in maths, we're not going to the IT technicians to test it for us. We'll test it, then if we think it suitable for teaching we'll discuss with the IT dept how and whether to implement the software across the school. The idea of having the IT dept make teaching and learning decisions is ridiculous.
    So, when a teacher decides to test a piece of software which then installs a keylogger and screen grabber, and opens up a giant hole into your web based software? Brilliant. Nice and secure. I don't make teaching and learning decisions - I make technical decisions, based on security, and whether or not the proposed software is legal, affordable, stable and will do what the requesting member of staff asked.

    Any computer at school that students use (whether desktop or laptop) that has access to the network is accessed as a user, not administrator. The 500+ 1:1 devices listed above are administered locally and do not have access to the network, only the internet. In this case I cannot see any reason to have them locked down. We aim to have very few (<100) student use computers on the network over the next couple of years.
    Which means you have a more draconian system than most schools! You don't allow any network access on the devices? What's the point of them then, if they can't take advantage of the network system?

    Data protection - student data resides on the network, not on teachers' laptops and is accessed over the network. The amount of confidential data available over the network is pretty limited anyway. Reporting is through a web interface (Accelerus) and again the data resides on the network. The teachers are likely to have more personal stuff written down about kids in notebooks than on their laptops.
    See, this is where I'm saying naive. Teachers make copies of data for themselves - this is a simple fact. You may think your reporting system does it all, but I can guarantee that teachers will have spreadsheets full of information all over the place.

    Copyright - how can an IT department prevent copyright breaches? Do you check every photocopy? Do you stop teachers scanning? If a staff member or student reasonably requires software for teaching and learning it is supplied. If a staff member or student installs pirated software they have broken the law regardless of who owns the machine.
    In the UK, photocopying is legal... Copyright infringement can be prevented by, you guessed it, locking down the school owned PCs! If a member of staff needs something, then they can request it, we'll test it, purchase it and install it. It also means we can keep it up to date, and therefore secure. And no, if the machine belongs to the school, the school as as much culpable as the person who did it. ie. if someone in our school installs copyright infringing software on their machine and a prosecution was to be brought, then it would be against that person, myself and the head. As we're all directly responsible for that device. The law there may be different though.

    In my experience IT departments that overly restrict the use of IT through extensive "locking down" of student and teacher devices are a great impediment to the successful implementation of ICT in teaching and learning. Often (like anyone) they enjoy the control, and it is hard to let go.
    So, you're a teacher then, who basically gets what they want and bases their views entirely on anecdotes? I couldn't care less if a member of staff wants to use one program or another. I do care if any of the programs interfere with other, working, systems, or causes security holes or introduces child protection issues. That is what I am employed to do. My job description has 'Ensure the security and integrity of the school network and all data within'...

    And in case anyone thinks that with that many 1:1 devices I work in some sort of leafy upper class school, we have an "Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage" (ICSEA) value much less than the Australian average and are substantially over the Australian average with kids/families in the two lower quartiles. But we do have a "non-dysfunctional" school with teaching & learning, admin and the IT department working closely together to get the best outcomes for the kids.
    I'd suggest your view of whether your school is dysfunctional or not is somewhat slanted. From where I sit, I'd be thinking the exact opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdk View Post
    The students with 1:1 computers don't need any network access, beyond accessing the internet & printing, and printing is done through a web client: PaperCut Web print. Internet access through a username and password - bandwidth not really an issue, and usual filtering applied. There are a couple of year levels without 1:1 devices and we let them BYOD if they wish, but supply nothing beyond internet access. It is up to individual teachers to control how, when and whether they are used in class.

    At the start of the year each student is supplied with a laptop with all software installed - imaging is done by our vendor. There is an admin account in the student's name and another hidden admin account for the IT dept to use if necessary. The student is supplied with a external HDD for back-up as there is no local drive at school that the laptop can communicate with.
    So when a students laptop dies and they didn't religiously backup their work, they potentially lose everything? I'd be shot if I tried to implement such a system here! Head teachers have lost their jobs when students work has been lost due to IT incompetence like that!

    Student-teacher interaction (setting & collecting work etc) is done online, either through our VLE (which is rubbish), through Google Apps, or the kids print things out or present in front of class. Occasionally a teacher may use AirDrop. The online stuff is home/school/device neutral.
    And in that one line you've shown that the economic prosperity of your kids is significantly higher than many. A large number of our kids don't have home internet access - they can't afford it. So, what you've effectively designed is a system that can disadvantage poorer children.

    Parents and students sign the ICT agreement, and if parents wish we make them the administrator and give the kids a user account so the parent can set the restrictions they wish. If the student abuses the privilege of being an administrator of their machine we delete their admin account and make them a local user with various restrictions. Only took a couple for word to get around - for many of our kids this computer is their only machine & they don't have another at home so they don't want to lose the privilege.
    So, do you own the devices or do they?

    This is a genuine question - for what reason would we give kids access to our network using these computers?
    Central storage of data would be the main point I'd think of (linked to my earlier comment about backups), along with access to software which can't be used on devices given to individual students (there's a lot of it as education licenses are often very fussy).

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I think your argument is a little too black and white when in reality theres a lot of grey. In terms of teachers, they are adults and should be treated as such. To answer your question though, it depends on the individual circumstances. It might be a slap on the wrist, it might be a wiping of the hard, or it could be more serious. Breaches in policy or more seriously the law are reported to the head and it is his responsibility, along with the governing body, to decide the correct course of action, not mine.

    As for students, I think it depends on the device and ownership as to what you do and why. BYOD devices are out if your control. 1:1 devices would probably have less restrictions than shared devices.

    As I said, I believe there is a fine between restrictions and monitoring and being unecersarily obstructive.
    As I said to rdk - UK law makes the head, the network manager (dependant on your contract of course, as it depends on the responsibilities given to you) and the teacher in question culpable of copyright infringement on business owned devices. So, not preventing copyright infringement is basically facilitating it.
    Last edited by localzuk; 11th August 2012 at 03:58 PM.

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    rdk
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    So when a students laptop dies and they didn't religiously backup their work, they potentially lose everything?
    Yes. We call it responsibility. Time machine is pretty idiot proof. Who's responsible if they lose their exercise book or a hand-written essay? What's the difference? Plus much of their stuff resides in the cloud so a moot point anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    And in that one line you've shown that the economic prosperity of your kids is significantly higher than many. A large number of our kids don't have home internet access - they can't afford it. So, what you've effectively designed is a system that can disadvantage poorer children.
    We teach the kids how to download and upload documents. They download at school, work on the document at home, and upload when they get to school the next day. Pretty simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    So, do you own the devices or do they?.
    We do.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Central storage of data would be the main point I'd think of (linked to my earlier comment about backups)....
    ie a non-issue for us

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    ...along with access to software which can't be used on devices given to individual students (there's a lot of it as education licenses are often very fussy).
    Please tell me which and I'll check if we use it.

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