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How do you do....it? Thread, Making a child-proof computer system for early years class... in Technical; Sorry, couldn't think of a suitable title. I work in a large primary school in London and for the past ...
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    Thumbs down Making a child-proof computer system for early years class...

    Sorry, couldn't think of a suitable title.

    I work in a large primary school in London and for the past year, I have been plagued by problems with computers in the early years class rooms. The children are trashing the systems on a weekly basis.
    We run CC4 and Windows 7 clients.

    CC4 is reasonably robust, and I believe the kids are managing to trash the systems by pressing every button on the keyboard during boot up. The computer then boots to rm restore mode, there they continue pressing every button they can, and then from there god knows.

    The bottom line is, again I have around 15 machines totally trashed and I am struggling to find the time to re-build them.
    If I leave a system re-building in the room, the kids will come over and press more buttons, despite me asking the teachers to please not let them near, it is just a nightmare.
    The staff don't have a clue, some of them are just pulling the plug when a system is doing updates, pulling it after I have left it doing an image...the whole situation is just ridiculous.

    I can't physically remove every computer and take it to my room to work on as it would be a logistical nightmare.

    Does any one have any suggestions as to things I can do to prevent this?

    >Ask the teachers to keep an eye on the kids - no tried this. Some teachers are great, and we have had no problems, but unfortunately its the same classrooms which keep having the same problems.

    >Can I remove RM restore from the boot up process? At the moment, you have to press both shift keys.

    >Could I maybe just stick xp on, lock it down, take a copy on clonezilla and then each time they trash, just run a new image down from the server?

    Any help or suggestions would be really great. It is only the early years I am having trouble with, the other year groups are fine, they are using the system well and are finding it fantastic.
    There are just a number of classrooms which are incapable of looking after their computers.

    Thanks

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    You could have deep freeze on the machines? That way, changes can be undone at the press of a button....

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    talksr (13th June 2011)

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    unplug the keyboards or get some that the escape/alt/function etc keys arnt there and have them log in automatically

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    unplug the keyboards or get some that the escape/alt/function etc keys arnt there and have them log in automatically
    Tried the keyboards and mice, they just switch it off. - The trouble is they all have pc's at home these days, so they know what buttons to press.
    Could take a look for the keyboards you describe though.

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    I wonder if you could put a switch in between the pc and keyboard allowing the staff to enable/disable the keyboard, as long as its usb I'd imagine it'd be possible - PS/2 kb's would need to be active on boot to work at all

    I know you've already tried it but getting the staff to take ownership of their equipment and keep an eye on the kids would be the ideal solution, would the SLT get involved in this to help you out? I imagine the behaviour side of things is far beyond your JD

    We have 6 early years classes(if you count Reception) and I've never had any trouble with their machines other than the normal breakdowns etc

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    talksr (13th June 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    You could have deep freeze on the machines? That way, changes can be undone at the press of a button....

    Have never heard of this! I am looking it up as I type.. thanks.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Its made by Faronics if it helps

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    Thanks, I am on the page now. My only concern would be, if I used Deep Freeze and I had the systems on the domain (CC4) as they are at the moment, would this have an effect each time they are rebooted? Or would it just go back to a specific point defined by the administrator? So I could tell it to go back to the point it was at when I had added to domain, done all updates etc?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    You can tell it when to go back too...if you make an update, you just update the program accordingly.

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    talksr (13th June 2011)

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    we have computers in nursery, and reception classes, and i have found that 'cleanslate' from fortres works fine with them, the only way they can trash the system is to mess with the power button, or switch on the wall.
    It is as near to 'kid proof' as you will get without installing a 'reborn' card into the machine, which really does make it hard to trash, but also blocks any changes including dhcp etc

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    My take on this is that it's not a technical problem. You have identified that this only happens in a couple of classrooms and for all the others your current solution works fine. I would approach your SMT with the problem and your workload is being taken with re-imaging the machines constantly due to lack of supervision of pupils when using the computers. Tell them the same thing as you have said on here and that constant interuption of your work means it will take 2 or 3 times as long to sort out. Print out a few "out of order" signs and put them on any machines with problems. Remove the machines that need rebuilding if they cant be done in class due to people causing problems with them and do them as a low priority.

