Nothin' 2 Prove

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LanSchool

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    In our homeschool we use our computers to do various things such as view online videos/media for our history studies,  type essays or assignments, and  of course, “google” something.  While we have used computer-based curriculum before, we are currently not using any computer based courses. We do, however, use the computer to supplement many of our studies.  My ultimate goal is for each child to have a laptop they can type their assignments,  and organize their work on.

   This summer we aquired a new computer when our older desktop was in the computer-hospital (we actually weren’t sure it was fixable!).  We actually had several pieces and parts of computers in storage (in all we had three complete ones) and had hopes of setting up three computer stations in our new home, but most were ruined by mold along with our other belongings.  So when we finally got two stations set up I was excited to have opportunity for at least two of us to be working at once. I had set up Wifi in our home already so I could access the internet with my Itouch,  which made it was easy to network the two computers.

   In light of our computer history, when LanSchool came along and I began to read and understand the possibilites for our homeschool.  I could definitely see some great possiblities for later on when the girls have laptops to use for their individual projects.  Unfortunately, our main computer got sick again shortly after I loaded the software onto it to use as the main computer, so I was only able to actually check out a few of its uses. Once our main computer goes to the hospital again, and if we are able to recover it again, then I do plan on continuing to check out all features of Lanschool.

     So let me tell you about what this cool software has to offer for your homeschool. The home version we received allows monitoring of three computers.

The software is downloaded onto a “main” computer which the parent will monitor the others from.  It is also loaded onto the computers to be monitored.  Only the main computer has the capability of controlling the others, so the students aren’t capable of controlling or using the software on their own computers.  Once loaded onto the computers, the main computer can view 3 thumbnails of computers at a time. This software has:

*web limiting ability

*application limiting ability

*Keystroke monitoring (which can be a controverisal subject I realize, but the capability is there for use if desired)

*Blank screens- the teacher can choose to blank the screen out on a student computer if the student’s attention has wondered to other things such as Facebook or a gaming!

*remote control of one or all connected computers so the teacher can help a student out without moving the student over and taking over their keyboard.

*send a message to one or all computers

*question/chat- students or teacher can initiate a chat session

*shutdown, log off, and restart family computers

*anti-tampering controls

*show screen- co browse the internet or show the same screen on all computers – useful for watching the same video on all computers, and viewing the same information!

While these are not all the things this software can do, it should give you a pretty good idea of the many ways it can be used.

To view the complete list of features along with technical specs, there is a great brochure on the website.

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My thoughts on this software:

I can definitely see in a household where children are working on individual computers in different rooms  where this would be useful. However, our computers are in one room, and we only have three children to view a screen- most of the time only the two oldest and myself are working together on the computer. It’s not a problem for us all to be huddled together around the computer, and I see that as a good use for my big lap. 🙂  I can always see what they are doing if they are on one computer and I’m on the other because the computers are in the same room. This made the text/chat feature not real useful for us either because we just talk together.  For my family,even if my children were in seperate rooms with their own laptops doing individual assignments, they are expected to meet many of their deadlines on their own, so taking a break to check out Facebook is their choice as long as they get their work done.  If they were slacking or dragging out a deadline, however, this software would definitely be a help to determine what the distraction might be and how much time they are really spending on schoolwork/assignments vs. other things. 

If you use multiple computers in your homeschool, then this could definitely be for you.

The product is a perpetual license and costs $99 dollars, including 3 years of updates and support.  They have another option for those homes that need up to 10 computers.  It costs $299 and includes the same feature set.  Check it out!

Check out what my Crew mates thought over at the Crew blog as well.

Chris

HSCrew468x60Animated.gif picture by homeschoolcrew

I received this downloadable product free as a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and opinions expressed here are my own.

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