Buying network management software for schools
Posted on 7 Nov 2011 at 14:59
Dave Smith explains how the latest generation of software can not only keep children concentrating on lessons, but actively improve learning
Have you ever been frustrated by the amount of time it takes a pupil to type in a web address, open an application, or found they’re browsing their favourite website when they should be concentrating on lessons?
If the answer is a resounding “yes” then you need to consider installing classroom management software, and there are a number of such tools on the market, offering teachers a range of features to allow for a faster pace of learning during lessons. So what should you look for?
Control comes in a number of forms. First of all, the ability to control internet use. The best tools allow high levels of flexibility, with the option to control access to a website right down to a specific page.
This leads to social networking, which has long been a hot topic in secondary schools and is now spreading to primaries: classroom management software allows you to block access to such websites, and the third-party clients that access them.
It’s also possible to control specific applications. Not just to block them, but perhaps to make Word available for a quick launch. This reduces the amount of time pupils have to spend locating applications and convert the time into more productive learning outcomes.
Eyes on every screen
Classroom management software also allows you to monitor all users from one place at a glance; for example, it allows teachers to see what pupils are doing if it’s displayed on the interactive whiteboard while the teacher moves around the class.
This is excellent for quickly picking up teaching points. It also allows pupils to see what their peers are doing in order to gather hints and tips to develop their own work.
If we’re going to develop pupils’ autonomy when using the internet and choosing the tools they need to undertake learning activities, then it’s also important to keep an eye on the websites they’re visiting.
Effective management tools allow the teacher see the history of the sites that pupils are visiting – down to the specific page.
Additionally, it’s possible to monitor keystrokes and see what words are being written; pupils will sometimes display an inappropriate message on their screen and then quickly delete it.
With some tools it’s even possible to monitor keywords and flag up alerts. At first glance these tools can seem rather “Big Brother”, but they have some excellent spin-off benefits in terms of their ability to help analyse the way in which pupils approach tasks.
For example, knowing which applications pupils choose and which websites they visit helps teachers gather a picture of pupils’ overall ICT capability – something that isn’t always apparent when reviewing the outcomes of a piece of work after a lesson.
For more details about purchasing this feature and/or images for editorial usage, please contact Jasmine Samra on email@example.com
- Ellison steps down: but who's really running Oracle now?
- Amazon releases high-end Kindle Voyage Touch
- Sony warns of massive loss on smartphones
- Dropbox app doesn't work properly with iOS 8
- Dark clouds for Adobe as profits slide by 46%
- Windows 9 Technical Preview launch date revealed
- New Windows 9 videos show off multi-desktops and notification centre
- Chromebook owners get access to Android apps
- SanDisk lets you pop half-terabyte card in your camera
- Windows 9 video shows new Start menu
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums