Author Topic: Limited install for use in exams  (Read 441 times)

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Offline HomeEducator

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Limited install for use in exams
« on: January 30, 2013, 09:47:12 pm »
Hi.
I home educate three teenage sons. They take exams in external exam centres. Because they usually do their written work on their laptops then there is no problem with them using a laptop in exams. Between a quarter and a third of home educated students use a laptop in exams.
Until this year it was enough to create a new user with minimum acesss and turn off the spell checker.
This year the inspectorate who oversee exams have decreed that this is not enough. Laptops used in exams have to be wiped clean of all programs and data - and this needs to be done by the examaning centre, not by parents.
What we are investigating - and the reason I'm posting here - is the possibilty of having a linux install on a stick which would then boot into a minimal operating system that can't do anything other than offer a text editor and save the results back onto the stick. No other drives mounted. No access to the OS.
Is this possible? Is anyone interested in getting involved. There are a suprising number of home educators - many of whom use computers for their exam work - and there is a possibility of the right set up attracting a degree of income  - I know I would pay for a stick with an approved install if it meant that I didn't have to wipe my childrens laptops. I am part of an extensive home education community and am certain there is a larger market.

Ian

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: Limited install for use in exams
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 01:45:30 pm »
Wouldn't it be easier to pull the hard drive completely, then use the Ubuntu Customisation Kit to create an ISO image with everything stripped out that you don't want/need ?

The problems are probably going to be -

a) getting the examining board to define "minimal" .. a list of what they DON'T want would help.
and
b) getting them to verify that the end product suits their needs.

Another option would be to swap out the hard drive for a blank one .. but again, they/you haven't said what they'll accept as an installed OS, they really need to define what they want.

Wouldn't they just be happy with hard drive removal, then running a standard distro from a LiveCD (so it's non-modifiable), then saving data to a BLANK USB stick ? .. you can then just refit the hard drive after the exams.
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Offline SeZo

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Re: Limited install for use in exams
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 10:31:56 pm »
Quote
is the possibilty of having a linux install on a stick which would then boot into a minimal operating system that can't do anything other than offer a text editor and save the results back onto the stick. No other drives mounted. No access to the OS.

That sounds very much like a linux system running in kiosk mode, just replace the browser with a text editor.
Obviously not as simple as that, but it should be doable. So you end up with the text editor running fullscreen, no desktop or program launchers.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 10:39:19 pm by SeZo »

 


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