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Teachers Smart Card

Added: (Fri Aug 31 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Smarter Teachers!
Release date: 1st September 2001

It is a frustrating fact that many school ICT Coordinators are spending too much time and energy restoring machines that their students have tampered with. Students can cause real headaches by deleting files, introducing viruses and illicit games, changing Windows settings or reformatting the hard drive and preventing the PC from working for the next user!

The Teachers Smart Card allows you to take full control of the PCs in your classroom, just reboot the machine at the end of each lesson and the PC will return to its original configuration.

Once installed in a free PCI (or ISA) slot, the Teachers Smart Card guarantees your machine is safe. The Teachers Smart Card protects all software installed on it, repairs and replaces damaged files automatically and there is no need to reinstall software, set up icons, toolbars or worry about viruses!

Make the computer lab a headache free zone by installing the Teachers Smart Card in your machines. The Teachers Smart Card is cost efficient and will save teachers and IT technicians the most valuable thing of all…time!

Case Study - ‘Beating the student hackers’

King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

When Roy Gravestock, the Head of ICT, took over, the network of PCs at King Edward VI Grammar School were not as extensive, or as well used as they are now. He started developing the network and built the school-wide system the school now owns. However, it wasn’t an easy task. One department, for example, had locked all the floppy drives, fearful of pupils loading unapproved software on the workstations. This, says Roy, was a challenge to the more technically adept pupils – ‘The restrictions were a challenge to them: they wanted to crack the system.’ Roy persuaded the department to drop the restrictions and many of the problems disappeared because the challenge had disappeared.

However, Roy was aware of the dangers of allowing unfettered access to the network and so for a couple of years tried software-based solutions. While they provided a barrier to most pupils, the more PC-literate pupils continued to try to beat the system. This was especially noticeable in the 6th Form centre and other locations where supervision was not always constant – in Roy’s words, the PCs in these locations

were, ‘A nightmare. The pupils were loading games and other programs onto the workstations. Having to deal with this situation was costing us loads of time. And repairing the machines tied up the server, meaning that other classes couldn’t get access to the curriculum activities they wanted.’

Then Roy saw an advertisement for the TSC and rang to ask about their capability. Once he had seen a demonstration of the cards, he was determined to try them. Having obtained the 3-card starter pack, he let 5 of his most able pupils loose on the PCs with the order to hack the cards and see how robust they were. To everybody’s amazement – and the pupils’ disappointment – they remained unhackable, and re-booting the PCs brought back the original configuration, not matter what the pupils tried: ‘It’s wonderful to see the look on the pupils’ faces when they see that no matter what they have tried to do, the PC remains unaffected. The vast majority of pupils have absolutely no idea how it works and those that do can do nothing about it.’

He has now installed TSCs on 75 computers in the school and the effect has been dramatic. ‘We installed 10 new PCs in the 6th Form Study Area two weeks ago and I haven’t had to touch them – we haven’t had a single call!’ He also points out that, whereas he always had to deal with problems with printers not working, the TSC means that, once configured to work with a PC or the network, the settings remain constant and any problems are corrected by re-booting the computer.

Roy believes that TSC has had a significant impact on the way he spends his time: ‘having the TSC’s just frees up our time to do what we should be doing – working with pupils and ensuring that learning takes place. The TSC does mean that there is a little extra management required when we load new software onto the network, but this is easily balanced by the lack of hassle in their day-to-day working.’

The Teachers Smart Card provides a simple solution to a major problem.
Be smart with the Teachers Smart Card!

For further information visit www.lodestar.co.uk or call 01473 408 892 (Quote ref: PR2).

Editors Notes:
For further information please contact:

Samantha Chapman
Tel: 01202 652017
Fax: 01202 299893
Email: sam.chapman@educationconnections.co.uk

Lodestar Technologies Ltd is the sole supplier of the Teachers Smart Card in the UK.

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