Network and Classroom Management Thread, AB Tutor or equivalent in Technical; For a while now we have been testing various Classroom Management systems after outgrowing Ranger. We have passed NetSupport, NetControl ...
For a while now we have been testing various Classroom Management systems after outgrowing Ranger. We have passed NetSupport, NetControl and Smart Sync over our test network but for various reasons we have not settled on them.
Only since joining this forum has AB Tutor and LanSupport come onto our radar (probably not a lot of advertising in Australia). Out of the two it seems AB Tutor has a huge fan base and V6 sounds fantastic.
So can I ask whoever is running it if they think it will work in the following enviroment?
We are a school where teachers are supplied a notebook and students have their own notebook. So there are no "fixed" computer pools but each classroom is equivalent to a pool. Teachers connect via a 1Gb wired connection and students via an 802.11n network (300Mb). Teachers and students are on different vlans but stay on them (ie. vlans do not change when roaming). We use Procurve switches which I believe do not multicast across vlans without the purchase of an expensive license.
So is it possible for a teacher to pull in a "class" at the beginning of a lesson without relying on students to connect manually? If the answer is no, then is it possible with students connecting manually across vlans?
Your answers may lead to other questions but thank you in advance for your time. We are looking at around 70 teachers and 750 students.
Thanks for bringing Impero to my attention. Will it operate across vlans in the way that I asked?
FYI - NetSupport does do what I asked before anyone jumps in, I am not prepared to pay 100% more in price for it when there are so many other options.
I've never had the opportunity to work with VLAN's so I honestly could not tell you - if you do get a chance to download and use the 30 day trial ( from there website ) maybe you could post back and let us know ?
Anyway will leave it for everyone else to put there $0.02 in as I only wanted to post that as an extra option.
AB Tutor is amazingly good. Does everything you could want. Thoroughly recommend it. All the clients are free, you just pay for how many tutor licenses you need. I've got 10 here and there's no yearly maintenance. You only pay (a small %) for say upgrading from V6 to V7, unless you are in your first year with it.
AB Tutor has been an absolute godsend here. We not only use it as a teacher/class mgmt tool but also as a remote support tool. We group classrooms with a specific password for each room so when a teacher loogs on they only see the room they are in and we even restrict the tools available to them depending in the level of training staff have completed.
I too am looking for a new classroom management software. We currently use Synchroneyes 7.0 (the older version of SMART Sync). We've got it in ~8 labs, on about 200 machines. It seems to work fairly well. The teachers understand it, they can see the desktops, take control, block IE & Firefox, etc.
The issues I have are:
1) It is easily bypassed. All the kids have to do is yank the network cable, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in. Their connection is restored but the Synchroneyes "Teacher' does not recognize the interruption, so the thumbnail stays "frozen" at whatever was on the student's desktop before the cable was pulled.
2) It is a pain to install. I can't make it part of a Ghost image, and I can't push it out using Prism Deploy. So I have to manually install the "Teacher", then install the clients on the lab machines. And that requires a reboot, allowing the app access through the firewall, deleting the icon the program insists on putting in All Users > Desktop etc.
How does AB handle any attempts by students to get around it?
Is there an easy way to push it out from a central location?
We are a Windows Domain, workstations will be XP for one more year.