    The other reason for speaking to the SMT is so they are aware of the problems you are facing and that way if there are complaints about the computers in a couple of rooms they already know it is not because you aren't doing your job, but because of lack of supervision.

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    Thanks for all of the posts. I wrote a lengthy reply to this thread last week and when I hit submit, it never added it on. aghhhh!!

    SMT are well aware, I have been logging and updating them at every point.
    However we are at the stage now where we can't just keep saying, you have messed the pcs up so we are going to put the repair work to the bottom of the pile. Mainly because the children are missing out on using them and it is a key part of their learning.


    There is just not enough time for me to chase around and keep repeating the same jobs. All computers were and are usually set up in the holidays as there is a lot more time then to complete such tasks. But the fact of the matter is, we cannot continue to rebuild, it is wasteful and just not right!

    The school had been very behind with ICT (things like this show me why), we are spending a great deal on improving and modernising. So there simply isn't the time to keep repeating these menial jobs.

    I wondered if maybe getting someone in just to rebuild computers, might have more of an effect as it will highlight a very direct cost of rebuilding each pc. At the moment, no one really appreciates how long it might take to rebuild 15 or so systems.

    Call me fussy, but I like my systems to be perfect. No missing updates, no missing software, up to date flash, reader x etc, you get the picture.
    To get just one system to that point takes an age let alone 15!

    So I was thinking, that if we had someone in, a little like a window...if you break it, you need to then wait for the window man to come and replace it, and then bill you. Maybe that would put people off of letting the kids run riot. But then on the flip side, it will have quite an effect on our budget for ICT.

    Thanks again for all of your posts. I will be looking into the software mentioned and see what I can come up with.

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    I think that during the CC4 build process there is an option to select so that the RM restore bit isn't installed.

    Also, to save rebuilding them each time which takes a few hours, can you not take a restore image? You can restore a PC to a restore image in about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the image).

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    could you schedule something like ghost/fog to wol them at say midnight and just automatically rebuild them every day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by talksr View Post
    Thanks for all of the posts. I wrote a lengthy reply to this thread last week and when I hit submit, it never added it on. aghhhh!!

    SMT are well aware, I have been logging and updating them at every point.
    However we are at the stage now where we can't just keep saying, you have messed the pcs up so we are going to put the repair work to the bottom of the pile. Mainly because the children are missing out on using them and it is a key part of their learning.


    There is just not enough time for me to chase around and keep repeating the same jobs. All computers were and are usually set up in the holidays as there is a lot more time then to complete such tasks. But the fact of the matter is, we cannot continue to rebuild, it is wasteful and just not right!

    The school had been very behind with ICT (things like this show me why), we are spending a great deal on improving and modernising. So there simply isn't the time to keep repeating these menial jobs.
    You need to take a step back here. Children are missing out on using computers but not because of something you have done, it is down to lack of superivsion in the classroom. You cant worry about how long these jobs will take because it will just get you down, but you can re-image quite quickly, as sted points out you could schedule this to be first thing in the morning, even if it meant you going into the room and doing it locally and locking the room until it was complete.

    Think of it this way, have as much concern for fixing these machines as the staff have of supervising them. You cannot do their job for them. Put a solution in place and inform them that this is the only reasonable way of being able to do your job as you have more important tasks than re-imaging machines every day. If staff continue to let pupils abuse the computers in there, eventually the physical parts will fail as crayons will be forced into places they shouldn't be.

    Set a time that re-imaging will be done and inform staff, if they are not happy with the turnaround then inform them they will need to be more vigilant with their supervision of their room.

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