Today’s Lesson : Classroom Computer Management 101

As desktops, laptops, tablets and smart boards continue to have an increasingly prominent presence in classrooms, the role of IT administrator is suddenly thrust upon educators at the primary and secondary school levels.

In addition to worrying about malware intrusions that would disrupt courses and the possibility of students downloading games and other web content that is unrelated to the curriculum, educators will also be in the position of trying to determine what programs the students are using most. This latter bit of knowledge is often critical for budget reallocation in the future.

That said, computers don’t appear to be on their way out of the classroom since they’ve become such an important part of how we learn – the democratization of information is a beautiful thing. For teachers, it’s just a matter of being able to properly govern the applications and endpoints being used in their classroom. That’s why today’s post is about classroom management software.

Lesson 1 : The Basics of Application Control

One of the most effective classroom management software features is application control. The ability to restrict applications from running on classroom computers helps keep students on task while they’re logged into these endpoints. Likewise, teachers need to have the ability to restrict certain websites for obvious reasons, while whitelisting others that are essential to student learning.

Most importantly, this should be intuitive enough that:

  1. It won’t take time, effort or tedium for teachers to get the desired outcome.
  2. No intervention from IT staff will be necessary.

With the right application whitelisting tools, educators will have everything they need to eliminate classroom distractions.

Faronics Insight helps teachers set restrictions on student endpoints.

Lesson 2 : Endpoint Insight On Command

Of course, students can still fool around on endpoints without access to certain applications and websites, which is part of the reason why insights on command are so important. Educators can actually view a single student’s screen, or all students’ screens if necessary, to see what they’re doing.

Classroom management solutions like Faronics Insight allow teachers to take certain actions, including the following:

  1. Automatically open certain applications on student endpoints.
  2. Create digital quizzes, tests or questionnaires for students.
  3. Send instant messages to students.

The result is a digital classroom environment in which educators are always informed, and empowered.

Lesson 3 : IT Troubleshooting With the Push of a Button

The one thing that we haven’t addressed yet is IT troubleshooting. In the event that a student deletes a shortcut, changes configurations or accidentally downloads malware, teachers would ideally like to have the ability to not disrupt the lesson, or have to call in an IT administrator, who might be tied up with other users’ issues as well.

Solutions like Faronics Deep Freeze basically enable users to restore their lab PCs to a pristine state, with a simple restart, in the event of any disruption/downtime due to mundane system related issues. Such solutions can be really useful in situations, where IT teams get overburdened with IT support tickets across multiple systems. In other words, students and teachers alike can pro-actively deal with system unavailability in such situations, rather than being completely dependent on IT admins.

Suzannah Hastings

Suzannah is interested in all things digital, from software security to the latest technological advances. She writes about ways in which the increasingly internet-driven landscape changes our lives, and what we can expect in the future.