×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

School Kids Get Virtual Web Lockers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the my-worm-ate-my-homework dept.

Education 178

Lucas123 writes "Seventh and eighth graders in Tulsa, Oklahoma not only get tablet PCs at the beginning of the school year, but they are now issued 100MB of storage through a hosted school 'Web Locker' system. The Web lockers also include chat, calendaring, and collaboration capabilities, but school administrators can also monitor and track all files uploaded to the system, and lock out individuals for misuse."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

178 comments

Useless... (5, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454163)

Any eight-grader who's worth his salt will have an accessory gmail account to keep the important stuff.

Re:Useless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454253)

Cute. So the other 99.99% (don't question the number) of 8th graders who don't have an 'accessory gmail account' are worthless/sub par? We're in for a grim future then :)

It's always been that way. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455443)

Cute. So the other 99.99% (don't question the number) of 8th graders who don't have an 'accessory gmail account' are worthless/sub par? We're in for a grim future then :)
That's nothing new, really. I think 99.99 percent is probably a stretch, but out of any 100 randomly selected children, I strongly suspect that 90 will live their entire lives completely at the whims of various higher authorities, never bothering to seriously challenge or question them. That's not really a commentary on our society in particular as much as it is human nature in general; I suspect you could go back 2000 years and see basically the same things.

Re:Useless... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454383)

Speaking of which, Teal'c is basically useless, not only does his face keep changing size, colour, and amount of oil, but he contributes nothing to the team, he NEVER recognizes foreign technology or even symbols of any kind, not even gould symbols..hes primitive, always shooting like a caveman and not thinking, he thinks hes cool but its dumb luck that he even hits anything, and he thinks hes spiritual by wearing savage clothes from Chulak, he tihnks he honors his ancestors,.. and Bratak always tihnks hes a leader and is wanting to sacrifice himself for no reason, its disgusting. Tealc and him are Shova. Hammond is God.

Re:Useless... (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456749)

I beg to differ. You need to see "Taliron". Additionally, Teal'c properly identified Zat's and Tac's.

Re:Useless... (3, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454435)

100MB?
Most kids have thumb drives; why would they want to use 100MB of disk space that can be spied on?

Re:Useless... (0, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454627)

Because the whole purpose of it is to spy on the kids ... duh! They even admit its one of the big "features."

Get kids used to it now, and they'll vote for it later. Same as the idea behind setting up the Hitler Youth (hey, its not a Godwin if its an appropriate reference :-).

Whoever proposed this is a dickhead [trolltalk.com]. If the kids are smart, they'll bring bootable thumb drives with a bootable copy of peanut linux [linuxquestions.org] or some other mini-distro on it.

Re:Useless... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454731)

But pretty much every computer on a private network is monitored, This isn't really a new "feature" so much as a continuation of existing procedure.

Besides, you kinda killed your point with that picture.

Re:Useless... (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455259)

"But pretty much every computer on a private network is monitored, This isn't really a new "feature" so much as a continuation of existing procedure."

It depends on where you work. We don't monitor anything where I work - anyone stupid enough to try that would be caught out quickly enough. Its expected that people (both men and women) will hit a few porn sites every now and then. Big deal ... just don't download tons of porn all at once and swallow up all the bandwidth while everyone else is trying to work.

Not only that - its part of the job description for some of them. They're expected to keep on top of the latest trends and technologies, and the porn industry has always been THE first mover.

Exactly what does the school hope to accomplish by monitoring? Talk to a teacher. They'll tell you about kids in grades 2, 3 coming up to them and telling them about the pictures of penises on mommy's computer, or boobies on daddy's computer, and the parents will complain about how they can't keep their kids away from the porn sites.

The battle to keep the kids eyes safe from the sight of T and A, while letting them watch 17,000 murders and violent crimes on TV before they're 18, was always pointless, except to those who'd rather make war, not love, and the religious right, who need an enemy so they can fleece the flock for more $$$ to "promote family values." Funny how those "family values" don't go after violence on TV.

Re:Useless... (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455419)

So what about all the violent images on the web? I suppose there's no point in trying to protect kids from that either?

Re:Useless... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456371)

"So what about all the violent images on the web? I suppose there's no point in trying to protect kids from that either?"

1. They see a lot more violence, a lot more realistically portrayed, on TV. TV has been around a LOT longer. The motivation of people arguing for net censorship is self-serving and hypocritical, because they don't want to deprive themselves of their TV violence.

2. Your argument is a fallacy - it posits an either-or situation, which is not the case here.

3. Kids are more likely to find porn on the net than violence. Porn isn't as harmful. Lets face it - would you rather kids imitate 2 people having sex like they see on the net, or 2 people killing each other, like they see on TV?

Re:Useless... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20456563)

killing each other of course, it's far cheaper, you pay for a funeral, but then no allowancee, no food, no tuition fees or anything to pay, and you can turn their room into a nerd room. Kids fuck, you either save nothing, or they get preggo and you have to pay for their kid too, and they probably steal your existing nerd room as a nursery. Unless you can get you daughter to fuck your son, then you at least get your nerd room, cos they can share a bedroom.

