5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 2, 2013 8:18 AM by Chris Kelley

    Advice for managing student files on class computers

    Chris Kelley

      I am in the process of planning to set up a dedicated PC lab at a local middle/high school for teaching SW.  I am a volunteer and would get better buy-in from the IT guys at the school if I show up with solutions.  Does anyone have advice how best to manage files on classroom computers?  What is the best way for students to save files during the class?  At work, our local PCs are networked and all files are saved on the network instead of locally, but SW runs better if the files are local on the PC.  This seems like it would be hard to implement for middle and high school students.  Does anyone have suggestions for this?  Also, I had heard that the SW classes had a way to quickly and easily wipe the PC clean and re-set all settings after each class was finished.  Does anyone know how to implement this?  Thanks in advance.

        • Re: Advice for managing student files on class computers
          Roland Schwarz

          Make everyone buy a couple flash drives.

            • Re: Advice for managing student files on class computers
              Chris Kelley

              Flash drives are one solution but I can see a lot of problems with them as well.  Back around 2000, I was an instructor at a college for an AutoCAD course and all the kids had to bring a disk to store their files on.  I can't tell you how many times the disks were forgotten, broken, currupted, lost, erased, my dog ate it, etc., etc..  Keep in mind I'll be working with middle school students, ~12-14 yrs old.  If the college kids had so many problems with their portable storage, I worry about the issues the middle school kids might have.  Flash drives are going to be more reliable than the old 3.5" disks, but they can still be forgotten, broken, lost (or eaten).


              Thanks for the suggestion though.  I think I will ask all the kids to maintain a flash drive as a back-up for all their files, and to store all their files once we're done with the course.

              • Re: Advice for managing student files on class computers
                Chris Kelley



                Thanks for this lead.  This is exactly what I was looking for.  The software isn't expensive either, only $35 a seat.  With this, it sounds like I can specify a "Thaw" zone where the kids can keep files on the hard drive and yet, when the computer is restarted, all computer settings go back to the original settings.  The Thaw zone would be easy to clean out periodically while the software keeps the computers as clean as the day SW was originally installed.



              • Re: Advice for managing student files on class computers
                Kip Speck

                Your question is something that most companies can not do correctly when left to their own vices.


                There are a couple solutions that you can do to manage the SolidWorks files;


                Use SolidWorks Workgroup, which is a part of SolidWorks Premium and above (There is no additional out of pocket expense)

                Use SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, this is a separate and distinct program that you can buy.  (There cost may be prohibited)


                Most of the issues you will find with managing SolidWorks files will be with the References from model to model and from model to drawing.  Remember these are 3d models and the references can be complex.


                There are sertvices that can host EPDM, BYOL (Bring your own licenses) and get you up and running farily quickly

                Check out http://www.Stratus-x.com


                As for the Class Environment,


                VM Ware, Virtual machines, etc...  This is what will get everything back to the original state.




                Good luck