Source
Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Hands-On Favorites: Monitoring Software

In today’s one-to-one laptop computing environment, you need a way to control the flow of information on all of those students’ screens.

September/October 2008

Angel Learning Management Suite

• The problem: “We work with 28 school districts in Orange County, and we saw a definite opportunity to help support the district’s online learning initiative. We needed to find the best way to support district implementation.”
• The results: “Previous initiatives hadn’t gone very well, because they weren’t user-friendly. With Angel we got the support we needed.”
• The reaction: “The great thing is how widespread it’s become, and how quickly it’s taken off. We have teachers who chose to start really small, who just wanted to post some of their lectures. But when they saw how easy it was to navigate, their use quickly expanded. When we started this we had roughly 10 teachers and 150 students committed to it, and now, within two years, we have 16,000 users. It’s in all classrooms from second grade to high school now. We use it with every subject from the youngest kids learning social studies to high school students learning AP calculus. We have quite a few districts who are using it for professional development for educators as well as clerical and administrative support staff. If there’s an issue, however big or small, we pick up the phone or e-mail Angel, and the problem is solved within a matter of minutes. That’s how it’s been the entire time we’ve been working with them, and that differentiates their product more than anything else.”
• Next challenge? “Districts are looking at this as a district-wide solution to deliver curriculum, both online and in face-to-face courses.”


NetSupport School

• The problem: “We were looking for monitoring software. In a classroom or in public places such as a media center, we wanted to make sure we could monitor students and block certain websites.”
• The results: “Teachers can set up their daily plans, allowing students to visit certain websites during the day. Some teachers block certain students who want to surf the Web; that way, teachers can focus more attention on the curriculum and less on disciplining students. Some of our teachers use it to chat with students during language classes. Some use it for video or student presentations to the class without projectors.”
• The reaction: “The students were initially shocked: ‘Who’s watching me?’ In one of our schools, the students started telling each other, ‘You’d better go to the places you’re supposed to be going [online], because people are watching.’ It decreased our number of discipline problems, because even though it wasn’t being used all the time, it made the students wonder. But it’s not there to spy on students. Mainly, it’s there to help our teachers keep their students on task. The basic monitoring is very easy; it’s not much of a learning curve at all. But NetSupport is powerful, and for some parts we have some district professional development.”
• Next challenge? “It’s on a school-by-school basis for now. Due to the size of our district, it’s difficult for us to purchase it for the entire district. We started with three or four schools, and now many use it. I personally think that this is the way schools will go in the future.”

More ways to round up your out-of-control digital herd.

CrossTec SchoolVue

• The problem: “We’re a vocational institute, and we’re very invested in technology. Not all of our classrooms are computer labs, but more than half of them are. Our students are poor and minorities, and we have an ELL student population as well. Most of our students haven’t done well in traditional academic environments, so we looked at alternative learning tools. ”
• The results: “SchoolVue allows instructors to communicate with the students in a more individualized and personalized way, which is important for students who have self-esteem issues.”
• The reaction: “The software wasn’t difficult to install, and we haven’t had a single technical problem. When we instituted it, the instructors were very positive about it. After a little training, they found it fairly easy to learn and use. But some students grumbled because their instructors could monitor what they were doing on the Internet, including their activity on social networking sites such as MySpace. Our new students who started the following quarter accepted SchoolVue much more quickly. They found it normal—just something we do.
• Next challenge? “One of the things we’ve thought about and discussed with CrossTec is that we see this as becoming a vehicle to help our handicapped and special needs students. We’d also like to use it with single moms who stay home when they can’t get daycare. Maybe there could be a feature that would allow us to use the CrossTec system remotely, in the same vein as distance learning. But in order to do that, we’d need a live video feature.”


SynchronEyes

• The problem: “With 38 lab stations in my classroom, I was spending way too much time each day making sure students were staying on task. I needed every student to see and hear the same thing. It also took too much time to gather all the students’ files. To collect 38 documents, pictures, or spreadsheets, I had to stop class early and run around the room with a thumb drive and stick it into every computer.”
• The results: “With our new SynchronEyes, students just press a few buttons and their files get sent straight to my station. Collection time takes approximately 10 to 15 seconds, so it lets me give students more time to work on their projects. The SynchronEyes software lets me allow or disallow individual or group access to the Internet. I can do the same with specific programs. I can say, ‘You can work on anything you want today, but no games,’ or you can say, ‘You can only work on Microsoft Excel,’ and I can manage this with just a click of a button. Another great feature is the private chat room for the classroom. Feedback is enthusiastic and instantaneous.”
• The reaction: “We’re a relatively new school, and I’m fortunate to have one of the most beautiful and modern labs in the district. Many teachers come in to observe. They always leave saying, “That was so cool!”
• Next challenge? Because we do so much professional development and so many teachers in San Marcos School District get to see how SynchonEyes works, they all want it. So we want to get it to all of them as quickly as possible.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    The Complete 4 for Literacy

    The Complete 4 for Literacy

    by Pam Allyn


    View Sample Pages



    This book provides an organizational framework, detailed models, lessons and practical support for mapping and building grade-specific curriculum across the school year through four major types of units of study—strategy, process, genre, and conventions—that integrate reading and writing. Allyn equips teachers to identify the big ideas and deep understandings they want to develop in children and shows how to use them framing a year, a unit and a lesson in the teaching of reading and writing. 208 pages.

    Click here to learn more about Scholastic Professional


    You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader® software, version 4.0 or higher, to view and print the sample page above. Get Adobe Reader® for FREE.

    $18.74 You save: 25%
    Professional Book | Grades K-5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    The Complete 4 for Literacy
    Grades K-5 $18.74
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    The Complete Year in Reading and Writing: Kindergarten

    The Complete Year in Reading and Writing: Kindergarten

    by Pam Allyn


    View Sample Pages



    Provides a detailed curricular calendar that's tied to a developmental continuum and the standards so you'll know not only what you should be teaching, but what your students are ready to embrace and what you can reasonably expect of them as successful readers and writers. Additionally, you'll find monthly units of study that integrate reading and writing so both work together to provide maximum support for your students. The units are organized around four essential components, process, genre, strategy, and conventions, so you're reassured you're addressing everything your students need to know about reading and writing. What's more you'll find ready-to-use lessons that offer exemplary teaching and continuous assessment, and a flexible framework that shows you how to frame a year of teaching, a unit, and a lesson—and you can easily adapt all to fit the unique needs and interests of your own students. 240 pages DVD (17 minutes) & fold-out color year-long planner .

    Click here to learn more about Scholastic Professional


    You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader® software, version 4.0 or higher, to view and print the sample page above. Get Adobe Reader® for FREE.

    $19.49 You save: 25%
    Professional Book | Grade K
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    The Complete Year in Reading and Writing: Kindergarten
    Grade K $19.49
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR NAME

* YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

* RECIPIENT'S EMAIL ADDRESS(ES)

(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.

INCLUDE A PERSONAL MESSAGE (Optional)


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.