Re:Useless... (4, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455763)

Funny how those "family values" don't go after violence on TV.

Hey!

Violence is Gods work! Didn't you ever read the old testament??!?!?!?

Re:Useless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20456211)

Some of the "family values" types do go after violence, but in our society going after sex is a guaranteed win. It's so so so easy to tag someone as a deviant or pervert and then spread that taint to anyone who might consider defending them. (Senator who?)

Hrm... (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455325)

Problem: once they provide virtual lockers, they will likely remove access to USB ports to plug in thumb drives. Can't do that now because the kids actually need access to them. And even with access to a USB port, rebooting to peanut linux probably isn't a good solution either—talk about attracting attention. In my grade/jr high/high school, when we had access to a computer, rebooting was not allowed (nor was opening applications other than the one we were supposed to be using).

I think the proper approach would be to teach kids about security and protecting themselves online. This would be a great way to teach kids to implement their own little security program to encrypt their data (Caesar cipher to start) and then move them up to real encryption.

Re:Useless... (1)

Orkie (899576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454981)

"If the kids are smart, they'll bring bootable thumb drives with a bootable copy of peanut linux or some other mini-distro on it." No, only if the kids are extremely stupid will they bring anything bootable into school to use on the computers. The people who run the network won't understand it, and even if they do it is likely in breach of a policy at the school (which isn't a bad policy if it helps them secure their network) and they run the risk of getting kicked out, or at least causing a lot of unnecessary trouble for themselves.

Re:Useless... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455333)

riiight ... teach the kids to be good little sheeples now.

Heck, the kids cell phones probably have more data storage than they're given on this "service". All they need to trade files is a transfer cable (which mine came with).

Re:Useless... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456187)

Because storing stuff on a pen drive is the quickest way to ensuring it gets lost. They are great for moving stuff from A to B in a high capacity sneaker net. However the *moment* you start using them to store stuff you let yourself in to a *world* of hurt. It is about as sensible as playing in the fast lane of the motorway.

Re:Useless... (1)

WastedMeat (1103369) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455413)

It is quite novel to see my home town mentioned on slashdot (particularly so since that home town is in Oklahoma), but how in the hell is this news?

I also did not see it mentioned anywhere that this is a private catholic school, and expensive as hell even for that. Yet in spite of this, providing a basic service to the students is not only news, but slashdot-worthy news.

Incentive? (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454179)

And what's the incentive for the kids to use this solution, as opposed to the numerous free one provided, which won't have the big brother sees you problem?

Re:Incentive? (3, Funny)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454311)

Um, feeling like Ender? That's the only one I can come up with...

Re:Incentive? (4, Funny)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454333)

So it comes with an RPG whose sole purpose is to drive you insane?

Re:Incentive? (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454537)

Isn't that called "dating" in most school systems? (for us geeks anyway)

Re:Incentive? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454835)

Women aren't that bad. Just visualize a quantum black box containing 1,000 tons of TNT and an equal amount of doilies.

It's not that bad as long as you ask questions that only pertain to the doilies and don't bother to open the box or measure the contents. If you do that, you might, just might manage to get to second base or destroy the entirety of whatever continent your on.

Re:Incentive? (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455241)

KlaymenDK: Um, feeling like Ender? That's the only one I can come up with...

Sadly, there's a way such a "feature" could possibly be implemented: the school administrators could load up the locker system with "cool content" that makes most of the kids want to use their locker solution. Peer pressure and ostracism would follow as a matter of course if their system achieved a critical mass of users. (Dare I say it? "Schoolyard brownshirts")

And where it backfires--mercifully, beautifully--is that we're talking about school administrators loading a computer system with "cool content" for the students. Think about that one for a moment or two. The kids that can work outside the system will get all sorts of friends looking to find out how they get to the good stuff rather than the school admin shovelware.

Re:Incentive? (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454583)

Well for one, if they're storing their homework there, it's timestamped, and if the system fails, the dog really did eat it, and the teacher isn't going to crap down their neck. For two, it's likely to be at least partially integrated with the grading system, meaning that it's likely to be far less hassle for the teacher, meaning that the teacher is likely to require it. There wasn't an advantage to the kind of paper pad my highschool teacher required, but I used them anyway, because it was required.

Unlike software, tools at school don't have to be better to gain momentum.

Re:Incentive? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454715)

Gee, I guess you didn't RTFA. There is no integration for grading, etc., yet. As for submitting assignments, the teacher has a 1-gig allotment.

The way to take this system out quickly is for a bunch of kids to all start spreading stories about one or two teachers using the chat function. You know its going to happen. A few kids will post that "Mr. Brown" keeps asking them to spend extra time with him after school doing research and

  • they all ended up getting drunk and high
  • he kept trying to "touch" them
  • gee, his penis looks funny!!!
Rinse, lather, repeat.

Teachers suspended, careers ruined, lawsuits against the schools for providing the means.

Re:Incentive? (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454807)

There wasn't an advantage to the kind of paper pad my highschool teacher required, but I used them anyway, because it was required.

