Network and Classroom Management Thread, remote and USB access for pupils in Technical; I think this is the right sub-forum...
The new head of ICT is arguing that new course requirements means pupils ...
18th July 2011, 09:45 AM #1
remote and USB access for pupils
I think this is the right sub-forum...
The new head of ICT is arguing that new course requirements means pupils need access to their personal drive from home, as well as be able to transfer stuff from USB storage when in school. Traditionally we've not allowed either, as there are always the minority who spoil it for everyone else by moving across things like porn and dodgy executable files.
Am I being archaic? What do you allow in your schools?
I can see this adding quite a bit of overhead to my job....
18th July 2011, 09:58 AM #2
As a non school based tech (and tech in any sense)... I can see no reason pupils would need direct access to their drives outside of the school network, I used/had access to USB drives when I was in school a few years ago and I can see it being quiet beneficial (and I prefer it a lot better than email things around).
As long as you have a antivirus system that can scan removable drives when they are plugged in there shouldn't be that much of a issue with them, whilst that matter of inappropriate materials will always arise there is no way to stop it no matter what you allow on your network or not (because it's not like you are going to stop the students using the internet for anything).
18th July 2011, 10:19 AM #3
you should look into google apps for education or live @edu. both give students a block of cloud storage which would replace their personnal drive and give them access to them from any where on the internet.
We also allow access to usb drives. We have AV everywhere and come down like a ton of bricks on students that abuse the system.
18th July 2011, 10:58 AM #4
Have a look at Home Access Plus+ (its on here under EduGeek projects) this will allow you to setup home access to your home drives and file shares over the web.
As far as USB sticks go its all fully allowed here - the our AV is set to scan on access and can't say we've had any problems come in from USB sticks in quite some time.
18th July 2011, 10:59 AM #5
If the pupils need access to their school work at home, a VLE is the traditional answer. Actually giving access to their network home areas is possible, but a pretty fat amount of work depending on the method used - and potentially a security hole as you're exposing that area and your servers to be internet facing. I could see the transfer of undesirable material from home as being an issue - FSRM on Server 2003R2 onwards can help this though.
Here - we use a VLE (Moodle) and we allow USB sticks. Sophos has been pretty hot on detecting nasties on them, and it tells me when and where so I can warn them that their home PC is infected (99% of the time it's Conficker). Year 10 upwards also use their email extensively to send work back and forth. For staff, we have a VPN for home access, with RDP.
18th July 2011, 11:09 AM #6
If your head of ICT is claiming they need it as a requirement for a specific course then I would ask to see the course itself. That's a pretty steep requirement as it implies that pupils also need a computer at home... and while I realise that many people have these days that still seems a bit of a steep thing to take for granted.
Having said that, I think its perfectly reasonable to allow USB drive access to the system to allow students to take homework away from the computers, we certainly do here with no problem. And I think that looking into skydrive/dropbox type systems also seems reasonable. If you have a VLE in place then again, it seems reasonable to extend this for home use too, we certainly do that here with no issues.
18th July 2011, 11:50 AM #7
As we have a managed service provided by the LEA, home access is already provided and involves simply ticking a box. The county's 'learning gateway' has also just been launched, which runs on Sharepoint. Once we have our site up and running on it, we'll hopefully be able to sort out a drop-box for work that the pupils can upload to.
Just checked the AV, and it's set up by default to scan USB drives. I'll just need to set up a scheduled scan for anything that's not allowed by the school.
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