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Do most districts allow their teachers and staff to log onto their school internal network from home?


If so how do you do it?  VPN?  RDP? Third party software like LogMeIn?

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Staff and Students can, its built in to any XP or new or just a simple free download for macs, very litttle training needed and it secure and controllable.


Plus remote apps are nice for making a single program available campus wide with minutes of effort.

I have used VPN in the past for staff, but very few ever used it (though that was six or seven years ago), I think they just didn't try, since the procedure was about the same as an RDP or LogMeIn session once the client was in place!. Do you want them to actually access the school internal network, or do they just need access to certain resources (files, gradebook, etc) from home? I think Damon will tell you that SharePoint works great for giving staff and students access to "non-web" resources available within your network, and they can use it internally or from outside from what I understand. Once upon a time, I had students accessing their folders on an internal server via ftp (which could be done simply through an internet explorer interface, utilizing a login, as well as various free client programs), but SharePoint probably works better than that method, though a lot of students utilized it.

Since you guys already have a sharepoint farm or at least did, I would recommend using SP for any file access etc.

I'm interested to know how people are allowing direct RDP access to workstations. Are you opening it up on your firewall for each workstation or are they accessing a single RDP server? If you're opening it up for each workstation you best be careful as there are lots of security risks with that. You have to ensure each workstation is up to date on all security patches etc. Not to mention the management of so many connections, so I doubt that is the method.

I would allow VPN access to those who request it and are trained. then they can RDP into their workstation, but I'd never open a workstation directly to the Internet.

Otherwise you could purchase a TeamViewer license for each workstation. That is a pretty cool product, but it's not free for schools only for individuals.

RDP only goes to a dedicated term server, only a select few have local room remote desktop privelages which once on the term server they can do a 2nd remote to. For the most part everything they need is on the term server already, desktop and docs are redirected  so nothing really is ever on "their" room pc anyway. I try to make which computer they use meaningless.



VPN is to sketchy,giving home pc's with god knows what on it an internal ip is scary.



I would though like a sharepoint portal, but just don't have the time. I'll look for someone this summer to do it I think.

I know Damon knows a lot about SharePoint and I currently am the Admin for one of Mayo's SharePoint Enterprise farms. I'd be willing to give you a hand as well. It's not too difficult once you know what all the little tricks are.

Scott Evers said:

I would though like a sharepoint portal, but just don't have the time. I'll look for someone this summer to do it I think.

Direct Access or RDP is the way to go.

DA enables users to connect to the corporate network without using a traditional network-level VPN connection or a reverse Web proxy and reverse NAT solution. DirectAccess automatically establishes a connection to the corpnet before users log in. After logging in, they can connect to corporate information resources in the same way as computers directly connected to the corpnet over a wired or wireless connection.


We opted for LogMeIn Free coupled with LogMeIn Central for $300 per year.  Good idea, but the free software is a bear to manage at very best.  Had we known what a nightmare the free client was, we'd have opted for something else.  It is in place, and working after countless hours registry hacking, but they've botched (intentionally?) their client so badly that it is impossible to manage deployment once it is installed on a system.  Clearly, you get what you pay for.

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