The big difference being that the school didn't have and didn't exercise a right to read through everything written on school paper. Your love poems to the girl two rows over, and which you kept at home, were kept safe, not only from her and other schoolmates, but from the teachers too. The papers they got to see, they got to see because you handed them over, not because they had automatic access.

I think it's really bad when everything kids do is being supervised 24/7. Kids need hidey-holes and journals with a lock on. They won't ever be able to build their own identity nor handle secrets as an adult if they haven't been allowed to and trusted to keep secrets while growing up.

Re:Incentive? (2, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454621)

The web locker [schoolweblockers.com] isn't just a file storage space. It's where students download assignments, upload homework, collaborate with other students, etc.

Of course any technically clueful student will have a thumb drive, unofficial email and IM accounts, and lots of other places to stash/do stuff they don't want teachers and parents to know about. (Though not all students are technically clueful, and the school will try to prevent such unmonitored activity.) But all the stuff they're supposed to be doing will live on the official server.

This school portal idea (which is kind of obvious/inevitable) is less interesting than the laptop program [findarticles.com] itself. There's still a lot of argument over whether laptops for this age group are a boon or a distraction.

Re:Incentive? (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454675)

This school portal idea (which is kind of obvious/inevitable) is less interesting than the laptop program itself. There's still a lot of argument over whether laptops for this age group are a boon or a distraction.
I think the problem is it can be both for different people, or even the same person in different circumstances.

I'm horrible at handwriting, I hate doing it, and would have done a lot better in school had I typed everything, been able to copy/paste and arbitrarily reformat documents post-writing, and all the other upsides of computers.

I'd also get horribly bored as the stupid kids slow down the class and start gaming, chatting, or whatever I could get away with and likely continue to do so even when I should be paying attention, thus bringing myself down as well.

Re:Incentive? (5, Insightful)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454957)

Umm, maybe the same one as when in the workplace you are given a corporate email?

This big brother paranoia is going through the roof on /. Nobody is forcing students to use the mail/file system for their own private stuff. But just like in the workplace, where for official business you use corporate resources, in school you are given *for free* school resources to store your notes, homework, projects, or anything else school related.

Some advantages:

- Local storage means much faster access times than external provider
- School bears responsibility for system upkeep - if it fails, you have a legitimate reason to not produce your homework or project that was stored or submitted there.
- System can be integrated with class notes and announcements, and the calendar can be used as school agenda - student logs in, sees the courses he's taking, and sees the homework assigned to him in each course.
- With login information tied to student IDs, it is much easier to track assignments and work going through the system for administration and teachers, you don't need to wonder who submitted the work coming from email s3xyb4b3@gmail.com.

And YES, you will get in trouble if you download pr0n or pirate music using the system... Just like you would at your workplace for doing the same thing using the corporate system. If you want to send something without being monitored, don't use the school system for that particular message, just as you wouldn't use your work email unless you expect it to be monitored by your employer.

It's very nice more schools are accepting the high-tech way of doing work. Not only it makes managing assignments much easier (meaning teachers can spend more time TEACHING and less time going through homework), but it trains children to real life, where high-tech work has already became a standard.

Re:Incentive? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455527)

This big brother paranoia is going through the roof on /. Nobody is forcing students to use the mail/file system for their own private stuff.

That's exactly why the subject of your post is "Re: Incentive?". They want it to be for everything, but that would require a carrot.

But just like in the workplace, where for official business you use corporate resources, in school you are given *for free* school resources to store your notes, homework, projects, or anything else school related.

What do you mean "for free"? It's not free, but costs a lot of money that either could be saved (i.e. not exctracted from the parents or general public), or be used for other things. But the big lack of insight in your above statement are the four last words -- "anything else school related". The big problems here are that (a) it's sold to the students as "anything else" without a qualifier, and (b) the privacy implied by the word locker is false, when school administrators and teachers are given free access without even having to justify why they looked.

Even if what you need stored is school related, there may be valid reasons why you don't want your teacher or administrators to see it. Which often coincide with the teacher's and administrators' desire to see it. Student union plans, for example.

This isn't about making it easier or safer for students -- that's an excuse. It's plain and simply an way for teachers and admins to easier go through what the students write and think, without them even knowing. If it wasn't, it could be launched without the big brother features. It wasn't, so it isn't. This clearly shows the intent.

Re:Incentive? (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455751)

It's very nice more schools are accepting the high-tech way of doing work. Not only it makes managing assignments much easier (meaning teachers can spend more time TEACHING and less time going through homework)

Please do explain. How is it going to be easier managing assignments? Whether an essay is submitted on paper or as a .doc, it takes just as long to read and grade it. Furthermore, you imply that managing/grading/going through homework is not a part of teaching --- so, what is teaching?

but it trains children to real life, where high-tech work has already became a standard.

