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How do you do....it? Thread, Student Email Addresses in Technical; Hello, Some years ago we removed the provision of student email accounts due to bullying and other nonsense but it ...
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    Student Email Addresses

    Hello,

    Some years ago we removed the provision of student email accounts due to bullying and other nonsense but it would appear that in this day and age every student has a hotmail or gmail account and that whilst this is fine; as part of their work in OCR Nationals ICT they need to demonstrate sending/receiving with attachments etc and it means that therefore we must allow access to these web based services.

    So.. as we're introducing a new AUP shortly (January) I figured it would make sense to take on this subject again and would welcome any views you may have.

    We are a fully comprehensive 11-18 with 1200 students on roll if this helps any debate.

    I have signed up for a Microsoft Live@edu account on our .org domain which will give us 1200 exchange accounts for the students should we wish to go this route, but then someone suggested that the email should only be accessible internally so I'm then thinking Zimbra or so ...

    I'd appreciate any input on whether you as a school allow children to have email accounts, how you mention it in your AUP, and whether you have any increased workload beyond the initial set up and maintenance of the equipment if held internally.

    Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kim.

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    Do we restrict their access to the account to inside the college only?

    Do we restrict the domains they can send to to be only the college domain and approved others?

    Do we once we've set up the actual provision then modify the AUP so that the only mail address used in school would be this one and block the email portals of hotmail, gmail etc?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd favour giving the students open e-mail accounts. If possible I'd prefer to host locally using something like Zimbra but I wouldn't want to limit access to the accounts. Instead I think a good AUP that explains clearly the rules and then use a product like Securus to police the the e-mail accounts.

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    kmount (26th October 2008)

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    joe90bass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    Do we restrict their access to the account to inside the college only?

    Do we restrict the domains they can send to to be only the college domain and approved others?

    Do we once we've set up the actual provision then modify the AUP so that the only mail address used in school would be this one and block the email portals of hotmail, gmail etc?
    That's exactly what I plan on doing this half term. I will probably allow a term of running with both school and hotmail, etc, accounts, but then I'll look to restrict to school e-mail system only.

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    kmount (26th October 2008)

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    Thanks for the replies guys; Joe, what are you implementing if you don't mind me asking?

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    I put together this wiki to set up zimbra to do content filtering. It emails me if anyone sends things matching keywords.
    Zimbra content filter

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    reggiep (8th July 2009)

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    One thing to watch (and you may have spotted this, I'm not Geek enough to tell) is that if your bad word filter sends you a copy of the student-student mail with a "bad word" in it, ensure another report is NOT created.

    You will get into a closed loop cycle, and the speed of you server is the only thing preventing the mailbox filling with nested reports on reports on reports...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    One thing to watch (and you may have spotted this, I'm not Geek enough to tell) is that if your bad word filter sends you a copy of the student-student mail with a "bad word" in it, ensure another report is NOT created.

    You will get into a closed loop cycle, and the speed of you server is the only thing preventing the mailbox filling with nested reports on reports on reports...
    The example above doesn't suffer from that because if the email is content filtered then it is removed from the postfix procsses and passed to putmail, a python application that sends me the contents of the bad email. The student (or whoever sent the mail) just gets a bounce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys; Joe, what are you implementing if you don't mind me asking?
    Exchange 2007, with Sophos Puremessage and soon we'll be using Impero to police things!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe90bass View Post
    Exchange 2007, with Sophos Puremessage and soon we'll be using Impero to police things!
    Exchange has a few hidden costs to get it up to speed with its competitors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Exchange has a few hidden costs to get it up to speed with its competitors.
    How do you mean?

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    .. to get content filtering/spam antivirus you have had to install sophos and impero, but zimbra can do this for free.

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    Impero is more for desktop than Exchange, but it will help in that if the kids do misuse e-mail for bullying, etc, it'll be picked in keywords that they type (hopefully!). I'm aware that Zimbra, and others, have built in anti-Spam, and anti-virus, but being an MS clone I'm not confident using other products....

    BTW Exchange 2007 does have free Anti-spam, don't think it has free anti-virus though.

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    It's probably also worth mentioning but whatever route you take, you may want to "seperate" student email addresses - ours are postfixed "student.domain.com" (whereas staff ones are just "domain.com") prevents the little gits "pretending" to be a member of staff I guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe90bass View Post
    Impero is more for desktop than Exchange, but it will help in that if the kids do misuse e-mail for bullying, etc, it'll be picked in keywords that they type (hopefully!).
    I think this might be a forlorn hope :-( How long do you think it will take kids to learn that if they type mis-spelt words, w o r d s with spaces, numb3rs etc that they can get through? What about words which are not "nasty" but can be used in a nasty way or even words which are just newly made up and not in any filtering system?

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