Does your School give you the rights to download software on your machine?

Hey everyone-taking a poll here. We currently have some teachers that have admin rights to their machine and can download software, and some that do not. One of our concerns is the time it is taking our IT department to weed through the software requests as we currently package all the software that our teachers might use...for example Smartboard or CPS software. Because we are so understaffed, our packaging is way behind and we are not able to push out the latest versions of some of this software until several months after it is released. This is a bummer when bugs are fixed or we call about a problem and they tell us to upgrade the software.

I'm wondering what other districts are doing on this front...are you allowed to download your own software? If not, do you get a timely response when you log a request? Would also be interested in those who work on the IT side if you have a good process you could recommend.

We want to keep people's machines safe from malware but give people freedom to incorporate the newest apps that they want as is a fine line between the two!

Thanks in advance-

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I have about 80 software programs that I use in my classroom (I teach a self contained special education classroom for students with autism and use lots of Laureate software) We got three new computers in our classroom this year (replacement computers for ancient ones). After waiting over 3 months, someone finally came out to respond to my request, looked at all of the software and said "I only have 15 minutes, I'll have to come back another day" - about a month after that, an IT guy came out and told me he had assigned me admin privileges "temporarily" and that I had until the next day to install all of the software - well, after a polite discussion about how I have a life, if they couldn't come out for 4 months to do this, I didn't feel that I should be expected to drop everything and do *their job* in 24 hours, my students had IEP goals that weren't being addressed, etc. etc. they gave me a week to install everything. This was a little over a year ago and they have forgotten to remove my admin privileges ... so to answer your question, yes I do have admin privileges but please don't tell the IT department!!!
Hi Nicole, I have been working with childred with autism for 7 years and I am currently working on my elementary ed license. I would love to hear more about some of the software you use with your students. We are very limited in our county of virginia, rural with very little technology used, but our students love the computer. The child I am assigned to is obsessed with starfall but I would like to introduce her to something new. She is verbal but can not read or write. At this point we spend time on functional and social skills and basic personal information. She can use a mouse which allows more independence on the computer but new programs require too many prompts from me and then she gets angry. Got any ideas?
most of the software is from Laureate ... I have all of the titles in their level 1 autism package.

Intellitools also has a program that is similar to some parts of starfall - called Balanced Literacy. We also use all ....

Lots of software from Attainment, DT Trainer, the Word Building Lessons from PCI's Reading Program

And then we also use things like Reader Rabbit, Millie/Sammy/Bailey/Trudy, and other various preschool/kindergarten software (Elmo, Disney, Pooh, Thomas).
Generally no, and for most of the reasons indigo stated. We are allowed to do Apple software updates, because generally speaking that makes your computer more secure, not less, but we are supposed to ask before downloading anything else. It is a hassle, but I can understand why they have those rules. If it is the same rule for everyone, then there should be no problems. The difficulty I have had is not in obtaining permission, but in getting a response from our IT guy. Sometimes I don't get a response at all. I have been given permission to download things like Google Earth.
We have an IT Director that oversees all hardware, software and network issues in the district. We only have two elementaries, a middle and high school, so he IS the help desk, (or at least his email inbox is). He does it all and must have a lot on his plate a lot of the time, but because he is just one person, some things take a long time to get done. If I was him, I think I would ask about getting extra staff to help him, but there is no sign of that happening any time soon. He has a teacher in each building as a designated troubleshooter, but they don't have admin privileges. If they can fix the problem they will, but often they just refer it back to him as they are not allowed to do that much.
Number of students? Probably about 650 students. Not sure on how many computers, but I would guess around 120, but possibly a bit more, (nice ratio, eh?). I know there are about 30 in each elementary. Not sure about Middle/High School.

I will pass on the software recommendations, so thanks for those.
Thanks for all of the response to Indigo, yes we use Altiris as our deployment system. We have 20 elem schools, 8 ms, 4 hs currently. We do have a great person who packages our software and informs the techs on what to install using Altiris and provides directions to them. We don't have a tech in each building, but some are floaters that float between buildings. Honestly we probably need more.

It seems to me as if we need more help on the packaging side, we have limited people doing the actual packaging of the software and this is where we get held up, as it is quite a task for one person or two people. It is interesting to hear about what other people are doing!
I'm not sure on the exact number as it varies greatly among the levels, but I would imagine it is over 100 different titles. Too many for sure! :)
As part of our IT team (small part) I have full rights. It is frustrating for the other teachers that do not.. I have for some allowed use of my account to bring in video or software downloads in a pinch.
I teach computer classes at the middle school level. For many years I had no admin rights and it was a very frustrating experience. For the last several years, I received admin rights within my lab. I can log on as an administrator on individual computers and install programs, run utilities, etc. If there is something that I do need the IT department to install, they are usually able to do it within one week.
I'm on the IT side and formerly a classroom teacher, and we allow teachers administrative rights to their laptops but not their desktop CPUs. We found that it became a burden to answer tickets to download updates (i.e. Flashplayer, etc.). Oddly enough, in a city as large as ours, we've had no major issues or problems. We ask them not to download ANY software that's not district owned, for this could wreck the Java scripts that knock other programs out, etc.
We do not have the right to download software on our machines in my district. I am a Principal and asked last April to have Itunes installed on my machine. I am happy to say that my request was granted.......Wednesday!!! Uggg Things move a bit slow in my district to say the least we are still using 2003.



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