Using a word processor to replace a typewriter doesn't mean you have graduated to "high-tech". Most jobs in the U.S. are service jobs, not "high-tech" jobs. I know how to program microprocessors and microcontrollers, using various assembly languages, C, FORTRAN, and BASIC. I have mastered markup languages like LaTeX and HTML. I have honed my script-fu using bash, sed, and awk. I am comfortable using Excel, Word, and Photoshop. I've built my own computer, built my own LAN, used IPTables for firewalling, and have (repeatedly) installed various incarnations of Windows and Linux. Care to take a guess at how much formal training I've had? ZERO. NONE. I taught myself all these things, as an adult. And yet, bozos like you claim "It's a technological world and kids need technical training at an early age to prepare them for the REAL WORLD." It's a load of bullshit. What most kids need to learn can be taught in a matter of a few weeks.

Re:Incentive? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456503)

Umm, maybe the same one as when in the workplace you are given a corporate email?

I use my corporate email for work-related communication only. For everything else, I use one of several external accounts based on importance and probability of getting spam.


This big brother paranoia is going through the roof on /.

As soon as Big Brother shows some good faith, I'll take off my beanie. Until then...


Local storage means much faster access times than external provider

You haven't used a school computer in quite a few years, have you? Think of how efficient and knowledgeable you consider your local broadband provider. Now lower that by a factor of ten.

The best school networks have the kids running them as a hobby. Anything "official" in that area means "massively overpriced and slow-if-not-outright-broken".


if it fails, you have a legitimate reason to not produce your homework or project that was stored or submitted there.

My school used to give out late slips when the busses showed up late. You expect them to care about, much less understand, system downtime? I can just hear my 11th grade English teacher now - "How ever do you suppose Dickens managed to produce such a notable body of work without the computers working properly? Yet you cannot manage to produce a three page essay using a pencil and paper, or god forbid, a library computer?"


If you want to send something without being monitored, don't use the school system for that particular message, just as you wouldn't use your work email unless you expect it to be monitored by your employer.

Again, you apparently forget the experience, but schools have a long history of massively overstepping their bounds. To "encourage" students to focus more on their work, how long do you suppose it will take this district to make "use of any account not provided by the administration" a punishable offense"? Of course, they'll impose that at school as the first step, since they actually have that authority; But the first time one student harasses another, or cheats on a test, or posts unflattering commentary about a teacher to MySpace - Bam, they'll try to make it stick 24/7.

Product Placement (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454195)

The Web lockers also include chat, calendaring, and collaboration capabilities

And, of course, a steady supply of advertising and "product placement".

That's quite the story write-up, almost as if done by a PR writer...

Re:Product Placement (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455819)

Ummm...where in TFA (or anywhere else, for that matter) do you see advertising mentioned?

I know the tin-foil-hat mentality is rampant here on slashdot, but please, at least try to have a bit of concrete (no, anecdotal doesn't count) evidence before you go around slinging accusations.

Re:Product Placement (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456441)

And, of course, a steady supply of advertising and "product placement".

I don't see any hint of of this on Networld's School Web Lockers [schoolweblockers.com] home page. What I do is a link to to an add-free online demo, using the simplest of text and calendar displays.

Congratulations (0, Flamebait)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454197)

You've discovered file sharing. Now you're pretty much on par with anybody who has used computers in the last couple decades.

Re:Congratulations (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454611)

You've discovered snide remarks. Now you're pretty much on par with any troll who has tried to be rude to look smart on slashdot in the last couple of decades.

(This is, of course, a lie: you're not at all on par with them, since they're usually funny. But, the joke only works if I parrot you.)

Re:Congratulations (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454697)

There's no need to get so worked up just because I dissed your school. Maybe I broke the illusion, I'm sure when you get back in class tomorrow it will seem advanced again.

This isn't news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454273)

When I was in middle school, some seven or eight years ago, we had "home" drives and email accounts in the school system. I'm sure this is a slicker interface, but the principle is the same: there's no new technology involved at all!

Innovative use of AJAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454293)

They are also using AJAX so students can serialize themselves for compression and centralized storage of themselves by school bullies.

They will WANT the control (1)

drDugan (219551) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454305)

and the people will want the controls placed on them.

because it seemed easier

because it seemed faster

because it seemed safer

because I was afraid

because I thought I had to

because it was more expensive if I didn't let them do it

becuase it wasn't worth fighting any more for freedom

because if I refused, the terrorists would win

because everyone else was doing it

a system like this- services for kids in school seems simple, seems good - but it is a wolf in sheeps clothing. These students are being taught to use a system that is ultimately not in their own interests.

But in the end it won't matter how they get you to give up your humanity and your freedom, you will not be able to get it back once you are chipped, tracked, and recorded. Other people will "manage" your finances, your access rights, and your permissions -- all electronically and under one central system. It will make 1984 look appealing: at least they could hide from the telescreen in some corners of their world. The idea of dissent will fade from the collective understanding.

If you have not seen it yet, the Zeitgeist movie http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/ [zeitgeistmovie.com] covers this pretty well. Like sheep herded in the yard, dumb people who just can't seem to stop the TV long enough to figure out that centralized control of their life makes them no longer free.

Re:They will WANT the control - "OMG SHEEPLE!111" (1)

@madeus (24818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454579)

Someone thought it would be a good idea to give the kids a file share on the network to store their digital stuff (like classwork, etc.) now they are all using computers these days, and this way they wouldn't have to carry USB memory sticks around (which 8th graders are bound to lose/break/set fire to/swallow - and forget to backup).

