School Admin



  • A couple years ago in middle school (It was actually a K-8, but I was in 8th), there was the Admin.

    The Admin was responsible for our school, as well as a few others in the district. The problem was that he was the bad part of the stereotype of knowledgeable computer people. He was overweight, balding, and a condescending asshole (He did have to deal with kids, but I would be nicer in his position). He would come in to fix some troubles caused usually by the kids.

    Most of the computers in the school were located in the Lab, right off of the Library. They were all shiny iMacs, with pretty gross keyboards and mice. There were several wtfs, such as Tony Hawk 3 preinstalled on all of the computers, which even the 3rd graders would lan during lab time. Kids would also commonly change the desktop to pictures pulled off of google images (I mean literally right off, but presentations and doing that is another WTF), as well as using the zoom feature to zoom all the way in, much to the dismay of the next kid, who would complain to the librarian, who barely knew how to fix it.

    Meanwhile, I had a teacher (I only had about 3, not like a typical middle school, I was mostly in his class), who literally made the class do nothing. My accomplishments of the year consisted of: Building a paper planetarium during class time, building a jeopardy buzzer with electronics during class time, and building a large potato gun during class time. Because my friend and I were above the science and math being taught, we were allowed to go to the library and work on Plato.

    Plato was an online class program, which even then seemed behind its time. Plato required several special keys to work correctly. These were around F8, 9, and 10. Unfortunately, these keys default to OS X's Expose feature. I simply went in to the settings, which, of course, were not password protected, and basically turned off Expose. Everything went fine for a month or so.

    Then, one day when about to log on to plato, the librarian comes up to us. The Admin had come up to her, seemingly outraged at her, that the settings had been changed. She gave us a "talk" about how we shouldn't do that. When she left I check to see the Admin's fix. He had mapped the features to F5, 6, and 7. But guess what? I needed those keys as well. So, because the Admin still hadn't password protected the settings, turned it off again.

    The second event that happened that year I believe happened during normal Lab time. Lab time consisted of 20 minutes of Mavis Beacon, then Tony Hawk or Kid Pix. To log on to Mavis Beacon one had to use the Connect To Server option from the top panel and connect to a server. This would open a window which you would then close. Mavis Beacon would work then.

    Well my friend decided to explore the server. After some searching, he came across the Mavis Beacon folder. He then accidentally clicked the mouse and the folder dragged. Hm, if it can drag, maybe it can be put in another folder. Check. Maybe it can be dragged to the desktop? Check. Maybe it can be deleted? Check. The entire database was deleted. Who knows what other important files were on that server. We come back a few days later and everyone is talking about how Mavis Beacon isn't' working any more. The librarian questions us (No action was taken in the long run), and everyone's progress was reset, because apparently there were no backups, so everyone's account had to be created again. Finally after that event, write-protection was enabled.

    Now I'm in high school and the WTFs have gone down. Now you can only change your school wide password, which may be the reason my account was locked for a whole year, the librarian has admin access, and there's punky asshole "computer literate" students that think downloading pirated games on to the school computers is really cool. Just about all of my web design class was playing games.

    Whew, all done.

     

    Moderator's note: pointless flamebait in story removed



  • This is very like the schools I have been in contact with, I do not understand why things are so bad!


    At my brother's current school, the teacher in charge of computing (I wouldn't extend to her the title of administrator) insists everyone has the password 'password'. Otherwise how is she supposed to log in and check for inappropriate files??


    The same teacher also told him off for using keyboard short-cuts to do things in Word. Undo it and do it properly using the menus!



  • Poor computer security practices at a school? Shocking, never would have seen that coming.

    Too much filler, not enough material.

    Oh, and please take the time to look up "literally", I don't think you know what it means.



  • @Lazy-lump said:

    This is very like the schools I have been in contact with, I do not understand why things are so bad!
     

    Quality comes at the cost of time, money or both. Schools usually neither have the money to hire skilled and dedicated admins nor the time to train their staff. It's not reasonable to expect people (why is it always librarians) to administrate highly complex distributed computer systems in their spare time.



  • @drinkingbird said:

    Too much filler, not enough material.

    Oh, and please take the time to look up "literally", I don't think you know what it means.

     

    Well then I apologise for writing a lot, there was just a lot of wtfs going on that year. At least I tried to use proper grammar.

    1. In the direct, word for word sense. With neither idiom nor metaphor.
    2. (proscribed) Really, as an intensifier.

     How is it incorrect? I meant that they dragged it off of google, not going to the site to get the bigger image.

    Being insulted on the internet gives a weird floaty feeling. Heh, I had pointless flamebait. Moderation!



  • @Nandurius said:

    Quality comes at the cost of time, money or both. Schools usually neither have the money to hire skilled and dedicated admins nor the time to train their staff. It's not reasonable to expect people (why is it always librarians) to administrate highly complex distributed computer systems in their spare time.




    I agree, it is not reasonable to expect untrained teachers to administrate computer systems. However, this school is not short of money in the least (they just bought an interactive white-board for each classroom). It shocks me they can do this and do not have a library yet!



  • @Nandurius said:

    Quality comes at the cost of time, money or both. Schools usually neither have the money to hire skilled and dedicated admins nor the time to train their staff. It's not reasonable to expect people (why is it always librarians) to administrate highly complex distributed computer systems in their spare time.
     

    It's a good point, and the school system where I live is quite underfunded.

    Though whoever installed the computers, or even when the admin comes for a checkup on them, is it very hard to add the write protection (it looks like he knew how), or password protect the settings panel (which was password protected in one spot)? Is it a lack of motivation? Putting those checks on would only reduce workload in the future though.

    Maybe it's more profound to those who actually administrate it or are actually in the computer business, because I have only seen it from the outside.



  • @SneakyMax said:

    He was overweight, balding, and a condescending asshole
     

    @SneakyMax said:

    Lab time consisted of 20 minutes of...Kid Pix

    Having no idea that Kid Pix was an "Amazing multimedia art studio designed for young imaginations," I had a very different idea of what it was initially.



  •  Well it still seems better than what I had..

     The awesome IT teacher was total computer illiterate, only known about how to browse porn in school during classes (!), and how to write in word. 99% of our classes were just "get on the net and dont bother me" types.. But when he did something, it was worth it - all paswords were exactly the same as logins (ie. pc03/pc03), he spend WHOLE class once trying to get DVD playing on his PC, and when he decided he will "teach" us something about excel, he spend 15 minutes wondering why his function doesnt work (it was simple B6+B7 function..). I don't really think there was any security on the PCs installed either, which make me wonder if I shouldn't experiment a bit with trojans on school server -- but seing as it was my last year of school I needed to succeed perfectly, I rather just left it be. Good times..


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