How do you do....it? Thread, Laptops for Teachers setup.. in Technical; Just curious really..we've got lots of teachers with laptops - how do you give yours access to your network and ...
12th September 2008, 10:33 AM #1
Laptops for Teachers setup..
Just curious really..we've got lots of teachers with laptops - how do you give yours access to your network and retain useability "off net" at home?
We used to do ours the Authority recommended way, using Windows file sync. Nightmare.
Once they're off net, they baulk and lag as they're looking for the network links etc..pretty damn unuseable, yet many many schools on this grid use the system still.
We ended up reformatting the laptops to just plain standalone XP, to allow use at home. Which made them useless "inter building", as they weren't allowed on.
Now with the coming of age of VMWare etc, we're reinstalling them all as standalones with Office/Sophos etc, and giving them all a VM on the laptop in Player 2.0 that's running a network build, with drag/drop and shared folders enabled.
People love this solution..they use the physical at full speed at home, and the VM at work, and swap data between them merrily.
So..how do you all do it?
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12th September 2008, 10:46 AM #2
I work at three schools and each has a different approach.
First school is CC3, the teachers have CC3 built laptops and use the RM sync program to sync their work on site. Once you work out how to use RM sync and not lose all your work its great and seems much better than the windows solution.
At my second school, we had such bad virus problems that couldn't be fixed by education/warnings to the staff that we decided to not let them swap between networks. Either you use it on the school network or home network, not both. Cured virus problem instantly. Interestingly most chose school for their PPA.
Third school only recently allowed laptops to be connected to the domain so are still standalone machines with mapped drives. Staff are responsible for backing up their work to server. Thinking about how to change this here, I like the VM idea.
12th September 2008, 10:58 AM #3
I've got some staff with VMWare server and shared folders(early attempts), but as I say, Player is now my preferred solution..you can "tweak" it for drag and drop between VM and physical and shared folders, and it really is seamless.
Put sophos on both the VM and physical, and you've got both covered. Office 03 with the 07 compatibility pack too, you're laughing. Then to back up the data, they can either drag it to the VM and back up to network, or drag off to local and burn to DVD.
Seems happy in both XP and Vista too. We use a similar idea for our VPN..give staff the client and remote administrator, configured to connect to a VM that we host "in building", so they're able to get in and use "a workstation" from home, but are merrily isolated from the hardware in the process.
Even my VPN access is to my own Admin VM. I can access any other VM as well, or the hardware in any suites, but leaving one machine up to host 8/10 VMs for it makes more sense to me.
12th September 2008, 10:58 AM #4
Mine are used as standalones at home (well they can set up their own broadband) and on the network at school. No syncing of files as we don't have the space for all their stuff on my lone server.
Most tend to log on locally, even at school(they still have internet access) as this way they can see their hard drive and access work they have pre-prepared.
12th September 2008, 11:17 AM #5
Laptop setup as standalone with user account that matches their account on the network. Laptop account is a local admin so staff can install software.
Give access to shared drives / printers etc.
Each laptop has a vbscript that will copy My Docs / Fav / Desktop to a network share for backups.
Works a treat.
12th September 2008, 11:21 AM #6
At one school all laptops are standalone. If they need to access the schools network they do so in a terminal session.
12th September 2008, 11:25 AM #7
All of ours are setup as domain machines with offline files.
Can't say we've seen issues with lag opening things.
People that want to use internet at home can do with a wireless or wired connection and they just need to change the proxy settings.
All software is installed by us.
12th September 2008, 11:48 AM #8
I use Synctoy..heh. I think a lot of the prob is the LEA system setup..the laptops "off net" run like the workstations do when a server bombs out...severe lag, bordering on the unuseable..
12th September 2008, 12:08 PM #9
At one of my previous schools we had the laptops dual boot with a Data partition so that they could share data between the two boots.
Boot 1 was XP (school, cc3)
Boot 2 was Standalone install of XP
Very easy and did the job
12th September 2008, 12:14 PM #10
Ditto this for us - allowing free access to install just lead to tons of malware - so its either/or now - though we run Citrix - so they can get to all the school stuff from home - but safely...
Originally Posted by sparkeh
12th September 2008, 03:06 PM #11
Ours are like this and seem to work fine, nobody is complaining at least. However, some staff have local machine accounts also which does cause a few issues, because they forget which drive their work is on.
Originally Posted by plexer
12th September 2008, 06:10 PM #12
How did you get around the liscencing, do you have two liscences for each laptop?
Originally Posted by Sirbendy
Likewise, have not had any troubles with this setup, some of the more competent/winey teachers get local admin until they trash the laptop and prove that it is a bad idea for them to have it.
Originally Posted by plexer
12th September 2008, 06:31 PM #13
We have the same set up as Plexer as well, never had any issues with use outside of school reported.
12th September 2008, 07:05 PM #14
Ours are just plain laptops with no extra configuration. Staff can do what they want with them at home and can connect to our school using our wireless network across the school if they wish.
The wireless is on a seperate VLAN so they are unable to do anything mischievous / spreading viruses on our network.
All classrooms have a PC and we have a staff resource room with 20 PC's so they very rarely bring their school laptop into school.
12th September 2008, 09:14 PM #15
I've been struggling recently with the best way to configure new staff laptops - previously teaching staff had vanilla XP laptops with their own administrator-level account. We've bought in a load of new laptops which we've decided to set up as CC3 Shared Laptop workstation type, each teacher being a Privileged User type on their own machine.
This way it's easy to assign application packages to teachers, plus they can easily use SIMS to acces student data.
It has been difficult to familiarise teachers with RM Synchronise however, which has led to me configuring most of the laptops to operate in offline mode (partly because we don't have enough space on our curriculum servers for all of the teacher's home folders - they like to load on entire CDs and DVDs worth of resources).
Now I'm finding that I'm having to configure a custom workstation type to allow Windows features such as Autoplay and Medi Player Full Mode - in the end we might as well have kept them on standard XP installs, I'm sure!
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