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How do you do....it? Thread, Stopping flash games. in Technical; We have a problem at the moment with students bringing in and playing flash games. As of yet we've not ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    Stopping flash games.

    We have a problem at the moment with students bringing in and playing flash games. As of yet we've not found a way of stopping this, as the extension of the files is .SWF, and obviously the students also save legitimate work from flash with this extension.

    The only way we've found of tackling this is to manually search and remove suspect files from the students user areas, which is obviously a time consuming task. Has anyone else come across a quick way of sucessfully identifying a game from a legitimate flash file??

    Mike

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    If they actually create coursework using Flash then I'm not sure that its possible.... like you say, how would any given system be able to tell whether a .swf file was a game or a project.

    Your only option [as i see it] would be to get the teaching staff to stop them playing the flash games.

    Regards
    Nath

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    We have a combination manual/automatic quasi-solution for this.

    Using Clam AV, we add known non-coursework items to the virus definitions and then when Clam runs, it strips them out. This is during a scan, not on access, sadly. We only use Clam for this, not for our real AV stuff. The beauty of this approach is that once they are registered on the AV list, then they will be pulled out again and again, even if the name is changed and so on

    It won't stop them running stuff from pen drives (unless we capture the drive mounting event, map a drive to their memory stick and run a scan straight off, now there's a thought...)

    It's a tough call about deciding if something is legit or not - but once we've made that call on a given file, we don't have to debate it again...

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    as Tarquel says, it's really a classroom/teaching issue.

    from my own standpoint, I don't see how kids playing games of any kind creates more hassle for me , so I don't break my neck to try to stop it - in fact I know a lot of teachers turn a blind eye to games and music, as it keeps some kids occupied who would otherwise be disrupting others.

    damage limitation, as always....

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    Hmmm - Flash games....

    I use games as a reward - but only very occasionally. We are fortunate to have a slightly different set up I think. We have a body of flash games (my site) on the intranet and our chief techie has written a rather sweet piece of software which allows us to unblock access to this section when we need it. We use lan view to spot the miscreants and keep them off games when we don't want them using them. I'm afraid that keeping the blocking list up to date is just as big a job at our place as it is everywhere else.
    regarding the swf extensions - we are currently doing an amination project with a large number of the pupils in school so the blocking of files containing the swf extension is a non starter.

    Cheers
    NB

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    Quote Originally Posted by acb_
    It won't stop them running stuff from pen drives (unless we capture the drive mounting event, map a drive to their memory stick and run a scan straight off, now there's a thought...)
    Isn't there a legal issue with deleting stuff of their own personal pen-drives?

    I now we can stop them plugging them in (Block them/confiscate them), but I don't think we can actually delete any data off the pen drives without the owners consent

    I may be wrong (if i am then this would be a great deterrent "stop it or the pen drive gets zapped!" sorta thing :twisted: )

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    we had this problem months ago.. we just said that if any kid is found playing the game they will be told to remove it. If they remove but are on it the following week then they get an instant ban from the network. They soon give in

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    We prevented swf's from running, and kids can still play games if they embed them within web pages, or play the .fla files from within Flash - if they do that and are not using flash for work, we block the app..

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    "Isn't there a legal issue with deleting stuff of their own personal pen-drives?"

    Absolutley not our network our rules.

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uraken
    "Isn't there a legal issue with deleting stuff of their own personal pen-drives?"

    Absolutley not our network our rules.
    Someone who stands for no nonsense too !!! What ever is on our network is the administrators too.. For all we know they could have viruses or anything that could harm other peoples files or computers..

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo343
    If they remove but are on it the following week then they get an instant ban from the network. They soon give in
    I've had challenges in the past banning kids from the network in the form of a parent who threatened to sue the school for 'obstructing his childs educational progress' his case being that depriving his child of access to ict equipment would hold him back, and access to computers wasn't a priveledge but a right. School caved in and banning kids was a thing of the past in that school, (insted I worked out some clever ways of limiting their access.)

    This was at the last school I worked for. We do ban kids at the school I'm at now, but only for very serious offences, games not being one of them as over half the school would end up banned then! Half the battle is some of the teachers are very lax on what the students do in their lessons, and we've had instructions from above to make sure their access to games etc. is as restricted as possible, hence the desire to try and find a way of tracking these files and removing them.

    From a personal point of view, I don't really care if the kids play games on the network, as long as their not doing any harm, but as the instructions have come from above we have to be seen to take positive action, I'd just rather not spend hours a week sifting though hundreds of student folders looking for these files.

    Shame it's not as easy as MP3s, we recently deleted over 30gbs of MP3s from user areas, these had accumulated since september, as we cleared them all over the summer! Just can't keep up with the astronimical rate kids seem to put stuff onto the system, and still working out where it all comes from as well! Just wish they'd put as much effort into their studies!

    Mike

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to prevent game play by use of technology alone. Courses such as DiDA need more 'flexibility' & sometimes there are educational websites that incorporate game-play.

    Our ISP blocks some sites, we block many more through our Proxy. We use Impero to temporarily control access & monitor activity.

    Our AUP states games are not allowed; we regularly monitor & log misuse, in real-time we often block access. Sometimes it is more effective to simply grab control of their mouse & keyboard remotely & spoil their fun. Do this a few times & they quite often get on with their work. Persistent offenders get restricted internet access/no internet access/no network access depending upon their persistence.

    We have significantly reduced the level of game play, but I am realistic enough to believe we will never stop it.

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo343
    Quote Originally Posted by Uraken
    "Isn't there a legal issue with deleting stuff of their own personal pen-drives?"

    Absolutley not our network our rules.
    Someone who stands for no nonsense too !!! What ever is on our network is the administrators too.. For all we know they could have viruses or anything that could harm other peoples files or computers..
    This is the point I'm trying to make... if its on the kids pen drive then it is NOT on our network (its on their removable media not the school PC or Network shares)

    What im not sure about is if we can legally delete data from pen drives that are not owned by the school.
    Until I can find out otherwise, our school assumes that its illegal to delete the data, therefore we takes steps to block pen drives and/or confiscate the drives.

    If it turns out that we can legally delete data from their drives then our policy will change likewise.

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    I don't think it's a question of being legal or not, as I doubt there's any laws actually directly governing this sort of thing.

    I think it's a question of informing the kids (and parents) that if they do bring in and use pen drives, that data can be and will be deleted from them if it is necessary to ensure the security integrity and reliability of your network systems. As far as I'm aware as long as the students and parents are informed, and the school can justify its actions then there shouldn't be any problem.

    Mike.

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    Re: Stopping flash games.

    This is certainly a tough issue. So much of our time is spent finding emulators, flash games, mp3s, etc

    Also kids are now accessing the windows games (sol, winmine etc), by tunneling through to the C drive through Word.

    We're using AB Tutor Control to watch what the kids have on their screens throughout school and I've currently set up a policy on it which will prevent the running of certain emulators, windows games and you could even stop kids running swf files.

    Obviously in the case of classes using swf files for work this poses a small problem but you can apply this policy for the duration of the lesson when kids aren't using flash.

    The saddening fact is that there isn't a lot you can do to put a full stop to kids bringing in games. It really has to be a joint effort between ourselves and the teachers.


    ...and relating to an earlier post...
    School caved in and banning kids was a thing of the past in that school, (insted I worked out some clever ways of limiting their access.)
    That's a shame, I bet those parents didn't have any other reasonable suggestions on how to deal with that kids misuse of ICT equipment. It's not much different from removing a kid from the classroom due to bad behaviour.



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