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School ICT Policies Thread, Teachers installing illegal software on laptops in School Administration; How many of you have caught teachers doing this? What do you normally do when you find software without licenses ...
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    Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    How many of you have caught teachers doing this? What do you normally do when you find software without licenses that a teacher has installed knowing that it is illegal?

    I was talking to a teacher today and she asked me if she could install office 2007 on her laptop. I immediately put my policeman hat on and asked her where the software came from. Her reply was "umm... somewhere". So, assuming that the software has been given to her by a friend, I politely informed her that installing any pieces of software with only one license on more then one computer is illegal. "Oh, it would only be installed on one computer" she said. *Sigh*. Okay, interrogation time. "Where did the software really come from?" I ask. "My son downloaded it". *Double Sigh*. "Nope, sorry, that is -illegal- and not only would the school be fined, but so would the person who installed it". Then she proceeded to debate with me about how anyone would ever find out the software was on there and who actually installed it. In the middle of this debate, she jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. She said "well my son often installs software for me that is very useful and office 2007 is much better then office 2003". 8O

    I want to know how old this son is so I know whether he is worthy of the guillotine (I'm guessing as he knows how to rip off office 2007, he is old enough to know better). First thing tomorrow, I'm going to ask for her laptop for audit. Unless she "forgets" it, or has her son remove everything tonight, I'm not looking forward to what I'll find. I don't know how to make her believe how serious it actually is in a school environment, she is obviously under the impression that she'll never be caught and if she was, it'd be a slap on the hand.

    Also... could I get in trouble for this? If software is installed without my knowledge, how does this affect me?

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    1. Report any suspicions to your line manager or head (in writing might be a good idea)
    2. Make sure your AUP covers the circumstances
    3. Remind everybody of the legal implications and also that downloaded software in particular is likely to cary nasties which could then adversely effect everyone else if the network is infected (remember that this can happen with a file copied using a USB drive... not just by plugging it in to the network)
    4. If part of your job description is to ensure license compliance then it IS your responsibility

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    tut tut, the maximum sentance for software theft is 10 years prison (twice the maximum sentence for supplying class C drugs). kind of puts it into perspective. I guess ultimately the head/governors would be liable for any criminal proceedings unless you have been formally tasked with the responsibility (in which case you are due a pay rise). Time to lecture her on the virtues of OpenSource to education methinks

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Hello,

    Whenever we give a laptop to a member of staff a laptop we get them to sign a piece a paper saying that they are not allowed to install software (apart from drivers, ISP settings etc) and that only a member of the ICT Support Team can do so.

    Thanks,

    Rob

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Bat, Due a seach on the BGfL for 'staff accetable use'. (You will need to do this at school as most of that area of the bgfl website is restricited to internal access only.)

    Also have a look around the e-safety site at Becta here

    If your really concerned about this issue as always log a call......! We will get back to you eventually (after consultation with the relevent internal and extenal agencies if required) with a considerd answer. !



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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by eduabncs
    Bat, Due a seach on the BGfL for 'staff accetable use'. (You will need to do this at school as most of that area of the bgfl website is restricited to internal access only.)

    Also have a look around the e-safety site at Becta here

    If your really concerned about this issue as always log a call......! We will get back to you eventually (after consultation with the relevent internal and extenal agencies if required) with a considerd answer. !


    I'm concerned about it because I'm not aware of any written or signed AUP in this school, which is something I'm going to work on now. Thanks for the links.

    However, regardless of how annoyed I sounded in my first post and regardless of what the teacher believes, I'm doing this to protect her as much as I am the school and myself. So I'd only involve people outside the school officially as a last resort.

    Any software I find tomorrow that shouldn't be there will be removed and reported to my ICT coordinator (who was present when the above conversation took place and was the one to suggest I audited the laptop). Hopefully my ICT coordinator will be able to warn the teacher in question off from doing it again and I'll limit the account used on the laptop to prevent installation of software (just in case - you can never trust teenage children!).

    I'm also very tempted to do a full software audit of staff laptops in both my schools now. I certainly had no idea what was going on in this case until she actually told me herself. It makes me wonder how many other staff are doing similar things.

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by _Bat_
    It makes me wonder how many other staff are doing similar things.
    I'll place bets on 95% of them

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    erm, does watching movies on projectors that are on at the cinema count? and the head teacher complaining and assistent heads that limewire does not work and they cannot download copyrighted materal for school?

    I have a "blind eye"

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Maybe it's just me but how many schools actually provide unrestricted laptops for staff??

    I could not provide laptops to my teaching staff unless they were restricted. When I took over at my school one of the first things I did was call all laptops back in slapped a new "restricted" image on then and then handed them back.

    Yeah sure there was a few people that moaned but I simply told them that it was for thier safety as well as the schools and it allows me to peovide a better support service and over time they "maoners" have gone and everyone gets on with having a nice clean laptop that they are allowed to connect to the school network.

    I agree that we do it to protect the school and legalities behind it but if you start quoting chapter and verse at staff they will switch off and do everything they can to get back what they had.

    Tact is a good appraoch I find.

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Mine are unrestricted although I have forced an AUP since I came here. The problem is that the top management don't care and I can't make them care about licensing issues.
    Mind you, they did get a jolt when I refused to put half the school software back on our new server as I either couldnt trace the licenses or knew we didn't have them!. It did make them think but I cannot get them to worry about the teacher's laptops

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    ICTNUT's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    @WITCH:

    I agree with you that some people (techies) face problems with "upper management" not understanding the issues that can and do arise from installing illegal software onto the PC's.

    The problem is this, and correct me if I am wrong, but the remit of a NM is to ensure that there is some form of software asset management in place to ensure that all software installed is indeed licenced. If you do not have control of the laptops and staff are installing as they wish then your asset control is only 50% effective and your AUP is not worth anything especially if you do not have the backing of "upper management"

    If on the other hand you are the one installing the "non licensed" software and it does come back to bit the school in the A$&% then seeing as "upper management" do not back you up what's to say they will at this point.

    Resticting laptops is as much a safeguard for you as it is the school.

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Our staff have full access to their laptops, but we have an AUP and additional agreement for the laptops to cover all eventualities.

    Basically if any wrong-doing is found then the individual is hung, drawn and quartered by the HT and the laptop withdrawn.

    So far there has been no reason to withdraw a laptop yet, but we are confident that everything is in place to enable us to deal with any issues.

    As far as the above problem - document the conversation thoroughly together with everything found on the laptop, list all the software installed whether it be legitimate or not. You will need it if it turns nasty.

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Being the only ICT Techie and also having the role as a Teaching assistant, i'm heavily overworked, and just do not have time to check all laptops
    Wish I could rid myself of this Teaching Assistant tag - getting my foot in the door seems to have been a big mistake

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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    We restrict ours as in days gone past we have had a hell of a problem with staff installing games on the laptops and using them as toys for their children/relatives. For some peculiar reason they seem to be under the impression that the laptop is *theirs* and not the schools.

    In the past we have had all sorts on laptops when they returned to school, staff (I say staff..but more than likely its relatives that they have given the laptop to) have put everything on the laptops from games to cover CD software and even in one notable case 337 images of hardcore porn.

    Quite saddening to think that I cant trust someone who is in a career which in itself requires an enormous amount of trust.

    Since the restrictions have gone on though, no more issues , just a shame that you have to go as far as imposing restrictions on supposedly intelligent adults

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Teachers installing illegal software on laptops

    Did you personally inspect and count the 337 images Jake?

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