School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> on
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 10:59 AM +0000 wrote:
>All - 
>> How are people handling security of laptops being used in your
>> schools?
>Our biggest issue is how to keep things secure (locked) with only staff
>access. We started with a combination lock, but it was a "barrel" type and
>teachers would not scramble the numbers - by the end of the first year
>students knew the combo and sure enough early in our second year we had a
>laptop disappear from a locked cart. Now we have a key stored in a
>location" (ours is a self-serve system) but everyone knows where the key
>is... Better?

>Otherwise, we have had very few incidents of theft.
>I would also be curious to see how other schools handle this, particularly
>when there are no staff to "deliver" and set up mobile labs.

We have combo locks on the carts, teachers rarely relock them.  The
classrooms themselves are usually locked when not in use, so that's
another deterrent.   I've only had one laptop disappear from the carts so
far, and, to my amazement, it showed up in the cart again 6 months later. 
They're 500mhz 12" ibooks, running OSX, so they're none to speedy, maybe
someone decided it no longer met his/her standards!

What is a bigger problem is teachers "borrowing" one from a cart to work
on a powerpoint presentation at our middle school, and not knowing where
it has gone.  It always turns up eventually.

We had a theft of a laptop after hours once, but someone pried open an
office door to get inside and take it, so there wasn't much that would
have discouraged that thief.

All the teacher laptops are issued with security cables with a key lock, I
have a master to the whole set of them.  Some teachers use them, some
don't.  None of those have disappeared, though.

>> Does anyone know what the big thrill of taking a mouse ball really is?
>They bounce.

I've never seen a mouse ball that bounces.  They usually make a thud when
they hit the floor, and just stay there. 

I had a kid tell me once that they do it as a protest against the whole
educational establishment, it's the Pink Floyd brick-in-the-wall
mentality.  He said, "we know we're only hurting ourselves, but we're so
p***ed off we don't care."  It doesn't really explain why mouse balls, and
not everything else, though.  They tend to disappear in waves around here.
 If you take three of them, you can juggle them, I suppose....

Bob Wickberg
Tech Coordinator