I would like to introduce to you a program on which we have been working a great deal lately. The version we are making available is a majorly stripped back animal from what we have deployed in our-school, but what we use in practice is very tailored and our-school specific. As a basic outline, it is a Removable Drive Blocker called Lock. Originally (i.e. in our current deployment) we used a room based approach, where we allow control over the locking mechanisms per classroom - as a primary. We have, of course, written other controls in to the original; per-user restriction control and automatic removal of unwanted files on their user areas. But these other functions are very customised and overly based on how we name our computers, rooms and usernames. So we are starting again.
Our approach is now user centric and no longer our-school specific. We would like to shift towards allowing teaching staff better in-classroom controls and a simplicity which will allow incorporation of the facilities with their student behaviour management policies. But, we want to make this easy for us tech guys too.
Lock v1.0 userbased basic, is a blanket removable drive blocker. If you want to completely stop the use of pen drives, USB hard drives and media cards then this is for you. It has its restrictions. It can only go on PCís with a maximum of 2 fixed hard drives, as (so far) we have presumed that most PCís in schools have only one internal hard drive. But it has its advantages, we have made it really very easy to deploy if you are using a mandatory profile for your students.
I donít want to start posting more details and specifics of how the program configures, so I am going to stop here. If you are interested in getting a copy, at no cost, then please e-mail me with your schools name and phone number as well as your name and position. I will then happily get in touch, grab an email address and pop over a zip file. Please note that you will have to be employed by your school or county council, this program is not for use by companies that have been outsourced into a school (e.g. Redstone) or commercial companies.
Assistant Systems Manager and Lock Strategic Lead
Jack Lambert ICT Technician and Lock Operation Lead
Assistant Head Teacher, ICT Coordinator and Lock Strategic Integration Aid
Head of ICT (Teaching) and Lock Operation Integration Aid
Hameldon Community College
Part of the Burnley Learning Partnership
P.S. It works in Vista and XP and requires dot Net Framework something point something. You should really at least be on 3.0 by now.
We have just started using GFI endpoint security. As it can filter by file type, integrates with AD for seperate policies for different groups etc and can also block cd-rom, mobile phones etc. about £2000 one-off fee for 700 client PC license.
TakeWare Gatekeeper seems a little confusing. GFI EndPoint Security looks a lot more like what we are aiming for. But I don't see much point in using it with AD. That would be too group based, not individual user based. Development of ours may take a little time (we still have to manage and support a network), but we want it to be free.