Policy here is staff & students have the same access (or not) to our filter's 'content groups' so that if a teacher directs a class to a link, they know it is going to work. Preparation is the key, as long as they have checked the link works before the lesson, any problem sites can be amended beforehand. If, however, a request comes in mid-lesson that is "affecting my teaching" then the teacher only has themselves to blame.
Staff are allowed access to some relevant sites that students are not, youtube...streaming music...bbc iplayer etc. No access to webmail accounts is allowed for any users of the network. All correspondence coming from the site must be traceable.
The SLG and I can see no case for the use of social networking sites at this time. The amount of time wasted on them outweighs 100x any benefits they bring. The functions they provide (collaborative working etc.) are recreated with a properly functioning VLE.
EDIT On a related but OT note: During internet safety week an ICT teacher here did a presentation to staff around internet safety policy. It was found that many staff have accepted their students as friends/contacts on websites such as facebook. After discussions between staff, SLG have asked all of these contacts to be removed and any future requests declined due to the issues that could possibly arise.
On the admin network, (offices, staff rooms, issued laptops) staff have access to a different proxy which is more relaxed.
On the curriculum network, (IT rooms, classrooms, laptop trolleys) staff have the same restrictions as the kids.
We used to have different filtering levels between staff and student accounts on the curriculum network but a combination of crap passwords, not reporting compromised passwords and poor class control by a minority spoiled that for everyone.
Ditto - we used to be fairly relaxed on the teacher side - but it just lead to abuse by the teachers - letting kids log in on their accounts "so they can can get on with work" oh yeah! In lieu of proper management control of the staff - had to take technological steps to deal with this - so the responsible staff have to suffer along with the rest.
Originally Posted by pete
I presume you mean students and staff.
Originally Posted by nephilim
But 14 of us EduGeekers have chosen the 'No' option. Are all of us incompetent too?
It would be a real incentive for all network managers if teaching staff at all levels could be trusted to use these resource's carefully and with respect but I am afraid that will never be the case.
Too many of the professional teaching staff think that by gaining access to all manner of video delights as seems the case that it will enhance the teaching and learning environment.
Last minute planning and panic when teaching staff find a resource at home only to find it is filtered by the LA, this not only frustrates them but they in turn take it out on the only person they feel can help them by abusing them on a professional IT forum or trying to put them down in front of others.
This is not very professional I feel.
I cannot help but feel you are only looking to your own ends and pushing your opinions in the guise of asking for ours so as to take the emphasise off the senior leadership team in your school who as you have said just throw money at the problem in a bid to rid them of a situation they do not know how to deal with.
I do empathise with you also on the point of wanting to push IT forward in your school but at what cost to others as has already been said on this forum, collaboration seems to be missing between yourself and the NM so as others have said meet with him, talk to him and most of all listen to what he has to say before you doubt his competency, if he was talking in a manner to which he was putting you down I feel you would have something to say on the matter.
Lastly look at why the teachers want access to these sort of resources i.e. youtube, facebook, myspace, bebo etc and you will find the same answer.
Could you replicate these internally at your school thus taking away the risk (think about it) more than one way to skin a cat!
I have not made these comments to upset anyone but to try and bring together IT and staff in their thinking. :-)
I completely agree Webman.
Originally Posted by webman
Nephilim, I'm sorry but arrogance (I’ve read all of yours posts in this thread) isn't the most suitable course of action when approaching this (or any other) issue.
If you have read my previous posts you will see that a lot of Network Managers don't have the option to customise filtering to this degree. It is not incompetence at all, it is a lack of resources available to them. Those who do have the
In life if you ask someone in a more informed position than you a question, and you get an answer (albeit one you don't like), you should generally believe that to be the truth and choose to explore alternatives if you are still not happy, not simply tell them they’re wrong.
Undermining someone else’s position is completely unprofessional and shows a certain level of incompetence itself.
Free pointers regarding the 50MB storage space allocated to the kids:
How much redundant (i.e can tolerate a disk failure) storage space does the school have available for students?
How long are backups of the above retained?
How much storage (disk/tape) space does that take up?
How much space do all the other backups take? How long are they kept for?
My major storage cost here isn't the actual diskspace - disks are cheap, it's ensuring that I have sufficiently granular backups for restoring data at a point in time. If I add a terabyte of storage, I need daily incrementals of that storage and at least 4 fridays of full backups.
Work with your network manager to discover:
1) How much it would cost to (say) quadruple the kids storage space.
2) How much it would cost to back that up.
3) How much is in the ICT development budget this year.
4) Whether you can afford to do anything about the 50MB quota.
As a data point, a full backup here is 2TB. That gets expensive to back up _really_ quickly.
As others have said, this response is both arrogant and offensive. To brand anyone who does something differently to you as incompetent is outrageously narrow-minded.
Originally Posted by nephilim
For example, we have the same filtering here for staff and students, not because I am incompetent but because, in the light of other demands on my budget, I cannot justify the £300 a year for the modular solution. To buy in to that at the expense of other, more pressing needs (perhaps ones which don't have such easy bypasses) would, in my view, be irresponsible and therefore more incompetent.
Can I just thank everyone for their responses so far. I am sorry to see that it has caused arguments although glad to see that it is a hot topic!
I will investigate the issues that have been raised by some people wherever possible.
I would just say though, and I know I will get flamed for this, that a lot of the posts do seem to have been made during "work time". I don't have a problem with this, but it could be seen as social networking, and whats good enough for the techies is good enough for the teachers.....
Thanks for all the time people have put into this thread.
Webman, mbraham, nickjones I accept your points. As I said above, I did not mean to brand you or anyone else as incompetant, however having no filtering is incompetance (that is what I meant although I do agree I could have phrased it better. I am just a blunt person. I did mean teachers and staff, as they have different requirements. I do not mean that you are incompetant (those who put no), most of you help me with problems which I am thankful for. Teaching staff do require basic filtering (porn, gambling etc), whereas staff such as ancillery staff / admin staff etc have no need for sites like youtube, teachertube etc.
Students obviously should go on there own filter but if the facilities are not there then I understand that. I am not saying that due to budget/facility constraints you are doing poor jobs, far from it, most of my network is running from second hand machines so I know how it is.
Lastly, apologies for offending anyone.
Thanks for your post nephilim.
Our staff filtering is very relaxed. The only categories that are filtered for staff are Adult websites, Gambling, on-line games, proxy websites and instant messaging. There are several categories which have a warning which staff have to click before they can view the sites in that category, but most other things are available.
However this is up for review soon, as facebook keeps appearing as a top 10 website for the whole school, which does beg questions as to exactly how many teachers are using it when they should be teaching. :rolleyes:
Not a flaming response here, but a regular one :-) I do access this site (and other similar ones) during work time, and based on the number of problems I've fixed via them, and the problems we've not encountered because knowledge gained on here allowed me to avoid a bad buy, I'm sure the school doesn't mind. Part of my job is to stay up-to-date on technologies, problems, policies, best practice, etc and this site offers that. Also, I wouldn't class EduGeek as a social network site a la Facebook etc, as we're talking "shop", not cars, TV shows, etc.
Originally Posted by b_m
Show me a facebook group which gives advice on, say as an example, teaching resources.
Originally Posted by b_m
A place like edugeek is much more comparable to something like linkedin than facebook. A technical resource and professional networking site, rather than one for social networking.