Being a member of the TOS Crew has allowed us to learn about many great products that are available but that we just didn't know were there. This review is about one such product.

The product is LanSchool. It is a "Classroom Management Software" and is pretty interesting. I was excited when I finally realized just what it is.
This following is a description from LanSchool's website:

"Teachers today are faced with the challenge and opportunity of using technology to teach. Computers are amazing educational tools, but they can also be a huge distraction to learning. The Internet, instant messaging, email and games are a constant temptation for students.

LanSchool v7.5 removes these distractions so you can teach more effectively. No classroom management solution is simpler to install, easier to use or better suited for teaching in a 21st century classroom."
What LanSchool actually is: it is a method to monitor your students (or family) while they are on the internet. From the teacher's computer, messages can be sent to a student's computer, sites can be blocked, screens can be cleared (blank) with a message "eyes to the front" (or any other message you might want), history can be reviewed; there are so many things - you will be impressed!

Before you can utilize LanSchool, it is necessary to have at least 2 computers in your home that can be linked together. I simply have a desktop and a laptop. My desktop is connected to the internet via ethernet, and my laptop is connected via Wi-Fi. I wasn't sure that they would link, but they did without any problems. As soon as I downloaded & installed the software to each computer, I was able to use LanSchool.

The benefits of LanSchool are:
  • Clean & simple to use
  • Complete: no add-ons needed
  • It can be used on Macs or Windows (PC's)
  • Manage one or more students at a time
  • Get your students attentions by "blanking" the screen
  • Create a test for students with true/false or multiple choice answers
  • See the results of tests in real time
  • Send messages to students to be answered immediately or when the student chooses
  • Chat with your students
  • Mute the student's speakers
  • Limit websites
  • Set "wildcards" that will allow or block websites
  • Restrict sites by IP addresses
  • Allow or block applications
  • Monitor apps and keystrokes of the student's
  • Send and collect files between computers
  • Shutdown, power on, or restart student computer remotely
  • View browsing history (students cannot delete history)
  •  High quality security features
  • many more features
What we thought: I really liked this program/software. I believe it's so important to know what your children are looking at online, and this offers that plus so much more. It's designed, I believe, to work in your classroom, but I wouldn't see us really using it that way since most of our curriculum is paper based and not on the computer. But I do appreciate the ability to monitor and block internet use. My daughter says "I don't like it." She didn't like the fact that I could send her notes that interrupted her :P I did it all the more, for fun...
My son said "cool!!". He just thought it was fantastic that I could see what he was doing (he's 10). My husband...didn't really have an opinion. He's not on enough at the same time that I am.

Overall I think this has huge potential for families or schools that have a great deal of online or on the computer work. It's not high priced for home use at just $99 per home license. A license includes 3 years of technical support and 3 years of "major upgrade protection". You can review their pricing page here. You can also contact LanSchool for a quote at 877.370.5546 or email quotes@lanschool.com

For additional reviews on LanSchool, you can check out the TOS Crew's review page.

And remember: I received this product free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew with sole purpose to provide an honest review after using the product. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer
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05/27/2012 08:27

We use LanSchool at our school and it is great. The only problem is when students are watching videos, it seems to lag a lot which can be frustrating as we need to ensure the video they watch is apprpriate but is difficult when it lags.

We really enjoy using the keystroke history


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