These are my notes from a session at MOREnet’s MITC07 conference titled “Controlling the Learning Environment.” The session description in the conference program is:

Attendees will learn how SchoolVue provides the tools for supervision and instruction. With SchoolVue, a teacher demonstrates learning materials to students, shows a student’s work to the class, groups students, controls student computers during verbal presentations, remotely controls a student’s computer, distributes and collects assignments, creates and administers tests, restricts internet and application access, monitors working students and communicates with students individually.

MY THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS ARE IN ALL CAPS IN THIS POST. I AM RECORDING THIS SESSION (WITH PERMISSION FROM THE PRESENTER, GEORGE WILLIAMS, AND MAY SHARE THIS AS A PODCAST LATER. VERY INTERESTING COMMENTS HERE IN THIS SESSION WHICH I’LL REFLECT ON LATER IN GREATER DETAIL.

This is a session about CrossTech’s SchoolVue software.

I have found this is a great teaching tool, in addition to controlling the learning environment

I can restrict access to the Internet

I have the student computers locked when they come sit down, so they can’t start their homework
I am in control in the class from the minute I walk in the door
I find if I am not in control from the start of class, I have lost control from the beginning
That way I can direct what they do

Some customers project the control version on the wall so he can immediately see if anyone is off task

There are two versions: a teacher copy of the software and a student version

Some people use this software to push out tests to students
– can also deploy software out to student workstations with this software
– you need to define a unique workgroup for your computers on the network if you want to easily see just the computers in 1 lab

I can approve just certain websites for students (THIS IS WHITELISTING INDIVIDUAL SITES)
– can drag and drop
– students cannot do email, can’t do instant messaging, can’t surf the web unless I let them

So I have controlled the learning environment, and removed those temptations and distractions

can send a URL directly to all students in your lab
– you can also browse the web with students with the software

You can drag and drop URLs into the approved sites window

THERE WAS A QUESTION ASKING IF YOU CAN GRANT STUDENTS DIFFERENT LEVELS OF INTERNET ACCESS WITH THIS PROGRAM. THE ANSWER IS NO, THIS TREATS ALL COMPUTERS IN THE LAB/WORKGROUP THE SAME

I can restrict applications, students cannot play games
– I can restrict spellcheck during a test
– I can keep students focused on their schoolwork, so they can’t do anything extra

Version 9 was just updated this last summer
– can control printing
– can also send out surveys to all students

Can restrict printing completely, can require that students get permission to print

I THINK THAT RESTRICTING LAB PRINTING IS A VERY USEFUL AND OFTEN NEEDED FEATURE IN MANY SCHOOLS. I WONDER IF THERE ARE ANY BUILT-IN OS OR OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS FOR LIMITING AND LOGGING PRINTING TO NETWORK PRINTERS? PRINTING COSTS CAN GET HUGE VERY QUICKLY WHEN PRINTING GETS OUT OF CONTROL. OF COURSE, THIS IS REALLY A PROBLEM OF USER BEHAVIOR RATHER THAN A TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM… THIS SESSION IS ALL ABOUT A TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION TO ADDRESS PERCEIVED HUMAN BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS THO…

Another way to restrict instant messaging, it keeps an IM history

Students can be restricted to save to the USB port on a flash drive, but prohibited from opening something from a CD, DVD, or flash drive

I use the “show feature” all the time to demo films, movies

At the start of every lesson we do a grammar exercise for proofreading
– I open a word file and students proofread with me together
– I project essays for students to read, many things

I WONDER WHAT HE DOES WHEN STUDENTS READ AT DIFFERENT RATES?

I type in the rule, I have the student say the rule, then I have the entire class say the rule
– if students have a problem, I first ask them what the rule is
– I ask the students to read it again
– this is a great way to reinforce
– I am trying to teach students both auditorially and visually

THIS IS NOT “TEACHING VISUALLY” BY USING A WORD FILE THAT EVERYONE LOOKS LIKE. THIS IS JUST LIKE USING AN OVERHEAD PROJECTOR THAT EVERYONE SEES ON A MONITOR THAT IS 17 INCHES FROM THEIR FACE.

