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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Staff Laptops in Technical; Hello everyone. I have been thinking about a better solution for our current situation at our secondary school and thought ...
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    Staff Laptops

    Hello everyone.

    I have been thinking about a better solution for our current situation at our secondary school and thought i would ask you guys for your tips and experience.

    Currently we have around 70 Staff Laptops of mixed brands that all run XP professional.

    They are all added to the school domain for use within schools so staff can access SIMS and there network shares.

    For home use however all Laptops have a second local account called home where they can just log on and do local work.

    Ideally I would like to offer the option of just logging on with the same user account whether at school or at home. (can this be done on a domain without being connected to domain) And also it would be so helpful to everyone if work stored in their network shared directories could be accesseed at home too with an internet connection.

    What would be the easiest, safest and most cost effective way of doing this?

    Thank you for you help

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by napsburypark View Post
    Ideally I would like to offer the option of just logging on with the same user account whether at school or at home. (can this be done on a domain without being connected to domain)
    Yes, it's called Cached Credentials. Machines must be returned to the domain periodically though.

    And also it would be so helpful to everyone if work stored in their network shared directories could be accesseed at home too with an internet connection.
    For this you need folder synchronisation (Offline Files). In Vista and 7 this is quite sensible but you need to monitor it carefully; in XP you should abandon all hope now.

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    Hi, I would say it all comes down to how secure you want to be or how secure you can afford to be. Really any remote access system (VPN etc...) should really be a two factor authentication system using at the very least a password and physical authentication such as a crypto card etc... Also the whole issue of the security of the data once it leaves your local systems on the laptop and where it can then end up has to be taken into account. I would say that really this is where your learning platform should be used as this should already be a secure approved system that staff and students have access to inside and outside of school. If they need access like they do on your LAN remotely then you need to look into SSL VPN ideally such as the Juniper SA4000 etc... A solution can be achieved on the cheap using software such as IPCOP and OpenVPN for example however the full security implications of using such systems would have to be investigated. I am no security expert and would suggest you talk to your LEA as they may already have a system in place.


    Richard

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    Okay thanks.
    How about logging in VIA the internet to view and access the files (like VPN) whats the costings for this type of setup?

    Also I would really appreciate comments on how best to manage Staff Laptops and any good software to help both assist with teaching and to help manage the machine.

    Thank you.

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    richardp's Avatar
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    Hi, the first question would be do you manage your own firewall etc... or are you within your local authority network which puts you behind their corporate firewalls etc... If you are on the local authority network then really you should be having this conversation with your corporate IT team as they will have to approve any system you want to implemented as it will be routed over their network.

    Richard

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    CESIL's Avatar
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    My wife has a laptop for her job as a Parent Support Adviser and for school work she logs in through some sort of Citrix based remote access system.

    It seems to be ok except she can only print to printers in school and not at home.

    She also has a local account for working away from the net.

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    Quote Originally Posted by napsburypark View Post
    Okay thanks.
    How about logging in VIA the internet to view and access the files (like VPN) whats the costings for this type of setup?

    Also I would really appreciate comments on how best to manage Staff Laptops and any good software to help both assist with teaching and to help manage the machine.

    Thank you.
    Have a look at Open VPN ALS

    I use a descendent of this software at the moment (SSL Explorer) it runs under tomcat java webserver on a linux machine and allows remote access to network areas aswell as network machines through a web plugin which launches from the web browser - we use it as we are reducing staff laptops and they can use the schools software including sims from a remote machine in a more secure fashion

    Toby

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    Quote Originally Posted by CESIL View Post
    My wife has a laptop for her job as a Parent Support Adviser and for school work she logs in through some sort of Citrix based remote access system.

    It seems to be ok except she can only print to printers in school and not at home.

    She also has a local account for working away from the net.
    i would suggest the no home printers was deliberate or someone could just log in and print off all the details from sims etc

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