I don’t need to tell you how difficult it is to keep an eye on classroom computer use with all the distractions available to students. Going on the wrong internet site is not only detrimental for the child doing it but to other kids not developmentally or emotionally prepared for what they might see. Parents expect us as teachers to prevent those types of mistakes, to keep an eye on their children’s activities during the time we have them.
Every year (sometimes it feels like every month), it gets more challenging. It used to be as simple as checking the history file. Now everyone from second grade up knows how to clear that location. And, kids are smarter about hiding sites they shouldn’t be with Ctrl+Tab or any number of other tricks that make it easy to toggle from the unacceptable to acceptable with the flick of a few keys.
The answer is classroom management software that enables teachers to monitor computers from the teacher’s desktop. My school just started using one called My Vision Basic put out by the good people at Netop. I’m very excited to try it out and early results show it does allow me to monitor my lab computers (it’s always nice when software does what it’s advertised to).
As luck would have it, Netop contacted me to let me know that grants are available for schools interested in trying out their software so I wanted to pass it on to my readers:
Grant Program Designed to Help Schools Fund Classroom Management Software
Netop Increases Funding for Popular Grant Program by More Than 50 Percent
Recognizing that today’s schools are struggling more than ever to find and stretch precious funds for classroom technology, Netop’s Gifts and Grants for Education program is upping the ante for 2012. Funded by Netop, the world leader in classroom management software, this year’s GAP Grant program will provide an increase of more than 50 percent in funding for ensuring that schools and teachers have access to tools for teaching with technology.
The application period is now open for educators to apply for and receive grants ranging from $150 to $1,100 to support putting classroom management software into school labs and classrooms. More than 200 GAP Grants, totalling more than $100,000, were awarded last year.
“The response that we saw to our GAP Grant program in its first two years quickly made us realize how many schools are looking for support to provide educators with tools for teaching with technology,” said Kurt Bager, CEO, Netop. “Our significant increase in funding for the 2012 grant program illustrates our commitment to ensuring that teachers in all schools have access to the classroom management software necessary to leverage the power of technology to improve teaching and learning for students.”
Schools can use GAP Grants to defray the cost of purchasing or upgrading to Netop Vision™ Pro. A new powerful classroom management solution that combines ease of use with enhanced features for best-in-class performance, Vision Pro gives educators unsurpassed flexibility and control over student computer use, which ultimately results in improved student achievement. Developed to support the myriad multimedia resources used in instruction today, Vision Pro features new high-speed screen-sharing functionality that allows teachers to share videos and graphic-intensive applications quickly and efficiently. The high-speed screen-sharing functionality in Vision Pro allows for collaboration with applications such as AutoCAD, QuickTime and 3-D Studio Max, while not degrading computer performance.
Schools can also use the grant funds to support the purchase of Netop Vision, the world’s most popular classroom management software. Vision gives teachers complete control over classroom computers from an easy-to-use console that shows each student computer screen. Using Vision, they can monitor student progress, engage students with on-screen demonstrations, control web browsing and guide student learning.
For a grant application or more information, visit www.netop.com/NGAGE.
This isn’t intended as a review or a recommendation (not to take away from the program—I’m just not looking at it with that eye yet and I haven’t enough time on the program to make any judgments). But, if you’re in the market for new lab management software, this sounds like a good way to make it more affordable.
Anyone have experience with this software?
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.