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How do I view and restrict students from running programs they aren't supposed to use?

Learn how to restrict students from running programs they aren't supposed to use in this expert response from Lindi Horton.

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I am a teacher and want to restrict students from running programs other than what they are suppose to use, and I would like to view what they do on their PC's. Can you please tell me where I can go and look for clear step-by-step help?

This is a great question. My mother is actually a teacher and we spend a lot of time working on hardening the computer systems for the students to only provide access to the required materials. Here is the way that we have done it. I hope that this helps.

First, we have created a group policy setup through the domain that does not allow the students to install programs. By removing administrative rights, they are not able to install programs that they want to run. Even without a single domain controller, you can set up guest accounts (or student accounts) on the computers that do not allow them to install or remove programs.

Second, when my mother has a class that requires them to be in the lab and it does not require Internet access, she simply pulls the plug. The computer lab is set up with the ability to access the internet through a single connection. When that connection is not needed, because the applications that they need are inside the school's network, she simply just disconnects them from the Internet.

For the times when the students need Internet access but you want to restrict what sites they access, there are several packages to accomplish this. It requires some setup but will only allow them to view certain websites. I would work with the IT person to install an Internet monitor and restriction program that would only allow them to view content that is approved for the class.

This was first published in January 2007

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