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Wireless Networks Thread, Teachers laptops in Technical; Think it does which is why I was thinking of some sort of group policy...
  1. #16

    witch's Avatar
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    Re: Teachers laptops

    Think it does which is why I was thinking of some sort of group policy

  2. #17
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    Re: Teachers laptops

    I've got to admit the talk about locking down laptops so they basically only be used for "approved" use is starting to sound a lot like the idea is to remove work for technicians without really providing teachers with the freedom to install software, etc... that could make their job easier.

    So far the discussion has revolved around worst practice of some very stupid and frankly unprofessional individuals but my experience to date has been that most teachers tend to use their laptops for the job.. Worst case scenario I've seen to date has been teachers with a few MP3's or one teacher who had some accounts data for their husbands farm.

    In the main though they've had a set ration of software that they need to do their job and then a few other applications they decide they'd use ranging from google earth, geo-doku creators, etc... Then you have printers, and more besides.

    To be completely honest I also find the 200Mb quota limit an insult when you consider that the hard drive has a shed load of space on it and you're basically saying "you can have 1% of that". If you want to stop them installing anything then just remove admin and super user privs...

    Setting a space of 200Mb stops teachers from creating backups of work as they progress, or saving large swathes of data such as clipart, databases, etc... which frankly you're not going to want to have stored on the server (assuming you store most of their info on a file server) due to the space usage.

    I understand the need to protect a network but personally I'd say put the boot on the other foot... Make them sign a restrictive AUP that has a policy of shutting abusers out of the system and their department responsible for footing the bill for any system redress. By all means if they screw up you watch them a lot closer and/or shut them out but the laptop is a tool and giving them a scalpel to carve a turkey is just a waste of time.


    To come back to my original point though I think we're in danger of assuming that teachers are all idiots and given an inch will abuse their laptops.. If we adopt that attitude then what right do we have to demand greater respect from teachers regarding our own roles..

    Granted I'm engaged to a teacher and had to deal with a really frustrating lockdown policy that was bloody stupid for her... but I also look after 20+ laptops in 2 schools so I see both sides of the coing... Either way I'd like to think there's some sense to my opinion.

  3. #18

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    @contink: I can see where you are coming from with the whole freedom thing. However, there is also good reason to make teacher laptops 'standard'. If a teacher is developing a lesson, they need to know that a pupil can do the same thing at school. It is also important to be able to manage the systems to ease your workload.

    I also agree that not all teachers do spend their time creating dodgy MP3s and performing questionable acts. At the same time though, the school has a responsibility to at least monitor for this activity.

    I agree that 200MB quotas are a little low but a quota is important because that work must be backed up and if you have 150 staff that's 30GB of data to back up! Also bear in mind that approx. 10GB of the hard disk will be occupied by Windows and applications.

    Backing up to the same disk that the work is on is just bad practice.

    If you do create a restrictive AUP, who is going to audit the machines to check for compliance? I know that I would have no time to spend on other jobs if I had to continually audit nearly 100 laptops and there would be a great disruption to the teachers' laptop use.

    To summarise, in an ideal world the freedom would be allowed but it is difficult to justify given what I have just explained. This is why my teachers get VMWare Player and a VM to test software demos and generally 'mess around'. I am also as accomodating as possible when it comes to installing their own hardware, etc.

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    Here's what we do

    1) Standard Image - i.e all of the software we use on our network is installed and configured.

    2) Every staff member has full admin access to "their Laptop" - and they are free to install, configure, etc whatever they wish.

    3) A long slow horrible death AUP (Fully supported by the Headmaster)

    4)The important bit - we have webdav access for transfering files (and each staff member has a 512k pen drive - supplied by the school) so no excuse there. My only support is to re-image them when there is a problem. They are 100% responsible for any data, software, etc, etc on them. Thay have internet access on our school network - and its upto them to configure anything at home - Balls it up (i.e proxy settings) and they get re-imaged. Their iTunes - their problem.

    It is harsh - but we simply do not have time to ponce about with each individual laptop and the different home internet settings. Anti-virus updates automagically across the web, and we 'call in' Laptops every so often for re-imaging (because of updates, patches etc).

    BTW - Works wonders for your mp3 collection!

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    and each staff member has a 512k pen drive
    That is a bit too harsh

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    ops:

    Yeah - you know what I meant - too many 1664's for my own good...........

    Now I know why my head hurts this morning

  7. #22
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    Re: Teachers laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    To be completely honest I also find the 200Mb quota limit an insult when you consider that the hard drive has a shed load of space on it and you're basically saying "you can have 1% of that". If you want to stop them installing anything then just remove admin and super user privs...
    To be fair, it was not a case of us saying "you can" in any way whatsoever, we discussed with the staff how much space they felt they needed. They came up with the 200mb figure, which we then agreed with. They could of said 2 Gb, but they didnt, they asked for 200mb.

    As for your post about only a minority using the laptops for non school related stuff. Well that is a very subjective topic, it will and does vary from school to school. That might well be the case at your school, but at our school, on the last laptop checkover, nearly every single one of them had installed their own software, most commonly shopping/holiday related software and very often games for their children/grandchildren etc. Like you say "your experience is most use it for work", I wish that was the case here, but sadly its not, its quite the contrary. At least as far as I know the games Civilisation 4 , Quake and Command and Conquer (to name but 3 which were found last time round), arent part of the national curriculum

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    I've got to admit the talk about locking down laptops so they basically only be used for "approved" use is starting to sound a lot like the idea is to remove work for technicians without really providing teachers with the freedom to install software, etc... that could make their job easier.

    So far the discussion has revolved around worst practice of some very stupid and frankly unprofessional individuals but my experience to date has been that most teachers tend to use their laptops for the job..
    Why then do teachers need the facility to install software, the laptops are owned by the school, they are provided for work purposes only and not as free personal laptops and come with all the software required for teachers to do their work on.

    There is no arguement in my eyes.

  9. #24

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    Er....just to bring back the topic to the one I started with...

    Teachers here have the right to do whatever they want on 'their' laptops (every one I have ever seen has got non-school stuff on it)but I have no real objection to that.
    All I wanted was to see if there was any way that I could set up their laptops so that when they were on the network, they could still see their C drive to access work they had done at home - specifically work containing links to the internet as they can only see that when on the network.
    What I have found out is that quite a few of you have the same system as me - the teachers can't see the internet unless completely on the network.
    If anyone can come up with a policy or log on script specifically for the teachers laptops I would be grateful.
    If not, I'm sorry to have started a disagreement

  10. #25

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    PS: The slightly more knowledgeable teachers may work out how to put the proxy back which would mean that they could access the internet when logged on 'locally' - is there any way I can stop this? They are administrators so I suspect not, but I just thought I would ask.
    I have threatened the one who know with certain death if they help the others get back on the internet, specifically because the laptops will not receive the antivirus updates from the server

  11. #26

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    @WITCH: You can 'adjust' the local policy on the laptop to prevent access to the IE proxy settings by anybody (including local admins)

  12. #27

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    The issue with teachers having their freedom's taken away by locking the computers down that contink points out seem a bit weak.

    Removing the privilege to install software removes the ability for potentially large problems with stuff being installed.

    I have been told to remove the privilege of installing software from staff laptops by my line manager now so I will be doing so. This will mean that staff who think they are tech-savvy will not be able to choose to upgrade to ie7 without running it past me, won't install software that breaks SIMS.net etc... That is the main problem, conflicts between software packages. Not to mention stupid screensavers, mp3's and other nonsense.

    If teachers need a program on school owned computers then they have to come through me from now on - how else am I to track what software is where and what licenses are needed etc...

  13. #28

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    Re: Teachers laptops

    Just a postscript:
    I have now got a loopback policy which allows the teachers to see their C drive when on the network - read only.
    This should help them see work they have created at home, which they can then save onto the network.
    Ric_ How do I do that?

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