Beginning of year three!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to the blog, we’ve been very busy getting ready for school to start. On August 22, 2007 we officially began year 3 of our laptop program. We’ve learned a lot since we started the program, and it shows this year.  We decided to distribute the laptops in the labs during our orientation nights. Last year we distributed the laptops during orientation night, but had only one central location. I had the Technology Department setup in our IT lab where the student-run helpdesk will be located. We figured this way the we could get students used to go to the helpdesk rather than the Technology department.

We implemented Software Restriction Policies through AD Group Policy in an effort to control the applications that students are using during school hours. We wanted to lock-down the laptops during school hours, but allow students to play games and communicate with their friends when not in school. We were able to accomplish this by following some recommendations from Lee Tilley (Chamanade School). Lee had suggested creating a second user account in which students could login to their PC with admin rights. Once we got some group policy issues worked out, things started working very nicely.

The problems that we are still battling are as follows:
Can’t get students to leave the laptops in the bags – they take laptop out while at home
Students are putting binders and notebooks between the screen and back of laptop bag
Students are using school e-mail system as an IM tool.

If you have any suggestions for how to solve my 3 problems listed above, please let me know.

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