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MIS Systems Thread, Electronic Registration (a new one!) in Technical; Hi All, I'm new in post at a Secondary School, taken charge of a Network that is in a real ...
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    Talking Electronic Registration (a new one!)

    Hi All,

    I'm new in post at a Secondary School, taken charge of a Network that is in a real mess but its going to be fun to sort out. :P This is a new sector for me working in Education, so be gentle, but I have an issue that is playing on my mind.....

    I've been instructed that we must have Electronic Registration that is to be done twice a day in place by Sept '08. We're using SIMS.net here on the Admin network, (I should really say Domain because it's not two physical networks but just two seperate Domain's one for Admin and one for Curriculum).

    Teachers need to do Registration around the school electronically, but of course this is all on the Admin network. Teachers laptops and classroom PC's are on the Curriculum network. One infrastructure, but the device is either configured for Admin or Curriculum if that makes sense.

    So, we're trying to get a Capita rep in to talk to us about solutions, but I've got a few ideas bouncing around my head to solve this issue . I'd appreciate any input or suggestions from you guys and gals that could point me in the right direction.

    Many thanks

    Pete

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    We moved away from a two domain network to one DOMAIN network to allow teachers to access Sims.net.... - if you're not planning lesson by lesson registration then Sims.net is free solution as you don't need to buy Lesson Monitor!! You should already have attendance 7 installed which allows staff to take registration by AM / PM on their timeline on the homepage.

    Alternatively you could buy other software e.g. Pars etc... but why pay, and I'd prefer if we keep everything centrally under one MIS.

    Any questions, let me know ... or PM me.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Also consider hardware-based solutions (I must admit that I like our system from Nedap Education) that do not rely on computers as much.

    Our system has 'registrators' located by each door which store up presence marks and then send them off to a SQL server every so often. The advantage of this is that if there is network discruption the data isn't lost (it jsut waits) and the rugged, dumb, nature of the boxes means that they tend not to break down.

    I'm happy to talk about the PreAbXS solution.

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    Smile

    that set up is the same at our school - two domains
    what i have done is created a user on the curric domain and in the logon script map a drive to the admin domain and the shared sims folder, on the batch file you can insert the admin/username and password (the admin username must be a user on the admin domain) so they don't need to type it in. then sims will pick up the data on the admin side and once they have finished takin the register get the teachers to log out(for security reasons). if it makes sense:P

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    @FragglePete: depending on how many clients wish to use Sims.net why not setup TS server so it can be accessed remotely via rdp from the curriculum workstations via a group shortcut which only the staff have access to. This way it keeps the costs down and you don't have to merge the 2 domains.

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    Will you be using PARS?

    Z

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    Thanks for your replies. Glad I stumbled across this little forum!

    Some of the ideas suggested have mirrored what I've considered already. I've had experience in setting up a Windows TS Solution many moons ago and am favouring this idea; getting a new server on Admin network with lots of RAM and getting them to use that to log into the admin network from the curriculum network.

    The single domain solution is also something I'm liking; simple and cheap to do but there is still a faction of people who prefer to keep the two seperate 'networks', and I've heard about some Schools wanting to get back to the two networks from one.

    I've been seeing things about 'Web Parts' for SIMS; don't know if I'm barking up the wrong tree, but a web based solution that connects into SIMS where the teachers can access securely through a web browser would be ideal. Am I correct or incorrect in my assumption?

    I'll look at PARS, something else to have a read up on.

    Cheers all ;-)

    Pete

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    PARS can be a pain in the arse to get it to work on two networks.

    Z

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    FragglePete: " Teachers need to do Registration around the school electronically, but of course this is all on the Admin network. Teachers laptops and classroom PC's are on the Curriculum network. One infrastructure, but the device is either configured for Admin or Curriculum if that makes sense."

    Yes, exactly! You certainly need to make a choice to give up data security or choose a system that can work with Admin and networks in isolated form as you are now. There is at least one system that in this forum has been discussed (Bromcom) which appears to deal with your situation - http://www.edugeek.net/forums/showth...t=12801&page=3 contact: John Condon

    See also the full thread under 'Flat Networks' to read what was discussed with huge risks for going to 'flat networks'. My recommendation is - don't go anywhere near it!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
    FragglePete: " Teachers need to do Registration around the school electronically, but of course this is all on the Admin network. Teachers laptops and classroom PC's are on the Curriculum network. One infrastructure, but the device is either configured for Admin or Curriculum if that makes sense."

