[K12OSN] Managing identical logins...

David Trask dtrask at vcs.u52.k12.me.us
Thu Feb 3 16:46:21 UTC 2005

"Support list for opensource software in schools." <k12osn at redhat.com> on
Thursday, February 3, 2005 at 11:33 AM +0000 wrote:
>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
>about why the current policy is bad and first get them to see that the
>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
>start by saying things like "I hope some at-risk student doesn't get PO'd
>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
>about it for a bit.  Then, start talking about how "next school year we
>change things just a bit to prevent that disaster".

Exactly.  I actually had a similar set up prior to using Linux (back in
the mid-90's) with Win 98 and mapped drives.  We did end up with a few
"lost" files and folders.  I actually just changed everything one summer
and then "trained" everyone on the new setup.  Once I began telling them
that the only one who can do anything to the files in their home folder is
themselves....they were actually quite excited.  Teachers asked about how
kids can "pass in" files to the teacher...so I made "drop boxes" for each
class, but the students were encouraged to make a "copy" of their file and
put it in the "drop box" as opposed to saving the original there.  This
way everyone has their cake and can eat it too!  Teachers are happy, kids
are happy, and everyone's files are MUCH safer.  You might try this
approach as a "meet you in the middle" idea.  I bet you can sell it. 
(PS...I highly recommend roaming profiles in Windows....and I recommend
using DeepFreeze to keep the Windows machines "pure"....makes life a LOT

With regard to "managing" multiple user accounts....with the new scripts
and all available today...that's a no brainer.  In fact the new
smbldap-installer script helps you to set up a Samba/LDAP server that
gives you a central authentication point along with a central home
directory and profiles directory (if you're using roaming profiles in
Windows) that can be exported to any server.  To add 1000 users takes a
few minutes.  You can do them in groups....etc.  

David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Coordinator
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask at vcs.u52.k12.me.us

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