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Windows Thread, Accessing work from home. in Technical; Who has set up a system to allow pupils to access their work from home? I've recently followed a set ...
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    eejit's Avatar
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    Accessing work from home.

    Who has set up a system to allow pupils to access their work from home? I've recently followed a set of instructions on the uk.education.schools-it newsgroup about setting up a website with IIS to share webfolders. That does work, but I'm not sure about the security implications so I haven't set it up for the pupils yet.

    Also, is there a way to save to those webfolders from home? It appears that you can just view them and then right-click and choose "save as" to work on them locally.

    What are you guys doing? I know some boroughs are hosting VLEs, but ours doesn't

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    We have an email server in school directly accessible from the web [County have set up a reverse proxy to achieve this]. We're just about to have a production install [we were beta testing it] with a personal file area. We won't have shared file areas yet tho'.
    I also intend instaling Moodle on the box which also has the facility for file uploads.

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    basicly we have got rm easynet which is what rm charge for there custom version of the methord in first post.

    We have not rolled it out to anybody as of yet having the ability for about a year as not really happy about it and security aspect working on a solution i.e adding logging etc so we can roll out to staff in september.

    Russ

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    We're in the early stages of sorting this out. At the moment the LEA is trialing VPN access. I can use the VPN to get into the school servers and do work on them. Its a bit too technical for the kids/teachers though.

    One solution that some other schools in the trials have used is to use a terminal server over the VPN. This seems to work a lot better than just basic VPN access.

    We are also looking at hosting our VLE (Moodle) internally and using reverse proxying to get external access. If this works out ok I expect we'll be doing the same for personal files (using WebDAV) and email (Squirrelmail).

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    eejit's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    Yes, the big problem is that any solution has to be simple to use from home. If there's any setting up of connections etc., it's only going to end in tears. Parents who have crappy computers will blame the fact that "Alien Killer 8" no longer works on our instructions on how to connect to the school network. "It all worked fine until then" etc., etc.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    The support issue is one of the reasons why we are very doubious on offering to kids also if they have home access can bypass our filtering and upload mp3,exe's etc...

    I am going to give staff ability in september and see from there.


    Russ

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    i had an idea about doing that but we havent got around to trying it yet.
    basically a webpage that writes instructions into a folder on the website and an application on our network that watches the folder for instructions and uploads/downloads files accordingy.
    You could allow people to download/upload files without them having direct access to their user area and keeping authentication. it wouldnt be very fast i expect but thats not necessarily a bad thing.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    The support issue is one of the reasons why we are very doubious on offering to kids also if they have home access can bypass our filtering and upload mp3,exe's etc...
    That's a very good point some sort of filtering would be neccessary - maybe a holding folder - and manually letting files through would be a pain.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    If your using reverse proxying with squid you can run everything through Dansguardian and scrub out the nasties just as you would a standard proxy server.

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    I hope to use Citrix to give users access to their desktop from outside the School. The user will be able to access a web page and, following authentication, have access as though they are sat in the School - in theory they could just have a Wyse terminal dangling off a 56K dialup connection.

    This would be expensive if the Citrix licenses were not already purchased but, since the licenses will already be in place, we will just be making our investment work harder

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    The support issue is one of the reasons why we are very doubious on offering to kids also if they have home access can bypass our filtering and upload mp3,exe's etc...
    That's a very good point some sort of filtering would be neccessary - maybe a holding folder - and manually letting files through would be a pain.
    I believe theres a way of filtering what you can upload with one of those [Browse] buttons and with php etc, tho dont ask me what it is ...yet lol

    You could always have a filtering batch script on your file server to remove mp3, exe's, etc. each night lol

    Anyone know what open source stuff/commercial stuff is best? Suggestions?

    @mark: wonder whether we'd be able to do it with powys lol

    Regards,
    N.

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    eejit's Avatar
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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    If your using reverse proxying with squid you can run everything through Dansguardian and scrub out the nasties just as you would a standard proxy server.
    I don't understand this. I've used Squid and Dansguardian in the past but don't know how you could use it to allow access to folders. Can you point me at some tutorials for this please.
    Cheers.

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    We are currently working on the MyLGfL system, which will basically tie in e-mail, calendars, RSS feeds and a host of other functions including on-line storage (we are currently costing a 12 TB SAN, but only sticking in 1TB this year to see what our actual demands are). For a high school there maybe up to 250MB per pupil available. It will be safe, secure and local admins will have full control over e-mail and storage areas via the service. We did have a demo site, but I can't find the link

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box
    We are currently working on the MyLGfL system, which will basically tie in e-mail, calendars, RSS feeds and a host of other functions including on-line storage (we are currently costing a 12 TB SAN...
    Is there something similar with Exchange 2k3? Obviously (to anyone thats used Outlook 2003), it has the email & calander side of things - and a whole lot more I believe - but can it be setup for this sort of thing?

    If the pupils can log onto their email from home, if there is a feature or add-on to it to allow this, that would be awesome (if it works hehe)

    Regards,
    N.

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    Re: Accessing work from home.

    Quote Originally Posted by eejit
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    If your using reverse proxying with squid you can run everything through Dansguardian and scrub out the nasties just as you would a standard proxy server.
    I don't understand this. I've used Squid and Dansguardian in the past but don't know how you could use it to allow access to folders. Can you point me at some tutorials for this please.
    Cheers.
    Its quite simple. You run squid as a transparent proxy and turn the http_access rules on their head. Basically you allow access to the proxy from anywhere (ie, the internet) but only allow connections back to your internal webserver. This is quite the reverse of a normal squid setup.

    The internal webserver (presumably IIS or Apache) would use WebDAV to give full read write access to the folders you setup.

    Once you've got that working you can slot in dansguardian and another instance of squid and you have full content filtering (using mime types) and virusscanning (there's an addon for that).

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