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School ICT Policies Thread, web based emails (hotmail, yahoo) in School Administration; Hi, We've always blocked web based emails like hotmail and yahoo, because we give all students there own email addresses ...
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    web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    Hi,


    We've always blocked web based emails like hotmail and yahoo, because we give all students there own email addresses when they join. We are looking at changing this, just wondering what you guys think are the pro's and con's of allowing these websites.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    By using the school system:

    1. staff and students can email each other easily as we use exchange and email addresses are easy to find or even work out.

    2. More secure for the students

    3. Administration is easier.

    4. Usually less spam in their email boxes.

    If you use an external provider you can't control it and will probably cause more headaches than it's worth over time.

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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    We do not block Yahoo or Hotmail. As long as your students aren't using the sites during lessons when they should be working then I don't see a problem. You can always block them again if problems do arise.

    Edit: I may have misinterpreted what you have said. We also give every user on the network a school email address which they're encouraged to use.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    Sorry - should have said - We don't block them as such but we discourage it. If anyone has a problem with an external account then they are politely told that we don't support it.

    We provide an email account for the purpose of education and work related tasks, if the user thinks they know better then hard luck if it don't work. :twisted:

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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    Defiantly banned here - they have school email addresses, only staff can access such services.

    They don't NEED access to them, if they have work to send in etc., then they can use their school addresses. Allow such sites just allows 1) being off-task in lessons, 2) them to have unmonitored access to communications.

    You allow Hotmail - 2 weeks later the Head gets a angry/upset letter from a Mum - my daughter's being seriously bullied at school by X & Y - who are sending threating emails during lessons via their Hotmail to daughter's Hotmail - How are you going to see what's being sent? How are you protecting that child under the school's duty of care? Saying you can't track what's being sent isn't going to cut it.

    Why we have a simple rule - if it's communication, & we can't monitor it - It's not allowed. We provide alternative, monitored, methods for using such communication channels for educational purposes.

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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    We blocked third-party email providers a long time ago through LEA stipulation that schools should use a signgle designated email provider.

    With our internal system (currently Linux + Squirrelmail, moving to Zimbra; free) we have the following benefits:

    Staff and students on one single platform, each with own email address (integrated calendar and global address book for staff with distribution lists etc)

    Quick - hosted internally so if internet drops, we still have access to, what is now, a vital communication system for the school.

    We control spam filtering and antivirus settings.

    Can be monitored ourselves and messages can be traced when required; not at the timescale of a third-party provider. This is a big help if a bullying problem was raised for example.

    Email is a privilege for students - we can grant or deny this at any time as we see fit.

    External access via our reverse proxy - staff and students can login from home or holiday.

    ... Only one of which would still be true if we relied upon the likes of Yahoo, Hotmail, Google etc.

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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    I block webmail so that we can monitor what email is being sent and have some control of what is happening.

    The exception is for upper sixth students who tend to use their personal webmail accounts for UCAS.

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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    We block the majority of outside email systems such as Hotmail and Yahoo.

    If its not in the ICT policy could probably be added quite easily. What with the drive to counter cyber bullying etc. May even earn some brownie point with SMT/SLT by doing so when put in those kinda words.

    What ever you do just don't block the staff access to the web email, it causes nothing but grief.

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    Re: web based emails (hotmail, yahoo)

    All blocked for everyone. Email is provided by county and to be used for work purposes only.

    There was a few grumbles initially when staff could no longer access hotmail, but we gave them an alternative. We also put an AUP in place which stated that the use on the network was not for personal use therefore any email they needed to send should be done using the official school email account.

    It helps using an official school account when you get staff that leave or retire. You can simply stick a forward rule in to pass these emails onto the person that has taken over their role, at least until the new email address is circulated.

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