Freedom Area School District Director of Technology Matt Scala is on duty at Thursday’s school board meeting, which took place with laptops replacing the traditional agendas and other documents.


“We’re issuing laptops to the school board members…but we need something that will allow them to make changes to the machine, connecting digital projectors and adjusting the display settings but allow us to restore the machine, perhaps remotely, when the school board members mess it up without losing their data.”

Wow, that’s a mouthful of a scenario, isn’t it? Let’s tear it apart and look at the facts:
  1. Active Directory policies are set in this environment to lock machines down so they can’t adjust their display settings.
  2. Since you can’t adjust display settings, when you connect the laptop to a digital projector, it won’t work as expected. The failure to meet school board member expectations has other consequences beyond that of a computer not working.
  3. School board members will mess up their computer, whether by visiting a site infested with malware–and these days, that could be a school district web site–or being infected with a virus on a USB flash drive. How can we restore the computer while safeguarding school board member data (e.g. documents, files)?
  4. The laptop needs to be managed remotely in case the school board member finds him/her-self in a situation where the computer is nonfunctional due to malware.
Coming up with a solution involves considering a variety of assumptions built-into the initial scenario, right? For example, you could start with the idea that AD policies are set too tight. It’s not only the school board members having problems, but also, any school district member who uses district setup technology.
What can we do to problem-solve this? What ideas are out there? My knee-jerk reaction was to adopt a new solution like this one, Rollback Rx:
But, is adopting another solution going to get the job done? It might in the short-run but what’s the long-term strategy for dealing with these kinds of issues?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure