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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Staff access to student work in Technical; Originally Posted by Disease That's why here we have........Back ups, that way no one loses anything, we give certain teachers ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disease View Post
    That's why here we have........Back ups, that way no one loses anything, we give certain teachers (mostly IT Teachers) full access.
    Backups existed, but in the photography case half of the photos had been taken and uploaded that day.

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    eean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    In many cases I'd say its more like not giving a doctor's receptionist access to drugs in case they prescribe the wrong ones for patients. With full access to student areas a lot of damage can be done, just by hitting the wrong key. The blame for that isn't going to laid at the feet of the person who did it, its going to be placed on either 'the system' or on the support people most of the time.

    Not only that but to a point students should be able to have a little privacy in their areas. There's no rule that they can't keep, say, a diary or their own personal writing in their area. In cases where a student's suspected of abusing that privacy then fine, remove it, but in most cases its not going to do any harm and providing that sort of access is just an extension of the Big Brother system that's spreading far too quickly for my liking.
    Ok, so I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate here. I personally can't think of a good reason why a teacher should need to edit pupils files, so therefore they shouldn't have access to them.
    Back to the (rather poor - fair enough) doctor analogy: I'm sure there are a plenty of incompetent doctors out there but to suggest that they would intentionally go about killing people, isn't going to make you many friends (nor is suggesting that teachers are akin to receptionists!)

    The privacy argument isn't going to help much - if kids want privacy there are plenty ways they can achieve that. A pen drive would be a good start. There are plenty of techs on here who purchase key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eean View Post
    Back to the (rather poor - fair enough) doctor analogy: I'm sure there are a plenty of incompetent doctors out there but to suggest that they would intentionally go about killing people, isn't going to make you many friends (nor is suggesting that teachers are akin to receptionists!)
    The receptionist comparison was probably a bad one, but I was trying to highlight that giving complete access to student work to someone who doesn't know exactly what that entails, and any issues that come up, isn't the same as providing a doctor with medical drugs. A doctor with medical drugs knows how they should be prescribed and used. An end-user (not just teachers, any end-user) with any sort of administrative access is not a doctor with access to those drugs, maybe a physics expert would've made a better comparison.

    It doesn't matter how good they are their role, a physicist is not going to be able to make a valid diagnosis and provide the right drugs.

    The privacy argument isn't going to help much - if kids want privacy there are plenty ways they can achieve that. A pen drive would be a good start. There are plenty of techs on here who purchase key.
    There are also plenty of networks where pen drives are locked down, or locked out entirely. Besides which if they're using the computer on their own personal time (after-school clubs, lunch breaks and so on) why should teaching staff be able to see their own personal work?

    Now the textbook argument doesn't really compare either. It would be more like allowing a teacher to insist that a student show them all textbooks, exercise books and personal books that they might bring into school. A science teacher has every right to look at a student's science exercise book and textbooks during the lesson. Why should they be checking English books?

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    rosswilson's Avatar
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    Real Life Scenario

    Does anybody have any real life scenario where a teacher would need read or read/write access to student's work?

    I have been following this thread and cannot think of any reasons where a teacher would need access at all. A lot of students My Documents folders lack organisation and thus it is bad enough them trying to find the correct version of their coursework - let alone the teacher.

    Just something to think about and spark a conversation...

    Ross

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosswilson View Post
    Does anybody have any real life scenario where a teacher would need read or read/write access to student's work?

    I have been following this thread and cannot think of any reasons where a teacher would need access at all. A lot of students My Documents folders lack organisation and thus it is bad enough them trying to find the correct version of their coursework - let alone the teacher.

    Just something to think about and spark a conversation...

    Ross
    I honestly can't think of a single scenario where a teacher would need read access, let alone write access.

    In which case the whole thing comes down to basic security principles. Least privilege.

  6. Thanks to jamesb from:

    rosswilson (13th June 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eean View Post
    Ok, so I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate here. I personally can't think of a good reason why a teacher should need to edit pupils files, so therefore they shouldn't have access to them.
    Take it back to the other example - this is like the exercise books. We don't say "teachers can't have write access to the exercise books"; we absolutely expect them to write in the books when they mark them.

    I'm not actually saying we should allow teachers direct access to student home areas (I don't think we should!) but there are plenty of good reasons that people can come up with to justify it; it's up to techy types to offer better ways of handling things. For example, you might have some sort of submission system where a pupil can submit a piece of work which then takes it out of their folder and puts it in a teacher area. The teacher can then mark and return it. Not really sure how you'd implement it but it has to be possible :-)

    I think also that care needs to be taken; unless you explicitly tell pupils that people may look at the contents of their folder at any time and they should not keep anything personal in there then it's pretty unreasonable to go exploring their personal space. There are all sorts of perfectly reasonable things that a pupil might do in their own time which would be private and no-one should be accessing unless there's suspicion of wrong doing.

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    Its one of those interesting issues.

    I don't think that a teacher should have automatic rights to read their files etc but it should be given with a valid reason.

    If you think of the exercise book anaolgy then a teacher can only look at it when the student brings it in, they can't look it at it whenever they like.

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    Best practice for folder access

    Anyone got a pointer to best practice for access permissions for a school network please. Reason for asking - at one secondary level school I work in currently, which has a Windows 2003 server network set up by a local IT company access across the network is currently set to "Everyone" and the only control measures that seem to be in place come from various logon.bat files applied to users in AD!

    I'm keen to get in there and make things more secure but would find it useful have a plan of action about what to set up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    Anyone got a pointer to best practice for access permissions for a school network please. Reason for asking - at one secondary level school I work in currently, which has a Windows 2003 server network set up by a local IT company access across the network is currently set to "Everyone" and the only control measures that seem to be in place come from various logon.bat files applied to users in AD!

    I'm keen to get in there and make things more secure but would find it useful have a plan of action about what to set up.
    Before really commenting, we would need a better overview of your network, eg: how user accounts are setup, your folder strucutre, your share structures ect.

    As a stop gap measure i would:
    * Quickly change your Everyone permissions to either "Domain Users" or "Authenticated Users" (I forget what win 03 calls it).
    * Also i would make sure all users have no permission to access the drives on the server (either locally or network looking (eg: going directly to \\servername\) and only on allow on folders they need.
    * I also also hide all the shares that i can (eg: setting the share name to <sharename>$)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosswilson View Post
    Does anybody have any real life scenario where a teacher would need read or read/write access to student's work?

    I have been following this thread and cannot think of any reasons where a teacher would need access at all. A lot of students My Documents folders lack organisation and thus it is bad enough them trying to find the correct version of their coursework - let alone the teacher.

    Just something to think about and spark a conversation...

    Ross
    We have had the need here e.g. student goes off (holiday/study leave/illness etc) and hasn't copied a piece of design work which needs to be machined overnight by the DT teacher to the right place. DT teacher needs to access it. If he has read access he can just get it sorted. I know they can come to us for it but it makes life easier all round if they can simply copy it them self.

    There are many other examples along the same lines. Students often go off not having printed work needed for portfoilios etc.

    I see no need for write access though.

  13. Thanks to jcollings from:

    rosswilson (13th June 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    Anyone got a pointer to best practice for access permissions for a school network please. Reason for asking - at one secondary level school I work in currently, which has a Windows 2003 server network set up by a local IT company access across the network is currently set to "Everyone" and the only control measures that seem to be in place come from various logon.bat files applied to users in AD!

    I'm keen to get in there and make things more secure but would find it useful have a plan of action about what to set up.
    Follow least privilege and you can't go wrong. People should have enough permissions to do their jobs without hindrance, and absolutely no more.

    And definitely get that everyone access removed as soon as you possibly can. Better to have a dead network than have it that exposed.

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    speckytecky (13th June 2009)

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    There have been some interesting points raised here however, I don't think there is one answer to fit all schools, I believe the reasons for giving staff access to student data depends on the individual school in question.

    At my school the read/write permnisssions were already in place when I started and as we all know to well teaching staff are not always keen on change!

    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    We have had the need here e.g. student goes off (holiday/study leave/illness etc) and hasn't copied a piece of design work which needs to be machined overnight by the DT teacher to the right place. DT teacher needs to access it. If he has read access he can just get it sorted. I know they can come to us for it but it makes life easier all round if they can simply copy it them self.

    There are many other examples along the same lines. Students often go off not having printed work needed for portfoilios etc.

    I see no need for write access though.
    These are primarily the reasons why staff have access to student data here although these tasks only really need read permissions, I suspect that write permissions are needed by staff when they need to tweak student coursework

    Plan to implement changes where staff no longer I have access to student data at all. Where departments need read access to implement the issues mentioned above by jcollings I plan to map network drives to each departmental ICT Suite. Students will have write permissions to these drives and will be only allowed to save files of a particular type to them, copies of any work that needs to be machines over night or printed in colour can be placed in here for staff to access, the files will probably be deleted every so often to stop the drive from being used as a dumping ground.

    Its still not ideal but possibly a step in the right direction and atleast staff will no longer have direct access to student home directories.

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    No access to students work here, staff come and see us if they need to access a students work,so that someone else can witness what staff are doing I have a number of reasons for this.

    1. If staff have write access they could obviously alter\delete students work either on purpose or by accident. This could mean that students could be advantaged or disadvantaged.

    2.If staff have read access they can not only read or access course work for their course but all other documents some of which could be private, we all know and explain to students and staff shouldn't store private documents but we know this happens.

    3. Having another member of staff as a witness when students work is being accessed also covers staff in case a student were to claim a member of staff had altered\deleted their work this is particularly critical when we are talking about course work.

    4.As part of Teaching Staff Performance Management here, their students Achievement\Attainment is taken into account. Due to this their is always the fear that some unscrupulous staff could improve students work to increase students Achievement\Attainment for personal gain. I am not saying this happens here as far as I know it doesn't, just that it is opening that can of worms and to give the staff the Mechanism to do this by allowing them write access to students work may not be the best idea and may be irresponsible on our parts.

    This is what I explain to staff when asked as regards giving them access to students work, which they seem to understand I am not trying to be awkward but am trying to cover their backs as well, if they haven't got access on their own then no one can say that they have altered\deleted students work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    A science teacher has every right to look at a student's science exercise book and textbooks during the lesson. Why should they be checking English books?
    Perhaps because he's his form tutor, who should be taking an overall view of the child's education. Perhaps because he's a ICT teacher, who should be monitoring work done in other curriculum areas to assess cross-curricular standards of ICT. Perhaps because the Science teacher has noticed a child's written ability is poor and wants to check their English to see if there is a general problem or more to do with his expectations of what a child can do.

    Secondary teachers should be taking more of an overview of the whole child, not just focusing on their subject. It's moving more this way. Technology can help with this - and if it's easy, it's more likely to happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by rosswilson
    Does anybody have any real life scenario where a teacher would need read or read/write access to student's work?
    When children work on one project in a team, but the child who's saved the work is off. The teacher needs to go into that child's folder to retrieve it.


    Quote Originally Posted by srochford
    Quote Originally Posted by eean
    I personally can't think of a good reason why a teacher should need to edit pupils files
    Take it back to the other example - this is like the exercise books. We don't say "teachers can't have write access to the exercise books"; we absolutely expect them to write in the books when they mark them.
    Good example. Didn't think of that one. We call complain about how much printing goes on - office contains useful tools annotations and feedback. Yes, this can be achieved with departmental folders, but really work should be attached to the child.
    Also, a teacher might want to quickly see what a child has achieved in a lesson before it's formally submitted for assessment. They may want to check up on a child who was pissing about all lesson or they may want to gaugue the level of achievement so they can plan their next steps in learning. (I do this with my kids' ICT work, sometimes!) With written work they can have a quick flick through the pile of text books but when work is locked in private folders this isn't possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by rosswilson
    A lot of students My Documents folders lack organisation and thus it is bad enough them trying to find the correct version of their coursework - let alone the teacher.
    Well, perhaps that's because we treat the My Docs folder like a teenager's bedroom - something rarely to be opened or looked at, rather than a place for storing work, a record of day-to-day achievement, a tool for formative assessment.
    In primary, we spend hours teaching children how to write their date, underline the title, stick their work in their book straight. We ought to treat the work children save in their my docs folder with the same respect - As of tomorrow, I'm going to start yelling at kids who don't save their work properly!


    How's about, as a compromise:
    * Pupils have a folder for personal/out of school work that has restricted access (that covers people's privacy fears.)
    * Staff have read access to folders (except their private folder).
    * A basic directory structure is created for the child (e.g. subject headings) with read only access to the root of the my docs. Children are taught and expected to save their work correctly.
    * Staff can create new files in a folder and edit these - however they can not modify/delete work that the child has created. This would prevent accidential deletion/adjusting coursework fears but would allow the teacher to create a duplicate copy of the work which could be annotated for marking/feedback.
    * Staff have folders with shortcuts to pupils work whom they teach. This could be created fairly easily with a script and a exported file from SIMS. This would allow them to more easily access the work of the chidren they teach.

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    The problem I found is one of attitude ie we're teachers and you are nothing (despite having more experience and qualifications than the entire IT Department put together )

    was faced with this dilema. My predecessor pretty much let the IT teachers do what they wanted, especially with regards to accessing the students user spaces. Comming from the private sector this shocked me, but what was wordse was the HT's attitude. When I pointed out "..what if the teachers altered the students work.." I was met with a look that said it all!!

    I checked with BECTA and the LEA who advised that read access was more than suitable, write access was a deffo no-no but it still hasnt stopped the HOD trying to get hold of a USB External Drive to copy the students work. I covered my back by sending the HOD and HT a memo highlighting that under the DPA they not me are responsable for the data if it get's lost or if there are any suggestions of cheating.

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