My sound is not working
– anyone know why I am not getting any sound

I WANTED TO SUGGEST HE NEEDS TO USE A MACINTOSH INSTEAD OF A WINDOWS-BASED PC. OF COURSE THIS SOFTWARE WOULDN’T WORK THEN BECAUSE IT IS PC ONLY….

When you show a movie in demo view, the sound is only heard on the teacher computer unless you first transfer out the file to each student’s computer

I can also share the student’s screen to all other students
– I can take control of the student’s computer, and type directly on the student’s file
– I can give instantaneous feedback

my question “can you fetch files that are on student computers?”
– answer: yes
– I can send files to the students, and I can collect that same worksheet from the students
– can also copy files from the instructor computer to the students: programs or other files
– can distribute multiple copies of files too

Under communications we can
– chat as a class
– send messages to selected students
– send out preset messages to students

I ACTUALLY USED AN OLDER VERSION OF THIS PROGRAM WHEN I WAS AN ELEMENTARY COMPUTER LAB FACILITATOR AND TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION COACH… I WROTE AN ARTICLE IN THE LATE 2002-2003 COMPARING NETOP AND SIMILAR PROGRAMS THAT IS STILL ONLINE: “Computer Lab Management Software.” FOLKS WITH MACINTOSH COMPUTERS SHOULD CHECK OUT APPLE REMOTE DESKTOP SOFTWARE.

Product is sold by licenses for individual computers, not a site license

Our company also has a program called “Secure” that is like “Foolproof” or “DeepFreeze”

Cost for 30 students, retail price is $1500 (about $50 per license, cost can drop to $39 per license if you buy more)
– 1 time charge
– have a program called ‘cross care’ that is an upgrade insurance program
– cost of that is 20% of initial purchase price

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  • http://kvance.wordpress.com/ Kim Vance

    I use a similar program called SynchronEyes by SMART Technologies. It is extremely useful for the primary grades. One of our middle schools teachers uses it to edit student papers prior to printing. After growing accustomed to using this program I do not think I could teach in the computer lab without it (or an equivalent).

  • http://watsoncommon.blogspot.com Chris Watson

    Thanks for this post. I hope to see the podcast soon. In our first year of rolling out a 1:1 program, one grade level per year, classroom management has proven challenging, especially in 100 year old+ classrooms. We tend to move away from policy and policing, so I really like that SchoolVue seems more collaborative in focus. I wonder how it’d work in a 1:1 wireless classroom vs. computer lab?

  • http://tuttlesvc.org Tom Hoffman

    iTALC is free software widely used in the Indiana 1-to-1 classrooms that handles the same kind of monitoring. Also there is FL_TeacherTool which is in edubuntu. For printing there is PyKota which isn’t very widely used because of its weird “GPL but please don’t redistribute” licensing.

  • http://www.mctoonish.com/blog Heather Ross

    Wes, you said:

    “THIS IS NOT “TEACHING VISUALLY” BY USING A WORD FILE THAT EVERYONE LOOKS LIKE. THIS IS JUST LIKE USING AN OVERHEAD PROJECTOR THAT EVERYONE SEES ON A MONITOR THAT IS 17 INCHES FROM THEIR FACE.”

    One of the programs that I work with at the college just put in a new computer lab and set up in a way to promote collaborative, constructivist learning. Great! Except that I walked by the lab the other day and one of the instructors had the same PowerPoint presentation up on each students’ screens instead of on the projection screen at the front of the room. It’s still a PowerPoint and you’re still reading it to them. The only thing that changed was how far away the slides were while lecture was being delivered.

  • http://www.wesfryer.com Wesley Fryer

    Heather: Yes, we see more examples of “accommodation level” or adaption level technology use than anything else. Accommodation level use is fine, but not where we want to STAY or have our teachers stay when it comes to using technology for learning. That is why I think ACOT research, LoTi, and other frameworks which encourage teachers to move beyond traditional, teacher-directed instruction with adoption level technology into project-based learning are essential.

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