THE SCUMBAGS.

Re:They will WANT the control (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454615)

However, what happens when people grow up and go to work. They will be expected to be on the corporate network and use their file servers,email servers, collaboration, calendering, and other tools. Of course all the files they upload to those systems will be subject to scrutiny by the company they work for. I don't see how this is any different. This is space to work on your school assignments. And as such, they don't want you putting stuff up there that isn't related to your school work. If you have storage needs that aren't for school projects, then find somewhere else to store it. Just like if you have files that aren't related to work, don't store them on the file server at your office.

Re:They will WANT the control (5, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454639)

These students are being taught to use a system that is ultimately not in their own interests.
Oh for fuck's sake, it's a convenient integrated storage system for student homework to clean the process up for the teachers. This isn't an Orwellian mystery plot. It's not like having this system shuts the students out of other services. The school can't require digital homework delivery if it doesn't provide a baseline so that they know students can fall back on their system if they don't already have something.

Grow up. Not everything is Big Brother.

Re:They will WANT the control (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455893)

Oh for fuck's sake, it's a convenient integrated storage system for student homework to clean the process up for the teachers.

Ok, ask some teachers if they would want a system like this if it didn't come with the ability to snoop on students. I dare you to ask.

I have teachers in my family, and can assure you that very few, if any, teachers want more technical hoops to jump through, more training classes, and more possible points of failure, even if it adds abilities they didn't have before. They're under enough stress as is, and do not welcome changes that come with a learning threshold and don't really cut down on the time they spend, after all of it is summed up.

Re:They will WANT the control (1)

the phantom (107624) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456201)

I'm a teacher. I would love to have a system where students could easily submit their work for grading. Timestamps are good, too. I don't need to snoop, so long as I can get their homework. Does that answer your question?

Re:They will WANT the control (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456811)

Ok, ask some teachers if they would want a system like this if it didn't come with the ability to snoop on students. I dare you to ask.
I don't need to. I wrote one for the LA county school system several years ago, and it didn't come with the ability to snoop on students. It was compiled, so please don't waste my time informing me about the black-suit Russian commandos that came in behind me and rewrote my code to turn it into SkyNet. I mean, seriously, do you ask whether the new Xerox machine has secret genetic scanners too? Can't a tool just exist for its superficial purpose? "My god, the coke machine connects to the phones, IT MUST BE A SPYING DEVICE, AND YOU'RE AN IDIOT IF YOU BELIEVE THERE'S A MODEM IN THERE DIALLING HOME TO ORDER MORE MELLO YELLO."

I've seen episodes of American Dad with more believable claptrap than this.

I have teachers in my family
They should have spent more time with you.

and can assure you that very few, if any, teachers want more technical hoops to jump through
Going by the Hyundai commercial, I believe the appropriate phrase here is "big duh." Are you prepared to explain why centralizing digital homework submission is more complicated than leaving it to whichever arbitrary dozens of systems the current students and their parents may or may not have chosen, or do you just prefer to imply that everything that you haven't bothered to think through is a problem?

They're under enough stress as is, and do not welcome changes that come with a learning threshold and don't really cut down on the time they spend, after all of it is summed up.
When you assume, you don't actually make an ass out of me. Just you. Keep that in mind.

Mod -1, references Zeitgeist Movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454939)

Buy stock in tinfoil now!

Re:They will WANT the control (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456643)

These students are being taught to use a system that is ultimately not in their own interests.

"Kid Nation" is a fantasy.

Scripted and monitored by adults behind the scenes.

The classroom is a supervised environment precisely because kids don't have the experience or the maturity needed to make the right decisions in an unsupervised environment.

ComputerWorld Shill (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454307)

In case anyone was wondering, Lucas123 (the submitter) is a ComputerWorld shill. Interesting how many "stories" at Slashdot come from such obvious shills.

Re:ComputerWorld Shill (1)

JosefAssad (1138611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454367)

I'm not sure why you got modded down. You're pretty obviously correct.

Re:ComputerWorld Shill (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454465)

I'm not sure why you got modded down. You're pretty obviously correct.

Actually, this very activity - shilling stories to blogs as a part of a calculated advertising / PR campaign - would make an excellent Slashdot story itself!

Re:ComputerWorld Shill (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455697)

I'm not sure why you got modded down. You're pretty obviously correct.


Actually, this very activity - shilling stories to blogs as a part of a calculated advertising / PR campaign - would make an excellent Slashdot story itself!


You're right! I'm going to write something up in my blog and then submit it!

Re:ComputerWorld Shill (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454689)

It's a user-submitted system. If you want fewer commercially submitted news items on this news service, stop whining in anonymous comments and start writing stories. Sloth doesn't fix anything; if you want something better, write it yourself. (By the way, you might want to look up what the word "shill" means; if you were correct, which you aren't, he would be selling computerworld subscriptions. Driving news traffic to a news site isn't shilling, as nobody but advertisers are handing over money. Don't use words you don't understand.)

