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iTalc: Free Computer Control

  Italc-1.0.6_1a

Charles Reviewer: Charles Profitt

Position: Systems Administrator

District: Pittsford Central Schools, NY

Students: 6,000

Product: iTalc

Goals:

The district has used Geneva Logic Vision, which is now Netop Vision to control a few labs in the district. There were several requests to install the software in additional labs, but the license was for a single lab in two different buildings. To meet demand, I suggested using iTalc, which I had learned about through Ubuntu and Edubuntu.

Response:

The teachers in libraries and classrooms with the software deployed were impressed with the ease of use. The iTalc software met all their needs for classroom computer control. The fact that the software is
no-cost is an added bonus.

Learning Curve:

The learning curve was very short. Most teachers were able to use iTalc effectively with a short five minute introduction. The only issue comes with the occassional need to add computers to the teacher control station, and this is just because it is an infrequent task.

How We Use It:

The software is used in both wired and wireless multi-computer situations. Teachers have the ability to monitor and control the computers in their classroom or labs.

iTalc allows us to do the following:

1. Demonstrate directly on student computers.

2. Chat directly with a student to assist them with a difficult problem.

3. Take remote control of the student’s computer to provide more guidance with classwork.

4. Ensure that students are focused, which can include remotely locking their screens, or shutting down all computers.

One feature that impressed us about iTalc is the ability to have students connect from home using a VPN and the iTalc client.

What's Ahead:

The iTalc project will be releasing a new version with full support for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and 64bit support. This will be ready just in time for our transition to Windows 7.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Best in Tech Today are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.