September 5, 2007

What happens when kids want their devices connected?

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:17 pm

I’ve blogged about this before and it’s not going away anytime soon. Today Clarence “twitted” this:

That excites me and worries our IT guys. Our IT department is great to work with unlike many of the experiences I hear about. I challenge our IT manager and he challenges me.  So upon seeing the twit of Clarence, I immediately teased him with the news. He responded quickly as usual,

Unless they have two completely separate networks they had access to the network.  Any number of easily downloadable hacking tools and/or virus’ could easily compromise they entire network.  It would be interesting to find out what they have in place to ensure that mission-critical applications could not be compromised?  It also brings to light  a number of other questions:

  • Did the students and parents have to sign an AUP?  If so it would be great to get a copy of it. ·        
  • Are the notebooks required to pass minimum safety/compliance standards? ·        
  • Who is ultimately responsible when a security breach/attack occurs?  Note I said when because it WILL happen. ·        
  • How are they connected to the internet?  Is it a provincial system similar to ours?  If so, what are the AUP policies currently in place? 

Currently we are bound by CNET(Community Net which provides high speed access to all schools in Saskatchewan) AUP which forbids access to network resources by rougue systems.   I agree that it is coming however, without a strategic vision/plan not only at the school, the division and indeed provincial level it would be premature to allow rougue network devices on a system.  Many questions/leadership issues that our province needs to address.

These are valid questions and issues that I’m sure aren’t easily dismissed. When I posted a similar article a year ago, Lorne (I think he’s from Manitoba as is Clarence) wrote:

Our division not only allows but encourages staff to use their own laptops at school. These computers are given the same access to the school network that that teacher would have on a school owned machine. The same goes for PDA’s etc. This has been the policy for some years now. There is now a very significant percentage of division staff doing this. The same basic policy is in place for students. They are given the same rights with their own machines that they would have with a school owned computer. Obviously, there is a smaller percentage of students doing this.

I’m going to start by lobbying our province to start changing their policies but in the mean time, one year later, how do you respond to this in your neck of the woods and are we missing something or overstating something?

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