Re:ComputerWorld Shill (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455365)

By the way, you might want to look up what the word "shill" means; if you were correct, which you aren't, he would be selling computerworld subscriptions. Driving news traffic to a news site isn't shilling, as nobody but advertisers are handing over money. Don't use words you don't understand.

Websters: "to act as a spokesperson or promoter"

Wikipedia: "A shill is an associate of a person selling a good or service, who pretends no association and assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer." There are many more definitions that don't involve selling subscriptions.

Re:ComputerWorld Shill (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456721)

Uh huh. For once, Webster's isn't wrong, although its definition is partial in a misleading fashion, and although it's still an absolute trash reference (you might as well be referring to infomercials.) This man is acting neither as a spokesperson nor as a promoter. He is at no point so much as mentioning his employer. All he's doing is passing on a news link to a news aggregator. It turns out that writing out a URL doesn't make you a shill. Similarly, even though I have an advertisement for a company in my sig, I'm not a shill, as I'm not making any actual claims about them.

Now, shills aren't actually by definition hiding their association; I'd say I wasn't sure where Wikipedia got that idea, except that in fact, I do know exactly where it got that idea: from some dude like you who has confused their ability to find poor reference which they know by name, put bold on it and pretend that it supports them, who decides that the definition of some word isn't in line with what they remember, and adds things to the entry which are essentially full of crap. Yes, some shillabers were on the down low, but others were up front about their associations, and just tried to spin a compelling case for the service (whether or not the case was honest is not at issue.) For example, there is the snake oil salesman, and his buddy who comes along to tell what joys that J. P. McFee's Miracle Diamondback Elixir did for his shingles, shackles, shiggelosis and sheehan syndrome. At no point does this person pretend not to know who the snake oil salesman is; indeed it would be contrary to his scam. That is a "public shill," as opposed to a "private shill."

Now, if you were finding out what the word actually meant, instead of taking half a sentence out of context and reading into it as deeply as you could in the desperation to invent yourself into correctness, you might find out that shill explicitly means someone working for a corrupt gambler or peddler; indeed, to shill implies that what is being sold is fake. Maybe you believe ComputerWorld invents its news, like The Onion, but if you don't, then you're just exposing your lack of understanding either of the word or how to track down what it really means.

Merriam Webster is a reasonable mistake; most people don't realize how low quality a reference it is (try AmHet or the Collins dictionary; word cemetaries like Webster and the OED just serve to make men stupider, by accepting any half-assed misunderstanding as a definition in the hoary desperation to inflate word count for sales purposes.) Believing in Wikipedia, though? You should know better [tri-bit.com].

If you want to criticise the ComputerWorld columnist, go right ahead. I'm not attacking your criticism. Just use appropriate terminology. Whether or not what that man's doing is right isn't what I'm talking about. All I'm saying is that if you say "that man works for the company he links to, he's a total sausage mcmuffin," someone's going to step up and explain that a tasty breakfast sandwich isn't actually a way to describe comercially exploitative manipulation of network news services.

He may be doing something creepy. He is not shilling a damned thing. Stop learning words from dictionaries; without context your understanding of their normative definition is partial in even the most generous of situations.

I don't understand (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455113)

So if the same story got submitted by somebody other than Lucas123, then it would be OK? But because Lucas123 works for the publication that published it, it's bad and evil.

So if Taco Bell is giving away free tacos, and your mom drives down there and gets you some, that's OK. But if the guy from Taco Bell drives right up to your house and hands them to you, that's an evil marketing ploy because he's just a shill.

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20455313)

I guess you think Roland is just fine, too.

Whats the point of having a "locker" (0, Troll)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454329)

if you cannot be shoved in it? I mean come on, those traumatic memories are the basis for our geekdom, or am I alone on this?

Re:Whats the point of having a "locker" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20455631)

Just what is the shoved-in-the-locker analogy here? If it were 1MB, I'd say the analogy would be, "Argh! Those bullies made it so I have to boot off this floppy. [*cry*] Someone help me reinstall to hard disk! Help! Help!" But 100MB is too accommodating for that.

100 Megs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454339)

What do they get on gmail?

The school should try to give the students something better than they have at home anyway.

Abuse? (0, Redundant)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454381)

How do we know students won't just abuse this system?
What kind of monitoring is there for inappropriate content?
Does it run Linux?!?!

Re:Abuse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20455647)

And when it goes down will they send the FBI after the CentOS people?

great. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454391)

another way to distract kids from learning in school because some technology zealots want to fill their wallets

And yet, (-1, Troll)

Higaran (835598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454445)

They are still being taught that the planet is only 3000 years old, and thet evolution is just some theory.

Re:And yet, (0)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454533)

Isn't evolution just some theory? What makes it more than just some theory? It is a reasonably scientific theory given the evidence. It hasn't been proven. It hasn't been disproved. Sounds like every other theory they teach in school.

So basically... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454455)

it's a space to put their homework in? I see no other practical use for that. Reading e-books? COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT! Music? Ditto. Games? Not appropriate for school.

