How do you do it? At the moment all our students have a webmail account provided to them by medway council giving them an @medway.org.uk address.
The disadvantages to this are functionality is fairly limited, it's access through our internt line so sending and receiving large files can be an issue, and the main one is they all have a seperate username and password to access this system, which they're forever forgetting and it's a PITA to reset them.
I've put forwards the proposal of having a seperate exchange server onsite for students, and giving them an @nbc.medway.sch.uk address like we do for staff, and using outlook web access for them to use it. This would solve all the problems with having different usernames and passwords, and I think it would encourage more use of the e-mail system. It would also put us in more control, so we can monitor use of e-mail better, and also all the e-mail addresses would be associated with the students active directory accounts, which has a huge advantage in it's own right.
What do other schools do? Do students at your school have an exchange account, or do you give them a webmail account whether provided by your LEA, or RM easymail etc.
Is there a best practice on this issue, or any reasons why we should stick with what we have, or any reasons why we definitely shouldn't change it?
We have an internal Linux mail system at the moment for all users, integrated into our AD and using SquirrelMail for internal/external web access (except a handful of users who rushed ahead and used crappy Outlook and/or Express :x)
We're going to migrate to Zimbra within 6-12 months - nice shiny web interface for 'em with distribution lists, calendars etc etc.
We have a webmail server located onsite, the software is MDaemon from www.altn.com (well their UK distributer).
It _can_ integrate usernames and sync passwords with Windows AD (it doesn't because the two domains we have confuses it).
All staff an email that matches their staff network username (plus the more obvious aliases), and the students have an email that matches their student network username.
We try to make all staff use the webmail function, but a lot insist on using outlook.. dunno why..and the "feature" costs extra.
..This reminds me, I should import the new year 7 onto it, or sort out the sync'ing..
We also use MDaemon for the students. The UK distributor is Zen Software http://www.zensoftware.co.uk/mdaemon/ They also do educational discounts.
MDaemon has it's own web client called WorldClient and the way we've got it setup the students can also access their email from home (or any other Internet connection)
We have onsite email server and all users are encouraged to use OWA. Limit the amount of recipients that a student can send to. e.g 5 to stop the reply all with a big attachment crashing the system. This happens when the jokes start flying around. Put a limit on the size of the mailbox from the start and limit the filetypes that can be attached.
we moved kids to zimbra, the web interface is for them to use (also works with stand alone email clients), it also hooks into Active Directory and exchange address lists. The advantage of zimbra for students is it was pretty easy to get content filtering working. virus and spam filteres are included by default and it cost nothing in licensing. We still use exchange for staff, staff can see students in the outlook address lists and vice versa.