[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [seul-edu] High School Educational Programs

> >> 6) manage and track what students do <--(porn sites, viruses, a.k.a.
> >> 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,
> so forth at the moment

I thought that might be why. Of course it would still be handy as another
poster mentioned to stop Windows virii getting passed on. Interesting that
Mandrake supplies one - I'll have to take a look at that.


> >> 7) incorporate strict rules into the software as who can do what
> >i
> >> see many students watching flash cartoons when they should be reading
> >> 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
> GUI based configuration utility such as linuxconf or webmin.

True, but I was referring more to 'software' rules rather than Internet
access - at our school we already use squid for just that, but for example
under Windows you can ban certain programs (we ban Outlook Express and a
number of games), or create a list of allowed programs. Are there any
equivalents for Linux (file level permissions are all very well, but they
only allow you to prevent software from running that is already installed.
What is really needed is to prevent software from running that students
install or compile themselves if it matches a certain pattern).

And in addition being able to lock down certain programs at certain times
would also be useful - for example, at our school we don't mind students
using an educational 'game' called Creatures at lunchtimes and during
Biology lessons, but when it's being used during IT lessons it gets a tad
annoying. A list of allowed programs at specified times would be wonderful
for teachers.

> >> 8) allow the admin to easily take away certain privledges when a
> >> breaks a rule that the school has set out about computer use using a
> >"simple"
> >> program (something like a perl script and an html front-end would
> >do
> >> the trick)
> >
> >And teachers might like to have some limited ability to do the same,
> 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.

Interesting... it's good that you can use file permissions in that way if
you're right.

> >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
> >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.

Yes, they're getting there. By the time Linux is ready for the desktop,
hopefully there will be an option to make them almost indistinguishable.

Another important point is that schools need to be able to lock down on what
students can do - for example, Windows 9x was a nightmare for us at least
because you simply can't stop students from changing things they shouldn't
if they've got even 5 minutes without supervision. Win2K is much improved
with Group Policies allowing you to lockdown many, many aspects of operation
on a per group and per user basis. From what I've seen, Linux is harder to
'break' anyway as an ordinary user (much like Windows 2000 if you configure
it right), but it's still important to keep a rein on students. In a
business environment users don't break their computers because they have to
work on them. In a school environment students break their computers because
it's 'fun' and may prevent them from having a lesson!

' Ore stabit fortis a fine placet ore stat '
- found on a park bench
GeForce FAQ - http://www.geforcefaq.com/
ICQ: 18705430