Now, if the lockers were encrypted with TRUECRYPT (and YOU had the key in USB or something), now THAT'd be something.

Re:So basically... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454839)

Of course, if the kids DID encrypt their files before uploading, they'd have all those snoopy people wanting to know what sort of terr'rist crap they were into.

If the security is as poor as one system I got into a few years ago (3 attempts to get the default new user password, 1 to get the current school admin password - it was too easy to call it "hacking") ...

  1. p0wn teacher's account
  2. Upload shit like this [trolltalk.com] or this [trolltalk.com]
  3. PROFIT!
No system is safe from a large group of intelligent, motivated monkeys.

Re:So basically... (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456013)

Reading e-books? COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!
It's not copyright infringement if you have a license, and an e-book license may be significantly cheaper than textbooks.

...This is new how? (1)

Ironspork (916882) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454575)

My school had this when I was a freshman, and it got ditched after the first year because it sucked so much. It's really not a new system, nor is it very worthwhile.

How many megabytes? (4, Informative)

Pollux (102520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454609)

In the past, she said, students were only allotted 10MB of server space on the school's network. "We knew this year [students] would be creating movies and doing other things, [so] they needed a lot more space," she said.

School admin here. This quote is just laughable. Granted, up until last year, I had my students set at 100 MB apiece. Looking at the quota log, most students could get along just fine with 25 MB, although those who have more usually just have too many pictures saved up.

But, as soon as we started up doing a multimedia class last year using PhotoShop and Movie Maker, 100 MB was laughable. Some PS projects alone were 60-70 MB, and editing raw video requires ~200 MB per minute of video data. I upped these kids to 300 MB, and when they worked on videos, it was in a separate lab that let students save their data to the hard drives.

I can understand the desire to have portability for students and staff, but that's what thumb drives are for. Besides, there are a number of families who still do not have online access yet.

When I were a lad (2, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454635)

Oh how we struggled with the few books we had to carry home while we left unneeded ones in our lockers.

The frustration of never a moments peace because we could read the books on the bus or train and be briefed ready to start our homework sooner, leaving more spare time that had to be filled with 'leisure activities - or - worse yet - the hassle of arranging to meet your friends and actually see them in person - heck sometimes we even shared a meal or some sodas in a local park - OUTDOORS - whole we worked together on projects!

At the moment it's a real pain when I have to visit my 7-year-old son's school to have him show me through his project books and explain what he has been working on. Soon I may be able to login to his folder, have a quick browse and tick a box.

Yay progress!

Re:When I were a lad (1)

renoX (11677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456139)

> heck sometimes we even shared a meal or some sodas in a local park - OUTDOORS

Well, ironically if you live in a third world country, it would be easier to use the laptop outdoors as the OLPC black&white screen is much easier to read outdoors than traditionnal LCD screens (and it has a higher resolution), too bad normal laptop builders have more or less stopped inovating (the flash disk being the only exception).

New? Really? (1)

vidarlo (134906) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454655)

I've used Class Fronter [fronter.com] since around 2004. Thats...uhm...*counts on fingers*..for three years.

Class Fronter (or fronter in shorthand) has file uploading space. It got hand-in folders which blocks uploads after a specific date. It got chat. It got games. It got integrated multiple-choice tests. In short; it's a locker with some damn nice features. So why the heck is this on slashdot? I mean, Learning Management Systems, or a "Locker" is nothing new at all. It is at least 10 years old I guess.

Re:New? Really? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454929)

Why? Because its, ummm, because ... ummm I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for the children.

And because it works with the TUBES over the internet.

The Tablet PCs seem to be much more notable to me (2, Interesting)

QunaLop (861366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454663)

Tablet PCs start around a grand, 100MB of storage is pennies

Tablet PCs allow students to use computers productively (and more easily) in all classes, 100 MB of storage provides ???

Tablet PCs have (most likely) at least 40,000 MB of storage, 100 MB of storage has 100 MB of storage...

I for one think that if teachers are taught to use the tablets effectively, they can be a boon for education, as opposed to laptops, which I find to be virtually useless in most classroom environments in current usage scenarios. I don't that online storage has any discernible benefit to any population's education either.

A digital locker you can't own but must have. (3, Interesting)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454695)

This brings us one step further to losing your right to read [gnu.org]. All they need to do is fill it with non free textbooks and tell you not to share them. If there's something everyone needs, you don't need to put it in a locker. A private space for students and computer access would be nice, but not if it's just another tool of control. Requiring the use of non free software is just the first part of that control and it's funny that one of the reasons given was the lack of reliability of the old non free software. The web already offers ways to share calendars, movies and the rest outside the control of the school.

Social pegs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454825)

"The Web lockers also include chat, calendaring, and collaboration capabilities, but school administrators can also monitor and track all files uploaded to the system, and lock out individuals for misuse.""

So they finally learn what it means to be a responsible adult.

