4 thoughts on “Teacher Freedom vs Account Security

  1. I think that your requests are very reasonable. Yet, I have to ask the question you said that you have to allow teachers the freedom to explore programs. I have often heard teachers complain about the SPY ware software at their school district and how they feel that they have no privacy. If a school offers a laptop to a teacher so that they can better teach the class shouldn’t the be entitled to do what they want to with it? Assuming they are not destroying anything or disrupting the network system, why would you put handcuffs on a teacher? Teachers are given the charge of 135 students a year; I think the same school district that gave them the power to influence that many kids would trust them with a thousand dollar laptop. As much as I like the idea of receiving a laptop from a school to help with my workload, I think it’s more of hassle than anything else. I would rather use my own computer with the schools software than have to be restricted with what programs I’m allowed to us with my students.

  2. Roberto,

    Our district does not place logger software on any computers. The district does log internet addresses that people use while on the district network to prevent abuses of sites that aren’t blocked by the websense filters.

    There has to be a some limitations to what teachers are allowed to do with the computers, because they are owned by the district with the teacher just an arm of the district. So anything that the teacher does could reflect on the district. On the other hand, the district also has programs that are used for grades, attendance, testing, professional development and other things that do not like some drivers or programs.

    These programs interfere with the natural use of these required district programs, so it is necessary to limit what a teacher uses. One example are Google & Adobe programs. Each installs craplet software updater’s that run in the background wasting CPU ticks, network bandwidth and interferes with our ActivBoard software. If the teacher can’t use the ActivBoard, they can’t teach the lesson they’ve prepared through the ActivClassroom. That wastes teaching time and an effective lesson by having to make two lessons.

    So, there is a trade off in security vs allowed usage. In my district the security policies differ based on the school Instructional Tech and the Tech Support Technician. It can go from locked down, to total freedom. Locked down means more work because you have to manage everything, while total freedom makes for more work from teachers not completely understanding software conflicts. Messing up a computer with improper installations wastes as much teaching time as locking down the computer.

    I’m a somewhere in the middle person.

    Ray

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