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Re: Proposal for a mail system bundle for schools.

  •  02-22-2009, 2:12

    Re: Proposal for a mail system bundle for schools.

    Hi, the idea is to sell the client and the server in a bundle, not for real life use, but customized for computer literacy exercises in schools. Here are a few of the particular needs:

     

    SECURITY

     

    When you are a teacher in a secondary school, you don't just transmit your knowledge like at the university, you are also the officer of law and order in your class. When you see teenagers approaching a computer, you must assume that a proportion of them will do anything stupid, including using hacking tools they downloaded at home. There are even forums for teenagers, where they explain to each others how to hack the system, for example to access the marks software or to see the teachers' personal files. And you might actually lose your carreer because a kid has successfully downloaded a pornographic image to his account storage.

     

    Therefore, ideally, the student must enter the computers room without any hope of doing something nasty. Everything must be locked up. It may sound paranoid if you don't have the experience, but I can assure you a secured system would be a huge relief for teachers, and therefore would offer a considerable comparative advantage to more open systems. In our case, it would be necessary that mail can never reach the Internet, but only access the teacher's server. It is also necessary that the student cannot modify the account of course.

     

    EASE OF USE

     

    Teachers sometimes have very low computer abilities themselves, or if they have they don't have time to look for solutions. It must work on the first time, or not work at all. No geeks discussions on geeks forums here.

     

    For instance, the install could be common to Mercury and Pmail, the teacher would chose the option "Teacher" for his own computer, thus installing server and client, and would chose the option "Student" for the other computers of the classroom, installing only the client.

     

    Also, once the server is installed on the teacher's computer, then the clients could automatically find the server on the network, instead of the teacher having to know and write the server's IP in the accounts. Ideally, the teacher should just have to chose the account's name, like "computer-1".

     

    INDEPENDENCE

     

    For many teachers, it is a technocratic hassle to access the school's server and install the mail system there. And also, secretaries or the director or the nurses in other parts of the building have nothing to do with his mail exercises. Therefore, the mail system should be installable by the teacher in his own classroom, independently of whatever server or system administration exists at a superior level.

     

    Also, the accounts on the clients must remain independent from the students' accounts at the school's level. The student must write to "computer-1" and not to Joey or Stevie. One account must be usable by any student from any other group who sits in front of that computer. Therefore the account's folder must be installed away from Documents and Settings folders created by the network logon. On the contrary, it would be great if the account's local folder automatically acquired total rights for any user, so the teacher doesn't have to set that himself.

     

    I hope I have not been too long, and you got the general idea. I am available to write as much as you wish on this concept. I suggest we advertise the bundle as "Iris", since you already have Latin gods' names for Mercury and Pegasus.

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