I've been interested in the discussion about this upcoming conference agenda. I find the point about the "conflicts" between users needs/interests and the security/safety issues that network admins and others need to deal with to be very interesting. I'm observing more and more conflict out in the field about this because, on the one side, there are more teachers with more skill, and they are pushing systems to be more open and accessible. There is also more and faster access, and a student population that can do more on their home systems (in many cases) than at school... so they bring pressure as well. On the other side there are more requirements being laid on network adminstrators to keep neworks safe and secure, more emphasis in this area (i-Safe focuses attention), and more examples of problems. So I think a session along these lines would be great to have at your conference... you know, a "Whose Network is This, Anyway?" kind of thing. And to have that conversation hosted by the
tech community would be excellent.
Just my two cents....
Educational Technology Coordinator
Vermont Department of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501
(802) 828-0064 (V)
(802) 828-3140 (F)
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From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Adam Provost
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 3:01 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Tech Conference
Tech Conference at South Burlignton High School: May 6th, 2005.
- We're still tinkering on the agenda.
- We'll post a web site with info and preregistration info once the
agenda is set.
Next Pizza meeting TBD.
We have reserved pizza for 5/6 for about 100 already and taken samples
from competing vendors.
One of the topics, and a very interesting one, was proposed by Lucie
North Country Career Center . Hello Lucie from NC, you're on the air:
<<< Note from Lucie: 3/1/2005 6:20:13 PM
" If you do decide to take this one on; it might be good to have a
panelist who are pioneer educators along with panelist who are from
department who feel they have found solutions that meet the needs of
educators and technicians.
DEFINING THE PROBLEM(s)
Open Networks Cause Problems for Network Administrators:
. Users change settings, tinker with files and data, load new programs,
do other actions in ways that cause problems that are very hard (and
consuming) to diagnose and fix.
. Users load programs from disk, or download from the web, or open
ways that introduce viruses that cause enormous damage.
. Some users (both from within and from outside) try to hack our
either to cause specific damage (e.g. change grades) or just for fun.
. The more freedom teachers (much less students) have to configure
machines, the harder it is for central staff to diagnose problems and
longer it takes to fix things, and therefore the larger the needed
support staff or the longer that teachers have to wait before their
However, Imposing "Control Technologies" also Causes Problems for
. Firewalls and filters can prevent staff and students from accessing
on-line tools or information they need.
. Desktop lock-down prevents teachers from trying new software.
. The technology pioneers are the ones who pave the way for others to
follow; if they are restricted, the whole district's ability to move
will be impaired
. Teachers don't always have the luxury of planning ahead: the
moment" often requires a "right now" need to find a Web site or to load
software or adjust a student's desktop; there is no time to wait for
network staff to get around to setting things up.
. The chance to explore and experiment is what allows teachers and
to move from beginner to advanced, a must if districts want to move
in implementing Good Models of Teaching with Technology "
Best practices type of thing. Best debate type of thing. How is this
question being addressed around various shops ? Forcing network to open
up, forcing educators to plan, forcing a meeting place for creative and
dynamic education practices and still keeping some sense of network
reliability and security. This is a hot topic around the country, not
just in VT.
Gasp ! Educators and techies in the same space ! Craig (Lyndes) just
turned around somewhere as if someone were speaking to him I'd bet.
Peekaboo. A discussion of this nature is very likely overdue. Could this
even mean merging two listservs (school-it and schoolnet) ?
So speak up all you IT Tech Directors and Techies. Be thee not ashamed
to voice opinions on this subject, other potential mergings, and
toppings of choice.
Speak now on this and other topics listed below if so inclined kind
people or fear that the sessions may be up for us to decide:
Consider the matter stirred and let the crickets pause to chat. Let the
healing begin, Adam
Bay City Rockers, SBSD
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