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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, HELP - Firewall issues regarding Downloadable products for teachers in Technical; Hey everyone, I was just wondering how IT directors at schools deal with downloadable products behind a firewall. Do you ...
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    zuma-ed's Avatar
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    Smile HELP - Firewall issues regarding Downloadable products for teachers

    Hey everyone, I was just wondering how IT directors at schools deal with downloadable products behind a firewall. Do you block teachers from making these sort of transactions?

    We have a really cool set of powerpoint teaching products that we're selling at Zumaed.com. And we're trying to optimize the download process and make it easy for teachers to purchase our products.

    Do teachers ever come to you with issues regarding sites they'd like to access, make transactions on or download from? If so, how can we optimize the process so that a teacher can easily forward the issue and request to download/purchase our products that helps the teacher purchase powerpoints from us while causing minimal hassle for you?

    james@faceyspacey.com

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    Smile HELP regarding Firewall issues for Downloadable products for teachers

    Hey everyone, I was just wondering how IT directors at schools deal with downloadable products behind a firewall. Do you block teachers from making these sort of transactions?

    We have a really cool set of powerpoint teaching products that we're selling at Zuma ed.com. And we're trying to optimize the download process and make it easy for teachers to purchase our products.

    Do teachers ever come to you with issues regarding sites they'd like to access, make transactions on or download from? If so, how can we optimize the process so that a teacher can easily forward the issue and request to download/purchase our products that helps the teacher purchase powerpoints from us while causing minimal hassle for you?

    james@faceyspacey.com

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    There was only need for one thread

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    Hi Zuma-ed,

    If the products were just PowerPoint files then we would have no issue at all here (although other schools may vary).
    Where downloads would become an issue is if they are .exe .zip or .mp3 because of filtering rules we have set up (basically users are prevented from downloading those files under certain circumstances to ensure network security)

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    Quote Originally Posted by zuma-ed View Post
    Hey everyone, I was just wondering how IT directors at schools deal with downloadable products behind a firewall. Do you block teachers from making these sort of transactions?
    Yes, if they're executable files.
    Do teachers ever come to you with issues regarding sites they'd like to access, make transactions on or download from?
    Usually
    If so, how can we optimize the process so that a teacher can easily forward the issue and request to download/purchase our products that helps the teacher purchase powerpoints from us while causing minimal hassle for you?
    Package your product as ppts with a simple pdf or html menu in a zip file, rather than a executable flash frontend/pointless installer.

    90% of the time the teachers will just mix and match the slides they want into their own powerpoints and discard the rest.

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    Thumbs up executable because there are plug-ins that need to be installed

    Pete, thank's so much for you response!

    ...The only reason we made an installer (i.e. a .exe and .dmg file) for the powerpoints is because there are visual basic applications and other applets that require a somewhat involved install process. So basically we automated that all to help the teacher. Are you saying that most of the time the answer is simply "no" to allowing teachers to download these file types?

    However, it's very exciting to hear how you think teachers will probably "mix and match" and customize the powerpoints themselves. That's exactly why we chose powerpoint as our medium for high quality teaching content. It empowers the teacher rather than takes their control away like a lot of educational products on the market.

    ...Last question: how likely is the IT department to help out the teacher to download the product? What do you think about teachers being able to forward their shopping card to the IT department for a direct path to the download (i.e. so they don't have to deal with login credentials, etc)? Even if we decided to support downloading zips, etc, how could we make it so teachers can best get help while making you're life easier? I'm thinking forward-to-a-friend style forms with instant login direct links, etc. What do you think?

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    If there are componants that require installing locally, then it is unlikely (within a secure / managed network enviroement) that a teacher will be able to perform the install. They will be forced to ask someone from their IT support team to do it.

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    Question is downloading of zips 100% not a problem with most schools?

    So it seems that downloading a zip is the only way to go. Since there is embedded content, we can't just provide the ppt without it getting disconnected.

    NEXT QUESTIONS:
    1) do most schools have .zip extractors like winrar pre-installed and accessible by the teacher?
    2) for our math powerpoints, we have some cool applets that need to be installed into powerpoint--will the teacher have access privileges to install them?
    3) if at the end of the day, it requires an IT administrator to install some things, what are the last resorts to helping that process? maybe a field in the "refer-to-an-IT-administrator" email form to say what computer it needs installation on, plus clear-cut easy to get to directions, or something?

    What is the likelihood of this scenario ending well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbraham View Post
    If there are componants that require installing locally, then it is unlikely (within a secure / managed network enviroement) that a teacher will be able to perform the install. They will be forced to ask someone from their IT support team to do it.
    ... which dovetails nicely with the point I was going to make. Given that it needs tech help, you'll want to put a "information for technicians" page and resource together explaining exactly what's included and how to install it. Wouldn't hurt to have an FAQ explaining the parts you have above too.

    Also, if you put it together as an MSI you make it even easier for a tech to be able to deploy/install it without having to wait for a machine to be un-used, etc...

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    {Threads merged}
    Please do not double post questions

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    Before our teachers can make any purchase it has to come through the school finance office as an official order. Before this happens network managers will want to probably test the software first some some kind of trial is needed which may be difficult with powerpoint based products.

    Really you need to be able to accept purchase orders from schools and the schools especially in the uk need some way to pay for the resources.

    A lot of schools won't have a credit card so that's out of the window as are online payment services as schools won't be happy allowing access to their bank accounts.

    If all of those are overcome then a network installable msi file is needed to be able to deploy the software. The link to this could be emailed to the network manager.

    Ben

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    wow, thanks so much for all the good answers

    I guess, it's becoming clearer and clearer what we need to do:

    -.zip files
    -.msi files
    -provide a free test file
    -provide directions that are easy to understand and navigate to
    -provide a means for communication between the teacher that comes to our site and the school's IT department and other administrators.

    What about for purchase orders? Is there anyway we can streamline this process?

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    Smile a few more questions

    1) do teachers generally need access privileges to install add-ins and applets into Powerpoint (or other office products)? What about to change add-in settings?
    2) How do firewall's affect a teacher's own laptop? I assume it doesn't affect installing their own desktop applications. So what about sites? Are they blocked from standard operations like purchasing items through a checkout process, or is the firewall just about blocking certain sites like Facebook?
    3) regarding .msi files, is there any particular configurations that the IT deprartment likes? Also, if the file is created as a .msi, it is natively setup to be remotely installed on computers. What sort of things should we know and do and look out for if we make this?
    4) are .zip files generally extrable by teachers on school computers or do computer not usually have winrar or another extractor?

    ...And definitely thanks for all your help We've learned a lot about how we should do this already.

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    1) I twill differ for each network, but here, nothing can be installed. Existing addins could be enabled, but not installed specifically

    2) You're misunderstanding the definition of Firewall's really. Again, teachers laptop restrictions will differ from school to school, but here they are either a) as secure as a network machine (i.e. they can't install anything) OR b) set up as a standalone laptop so that they can do what they want (but with a filtered wireless Internet Conenction)

    3) RM schools would appreicate an MSI which has been tested on a CC3 or CC4 network as they tend to be a bit "special" sometimes!
    Other schools, like us, will just take any MSI and install it (either manually, via GPO or 3rd party application deployment tools)

    4) .zip access will differ from school to school. Here teachers can extract them, but of course if there was an .exe or .msi inside of the zip file they still wouldn't be able to install it.

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    Mark,

    a) as secure as a network machine (i.e. they can't install anything)
    Regarding #2a, are you saying that a firewall can prevent teachers from installing an .exe that they downloaded to their machine while they were at home?

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