[K12OSN] Managing identical logins...

Petre Scheie petre at maltzen.net
Thu Feb 3 16:33:13 UTC 2005

Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-02-02 at 23:36, Tom Lisjac wrote:
>>>>If you are willing to accept anyone being able to delete, copy or
>>>>overwrite anyone else's work...  That doesn't sound reasonable in
>>>>a hostile environment like a school.
>>Kids sharing a physical classroom can steal each other's books and
>>look over the shoulders of others. The network equivalent of this
>>hasn't been a problem for us compared to the virtually impossible task
>>of managing thousands of individual student accounts.
> I'm... speechless.  I don't even know how I'd respond if my kids
> school said they were unable or unwilling to keep track of the
> student's names.  Or that their system was designed such that
> if two people use the same filename, one loses his work.
>>I never said that individual logons had individual rights... a single
>>class login is shared by a single class of 20 to 30 kids.
> That's not exactly true.  The nature of windows is that you have
> an entire box dedicated per user, sharing nothing.  So even if you
> give all users the same login name or even set up the boxes to
> automatically log in with it, each box has an unshared copy
> of the registry and a local hard drive to save it where the
> local desktop and windowing state can live.  The only part they
> really share is the mapped drive from the server.  To get the
> equivalent in Linux/unix, you would need a local install on
> every PC or a unique home directory per user (either of which
> is cheaper and easier than the local windows install...).
Change is sometimes hard for people, teachers moreso than students, as has been 
observed many times on this list.  Tom recognizes that having everyone share the 
same ID is a bad policy, but as he said, he's not the policy maker. I think the 
*policy* task at hand is to plant the seeds with the teachers and policy makers 
about why the current policy is bad and first get them to see that the present 
practice has some vulnerabilities, which--knock on wood--haven't resulted in any 
disasters so far.  As I recall, these are middle-school students.  You might 
start by saying things like "I hope some at-risk student doesn't get PO'd about 
something and wipe out a bunch of people's files, because then we'd REALLY get 
an earful from the parents of the kids whose files were lost." to various 
people. And leave it at that for a while (days, perhaps weeks). Let them think 
about it for a bit.  Then, start talking about how "next school year we should 
change things just a bit to prevent that disaster".

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