Students defeat iPad restrictions, LA school officials have a cow


#1

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#2

Because in the eyes of authoritarian, technically-illiterate administrators, publishing a security flaw is identical to exploiting it.


#3

I remember one administrator at our highschool decided to lock down some Macs by permanently sealing up the 3.5 disk drives with some glue. If you used a mac back in the day you’d probably have guessed that this is basically a death sentence for the machine.

It’s good to see that the spirit of Authoritarianism hasn’t left the school environment.


#4

School wants students to use latest technology. Students use latest technology in ways school didn’t expect. School freaks out and takes away technology. Wash, rinse, repeat.


#5

“decided not to award” ?
is this sarcasm? the write-up here and the linked article are both very strange in their tone or points of view. the comments in here are much more to the point. maybe my sense of humor is skewed this am.
exposing a security flaw is not exploiting it.
in addition:
once you have physical access to a device, exploiting it is always just a matter of time.


#6

I had a friend who was a middle-school science teacher who ran the school’s computer lab. At the beginning of the year, he always made a point of describing all the fun games on the machine, which were locked away and could only be played as a reward for applying oneself “above and beyond” the class requirements.

As the year progressed, he was very stingy with such rewards, and students would inevitably grow impatient, and start looking for ways to hack past the security lockdowns and play the games when he wasn’t looking.

He was very proud of the fact that they always managed to hack past the locks by the fourth or fifth week of the course - because he wasn’t trying to keep them from playing the games; he was trying to motivate them to learn how the computer worked.


#7

I can guarantee there were people in those meetings saying “This will not work, you are not understanding what an opportunity we have here.”

Other side, “But what about the PRON !”

end of discussion.


#8

they were blocking Instagram and Facebook. If that isn’t a goad to action what is?


#9

My understanding is that this was not even a hack. The restriction profile they used did not specify “non-removable”. The students therefore easily deleted it. In addition, under iOS 6, MDM (remote management) profiles could non be made non-removable. So they could easily remove that as well - in fact, removing this might have removed all the restriction profiles installed through the remote management.

Either way, I would not give kids very much credit for going into the profile settings and hitting “Delete”. Of course the admins get even less credit, for not testing and knowing about this. Of course, it’s also possible that they did, and even warned the appropriate officials, but simply weren’t “heard”.


#10

I turned off my kids’ Internet at the router except during designated “Internet hours”.

I expected them to learn to spoof the MAC address of their mom’s PC, which was allowed to access the Internet at all times.

Instead, my (pre-teen) son figured out that having a private file share on the local network meant he also had SSH access to the basement server, and he port-forwarded all his traffic through SSH to the server.

This went back and forth for years and years. He never did figure out the really easiest way… but he kept coming up with totally unexpected stuff instead, it was often quite a challenge to figure out what he was doing and block it.


#11

The fact that deleting a profile (Settings > General > Profiles [Select - Delete]) is considered a “security breach” indicates that the purchasers/administrators/school board reps (and the L.A. Unified School District Police Chief!) are technologically stupid, and shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.


#12

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We defeat YouTube blocking at work by using https. I read recently that Google Translate works well as a proxy to circumvent site blocking. The more you try to control people’s access to the Internet the more ways they’ll invent to get around it.


#13

Wait. They sent the iPads home? When did my universe switch from the stingy thing I used to know, to this one? Last I heard there were schools in the US that couldn’t afford textbooks. Now they are lending out iPads for home use? What gives?


#14

School districts around here (mid-atlantic USA) are firing teachers, eliminating all extra-curricular activities (other than sports, of course) and shutting down their libraries and art programs… but they are buying computers like crazy, you can hardly squeeze any kids into the buildings for all the computers in there.

Unfortunately, quality of education has always been mostly determined by the quality of the teachers and the student/teacher ratio (more the latter than the former in my opinion) more than about the quality of the props and buildings and such.


#15

It’s part of new pushes to replace traditional educational expenses (buildings, books and teachers) with technology.

Gobs of venture capital is flooding education, looking to get school districts to spend $10 per student per year for a new media text book instead of buying and reusing paper. And there is an underlying assumption that this can allow more students per teacher with the same learning.

Proven out by research? Not at all.
Stupid, most likely.

But tech VCs have much bigger lobbying budgets than the teachers unions.


#16

Why I’m never going to move to the states. Canadian teacher’s unions have power. Last time the teachers had a strike, the Ontario Liberals put in back to work legislation, hoping to gain conservative votes in the next by-election. The NDP (our social democratic party) took the riding instead.
You know who has more power than both? Parents. It’s just hard to mobilize them.


#17

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