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Re: [seul-edu] High School Educational Programs

>> 6) manage and track what students do <--(porn sites, viruses, a.k.a. stuff
>> they shouldn't be looking at or doing)
>Absolutely. Fortunately you can set this sort of stuff up fairly easily,
>although I have yet to see a Linux virus scanner...? Maybe I've just been
>looking in the wrong places.
This is probably because there are no significant linux viruses, worms, and
so forth at the moment -- there are many problems that such a virus would
have to overcome to be harmful in any significant way:

1.  It would have to be sent to root via e-mail
2.  The e-mail itself would then have to be opened by root
3.  The attachment (whether a shell script or C program) would then have to
be saved to a file.
4.  Next, root would have to do a chmod +x on the file.
5.  Finally, root would have to execute the file.

If such a virus is sent to a user instead, at most it would delete that
users files (if they decided to save / add execute permission / and execute
the attachment -- unlikely, if you ask me), which can be easily restored
from backup.
>> 7) incorporate strict rules into the software as who can do what (example:
>> see many students watching flash cartoons when they should be reading the
>> curriculum (Cisco networking))
>This would be great - Windows allows some control, but the granularity
>you're suggesting would be wonderful!

This can be done via ipchains / iptables at the firewall level or via a
proxy program such as 'squid'.  All of which can very easily be done from a
GUI based configuration utility such as linuxconf or webmin.
>> 8) allow the admin to easily take away certain privledges when a student
>> breaks a rule that the school has set out about computer use using a
>> program (something like a perl script and an html front-end would probably
>> the trick)
>And teachers might like to have some limited ability to do the same, agreed.
I've seen this done with freeshell.org, depending on your level of access,
you do or do not have access to the certain network programs (telnet, ssh,
etc).  Not sure how they did it (possibly by setting certain groups being
able to execute the programs?), but it can be done.
>I would add:
>1) Compatibility with current Windows reference apps - teachers like the
>fact that they can get a reference title and it will probably work on the
>school system. Take that away and those teachers that are technically
>'switched on' will be quite unhappy
>2) Easy to migrate *from* Windows - Assuming that schools migrate from the
>Windows environment, it's got to be pretty similar at least to start off
>with - if you're trying to teach kids how to use computers you don't want
>the interface changing half way through the course!
You've got KDE and Gnome, which are pretty close to how windows looks.

Just a thought,


Michael Viron
Sr Systems & Administration Consultant, Web Spinners, University of West
Project Manager / Primary Developer, General Education Online
Founder, Academic Web Information Repository
Database Administrator / Web Statistician, Simple End User Linux