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Network and Classroom Management Thread, IM monitoring in Technical; 'lo folks... The next version of SchoolGuardian will have IM monitoring features. It's a relatively late addition, but will log ...
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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    IM monitoring

    'lo folks...

    The next version of SchoolGuardian will have IM monitoring features. It's a relatively late addition, but will log MSN, AOL, Yahoo! etc.

    Just wondering... do any of you allow kids to use IM?
    would IM monitoring be useful?

    If so, what tools would be helpful to you?

    Tom

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    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Re: IM monitoring

    We don't allow it, we have Policy Central which would log it apparantly.

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    Re: IM monitoring

    I suppose abusive word monitoring which would be the same as the current content filtering for web pages but applied to the IM traffic as well.

    Ben

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    Re: IM monitoring

    we ban messengering too!

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    PEO
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    Re: IM monitoring

    We have disabled it here because were miserable people that like to make the kids life’s miserable

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    Re: IM monitoring

    Bad word censorship is in there - bit light on reports/alerts so far as is the usual way with new bits! Incidentally the price is good - £0!

    Would any of you folk consider allowing MSN etc, if it was logged?

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    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Re: IM monitoring

    plexer - This Policy Central does abusive word monitoring.

    Basically we got it free from the LEA they did a group buy on behalf of all the schools.

    www.forensicsoftware.com for the website of the makers.

    We had a couple of demos to see if we were interested and it looks great. If anyone types or opens a document/web page with a banned word it takes a screenshot, stamps it with name, computer, time and stores it on a server.

    You can create groups for users who and assign those groups different staff to monitor them, eg. Year 7 with the Head of Year notified by email when a violation occurs and given access to view only Year 7 violations.

    You can choose different categories of words for different groups from Bullying, Swearing, Violence etc...

    All sounds great on the surface.

    In reality I've found it almost useless.

    It captures over 1000 screenshots a day. Most of the captures are webpages which have comments posted by anyone so the student who's opened it has done nothing wrong, but you've got to look through them all anyway.
    You have words in the categories that while valid, throw up to many false positives I've not had a valid positive yet ie facial, webcam etc..

    I haven't given anyone else access or assigned groups to people as I know noone will check it for more than a few days due to the high amount of irrelevancy.

    Shame I had high hopes for it too.

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    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Re: IM monitoring

    tom_newton - Students are here to learn. They spend enough time chatting on email nevermind having replies come instantly.

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    Re: IM monitoring

    mrforgetful: our lea punts securus as their solution but charge anyone that wants to have it handsomely.

    Ben

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    Re: IM monitoring

    @Tom: IM monitoring is a great addition but I think you will find many RBCs cripple it anyway.

    An interesting idea might be if it could monitor an internal Jabber server so that staff could use IM between each other. This would require reporting to show the amount of time a user is actually using IM (messages sent/received per hour maybe?)

    If the system could monitor web-based IM too we could foil those kids that find web clients to get around proxies and the like.

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    Re: IM monitoring

    Yesh Ric_ has a good point there, anything that could log use of those secret IMs would be great.

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    Re: IM monitoring

    Quote Originally Posted by mrforgetful
    Yesh Ric_ has a good point there, anything that could log use of those secret IMs would be great.
    Of course SchoolGuardian should block them but it might be an idea to be able to say "you know that you should not be using IM but you spent 35minutes during epriod 3 yesterday chatting to somebody called Mr Big... explain yourself"

    It would produce a greater amount of accountability.

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    Re: IM monitoring

    Just discussing this last night. Tarquels new employer - a local authority, log all IM conversations, so no one uses it!

    So how does the bad word censorship work? As we have corporate guardian, I presume that only affects traffic passing through it, and not conversations on the LAN?

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    Re: IM monitoring

    Ive started to implement Office Communicator to the teachers on our Pupil Network (seperate from LEA's) but will NOT be giving the kiddies access to it - IM's are banned as per school policy and as someone previously said, email as abused enough without adding IM's into the field..

    ASked the LEA if they can setup the accounts for the staff as well just waiting on a reply

    I know they use it cos i can see the fields in their AD console.

    Think IM would be good on a staff basis but not for the kids..

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    Re: IM monitoring

    Where this would be good is private schools where they have borders etc who you give im access to but want to monitor it.

    Russell

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