    Yes, exactly! You certainly need to make a choice to give up data security or choose a system that can work with Admin and networks in isolated form as you are now. There is at least one system that in this forum has been discussed (Bromcom) which appears to deal with your situation - http://www.edugeek.net/forums/showth...t=12801&page=3 contact: John Condon

    See also the full thread under 'Flat Networks' to read what was discussed with huge risks for going to 'flat networks'. My recommendation is - don't go anywhere near it!!!
    Cue - flat network versus divided network debate again!
    We have a flat network - saves all the hassle, never had any issues and certainly don't feel we have "given up data security"

    In answer to the OP question - get everything onto one flat network and use SIMS attendance - it's free as it's already there and it seems to work really well (we implemented it 2 years ago.)
    Last edited by jcollings; 11th February 2008 at 10:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
    You certainly need to make a choice to give up data security.......
    .......with huge risks for going to 'flat networks'. My recommendation is - don't go anywhere near it!!!
    What has having one domain or network got to do with giving up data security?

    No permissions = no access, simple, be it Microsoft, Unix or Novell.

    If network permissions are set up correctly, there is absolutely NO security risk involved in having students and staff on one domain.

    If a network manager is not capable of setting up a secure network, then they are in the wrong job!!!!!

    The greatest risk comes from teachers letting students use their computer whilst the teacher is still logged in, it doesn't matter how many domains or networks you have then.

    Graham

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    InTheDark: "What has having one domain or network got to do with giving up data security?

    No permissions = no access, simple, be it Microsoft, Unix or Novell.

    If network permissions are set up correctly, there is absolutely NO security risk involved in having students and staff on one domain.

    If a network manager is not capable of setting up a secure network, then they are in the wrong job!!!!!

    The greatest risk comes from teachers letting students use their computer whilst the teacher is still logged in, it doesn't matter how many domains or networks you have then."

    If you believe in a hacker-free world then yes!

    Otherwise you need to check out UK's the most comprehensive guide specifically for educational establishments on this issue - "UCISA - Information Security Toolkit - Edition 3.0 by JISC"

    http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/ist/agree/

    Take a look at Section L: "Network management " and note repeated key word 'segragated' - meaning ZERO access between the groups eg students, staff and third parties etc...

    There are also plenty references to BS7799. I would have thought to comply with the Data Protection Act a school needs to meet BS7799 as the Data Security standard. I hardly think a system vulnerable to 'man in the middle'' attack for children sensitive information or if central data security relies on every teacher keeping his/her password safe will meet BS7799 or compliance to Data Protection Act.

    I hope it helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
    If you believe in a hacker-free world then yes!

    Take a look at Section L: "Network management " and note repeated key word 'segragated' - meaning ZERO access between the groups eg students, staff and third parties etc...
    No it didn't help.....

    If someone is going to hack a system, there is NOTHING anyone can do about it (ask NASA, the FBI, Barclays Bank, eBay, Microsoft, to name a few), but given the resources a school has to work with, financially and man power, a SINGLE domain/network can be adequately secure.

    Where the network(s) are “segregated”, do both of them have access to the internet, if so then they are no more secure than a single network, so why bother to have two?

    What is the point in having two network infrastructures, two domains, when teachers allow students to use their network account “just to finish off some course work”.

    Over the last 15 years or so, I’ve only ever worked for one company that could justify having a separate network infrastructure from their main corporate network. That was for the fraud department of a multinational bank, they had their own network, own servers, own infrastructure, and most importantly no internet access.

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    InTheDark: "I’ve only ever worked for one company that could justify having a separate network infrastructure from their main corporate network. That was for the fraud department of a multinational bank, they had their own network, own servers, own infrastructure, and most importantly no internet access."

    Pls add to your list of 1, everyone one of thousands of schools in Australia, France (and probably whole of Northern Europe).

    A visiting Australian network manager in a school from Melbourne kindly pointed out to me a document by Victoria Education Department which clearly states that schools must keep networks isolated. Data security/data protection act and civil liberties appear to be a high profile issue across Australia.

    Since then I discovered that starting with France all civil liberty conscience countries have very strict rule in schools to keep admin and curriculum network isolated. In France you get fined 30,000 Euros and an imprisonment for infinging data security rules.

    If yo uwant an access admin from curriclum, you just need to use the right product that allows 'tunneling' - see John COndon's entries for details under the thread 'flat networks'.
    Last edited by Tiger; 12th February 2008 at 09:05 AM. Reason: colour

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    I hate to fan the flames of seperate vs. flat domains. But I think we really need to differentiate between seperate networks (e.g. seperate physical wires or well implemented vlans) and what I think most of you are talking about with is just seperate domains.

    At the IP level I suspect they are usually the same network, which dosn't really protect you from hackers....

    Cheers
    Jona



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