Hah! (1)

atomicthumbs (824207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455053)

Funny, at my high school we get two gigabytes of space, inside which we can keep any program we need to (mIRC, sunbird, Pidgin, etc.). In addition, we get a VPN connection. Although I sure wish we got Tablet PCs, as my laptop just stopped working. :(

Slashdot is not news for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20455059)

This fucking "feature" is a standard in any network environment. Its called a network drive you losers. Every school and college give spaces for files. Slashdot has been trolled. Its storys like this why nerds get beaten up and why linux is not ready for the desktop. Goatse and friends is the only real reason why people visit slashdot

something better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20455167)

I have something almost like thyat at my high school, only not idiot accessable and more mature; ftp. And you have to know what it is and how it works to get a folder on the server.

Nice - my school already does this (1)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455211)

Over here in the UK, I'm a professional geek for a secondary school. We've had this stuff available for a few months now (We run an internal myspace/facebook clone, for example).

Not that we can get the little wretches to make good use of it, but we have it :)

It's gonna be used for... (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455269)

Porn, music/movie sharing, copies of the anarchist cookbook, test cheat sheets, and other people's essays. It'll all be cleverly stored in compressed, encrypted, password protected zip files (or current equivalent) so snooping admins can't get at it. And if that's not enough, they'll hack the server or other student's accounts and store their stuff in places that will get someone else busted if they're caught.

At least, that's pretty much what I did with my 200k of high school provided server storage back in 1987.

ehh (2, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455297)

The Tablet PC is just plain awesome. If they can get the money to do such a thing, so be it.

But the "Locker" thing... I've seen plenty of solutions like this. All have either received negative or lukewarm reviews by students (including me). WebCT and Blackboard are the only two I can think of off-hand.

Really, what it comes down to is that whatever content is posted on these portals (calling a spade a spade) is owned by the school district. If teachers and students post their work on the portal, the school owns it. I don't suppose people plan on putting any personal work on there.

They invented /home? (1)

Dakkus (567781) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455397)

So, basically user's account now include a home directory onto which the user may save his files. Isn't it actually rare /not/ giving the users a home directory? So, in the end they have only built some new interface for something that was earlier done with the normal file browser interface. The only difference to the old is that the it's yet another interface that the users will have to get used to.

To other news... The scientist in Oxford University have just invented a device they call "wheel". "It's a point-symmetrical polygon with 100 sides, so it has an almost smooth surface on which the device can roll on a platform. No more need to move big objects by letting slaves pull them on ropes. Future designs will include a bigger amount of sides, resulting with even less friction."

Re:They invented /home? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456019)

To other news... The scientist in Oxford University have just invented a device they call "wheel". "It's a point-symmetrical polygon with 100 sides, so it has an almost smooth surface on which the device can roll on a platform. No more need to move big objects by letting slaves pull them on ropes. Future designs will include a bigger amount of sides, resulting with even less friction."

Since it's apparent that a larger amount of sides is always beneficial (the ability of a square to roll is obviously much worse than that of a 100-sided wheel), regulations will be introduced to immediately mandate a minimum number of angled sides. In particular, the "round" devices with a single non-angular surface will henceforth be banned, because all logic dictates that they can't roll at all.

When will it all end? (1)

mblakeley (1135127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455745)

Can we please stop-stop-stop talking about computers are educational devices? I think this is a ploy initiated by Compaq/HP/etc in order to sell more and more computers. I have come to the opinion that while a computer is only necessary for word processing and spreadsheeting. All these schools are really doing is shifting the blame for poor performance back a few years - any parents continuously believe that well equipped computer labs actually indicate a better education.

School deploys nfs with quota (3, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455749)

More in-depth reporting on this amazing and lightning-paced story, as it develops!

Wow, somebody got paid for this, as an innovative product. People's tax money was spent on a "technology" for storing files on a remote server. Does anyone else feel a feint impulse to just give up, turn evil, and start fleecing suckers like this? They're out there, and they're waving their money around, jumping up and down, yelling, "Do me! Do meeeeee!!"

wow! (1)

paltemalte (767772) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455925)

Its just like this one time, when I went to school, we also got our own storage space on an old NT server. I think we had about 5 megabytes each. We were not allowed to put porn (or hacking tools, I learned the hard way) on this share.
So wtf is new about giving students access to such share, except for that they will make accessible over the internet, not just the LAN?

If its the fact that it will be surveyed that put it on the /. frontpage - surveillance is nothing new either. I was not allowed to store neither 'una_bomber.exe' (mailbomber) or 'aggressor.exe' (malicious packet generator) on my share, and the sysadmin let me know about this, so I renamed the programs to 'school_project_may.doc' and such which defeated the surveillance scheme. But regardless, how can this be /. frontpage material?

How is this even slightly news? (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456797)

I wrote a web storage module for the (international) college group I used to work at years ago. IIRC it automatically assigned 5MB of storage per subject (configurable). It was built to replace the "H: Drive" that was only available within our computing labs and reduce the need for (unreliable) removable storage, ie; Floppy and Zip disks.

We also had a messaging module, installations of phpBB and MediaWiki, electronic assignment submission, on-line marks entry for the lecturers and a raft of other features all built just to keep our heads above the workload. We can't have been the only ones in the world doing this stuff.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...