Education software specialist NetSupport Canada has announced the immediate availability of NetSupport School version 11 – the latest evolution of its market-leading classroom management solution. Version 11 adds to the product’s unrivalled range of PC monitoring, instant assessment and collaboration tools with over 200 new and updated features – all wrapped in a totally refreshed interface that ensures teachers have instant access to all key features.
Highlights in version 11 include a new and unique student and peer assessment module, a wealth of new features for technicians, a new tablet version for teachers, added platform support for Windows 8 and Google Chrome OS and improved file transfer and video performance.
Built around current teaching practices for the continual assessment of learning, the new Question and Answer module is an exciting addition to NetSupport School’s range of assessment and collaboration tools. With existing features such as the custom Test Designer and instant Student Surveys already giving teachers the ability to electronically assess student attainment, the new module is further proof that NetSupport has taken note of current classroom challenges.
The module allows teachers to verbally ask questions to the whole class, gauge student answers and understanding, introduce new questioning styles to the lesson (such as basketball questioning) and develop peer assessment opportunities, as well as track rewards against both the individual and, where appropriate, teams.
Schools are increasingly embracing new PC technologies and in recent years NetSupport has introduced support for environments including thin/zero client computing, terminal server, virtual desktops and shared resource computing.
The Google Chromebook is the latest cost-effective, easy-to-manage computing solution set to put technology into the hands of more students and, from version 11, NetSupport School provides support for the Chrome OS.
NetSupport also hasn’t ignored the impact that hand-held technology is currently having in the modern learning environment.
When paired with an existing NetSupport School Windows desktop Tutor, NetSupport’s new Tutor Assistant app (compatible with both Apple iOS and Android tablets as well as, uniquely, iOS and Android smartphones and available as a free download from the Apple iTunes store and Google Play) increases a teacher’s mobility around the classroom, enabling them to retain key control and monitoring of all student workstations. It also allows teaching assistants to better support the role of the teacher in monitoring student progress.
School technicians and network managers can look forward to a major refresh of NetSupport School’s Tech Console – delivering a number of additional system and policy management tools including the ability to apply a new set of school-wide internet, application, printer and USB restrictions that are operational 24 hours a day, a new security monitoring feature highlighting any computers that have potential vulnerabilities based on pre-defined criteria, as well as additional technician tools such as remote registry editing, a remote command prompt and extended inventory capabilities.
The already-unique Digital Student Journal option has been further enhanced to aid in lesson recording and improve the provision of content for students outside of the classroom. Teachers and students can now continue adding content to an existing ‘master’ journal in subsequent lessons. Teachers can add chapters to the journal, create bookmarks and even synchronise missing content in their journal with a student who has missed a lesson.
The Record and Replay feature is another area of existing functionality to undergo a makeover. The feature provides the perfect tool for building a library of recorded demonstrations, either captured in class or pre-recorded for future lesson use. Version 11 introduces a Video Editor; allowing Replay Files to be trimmed and edited before being exported to common video formats.
The unique Student Toolbar in NetSupport School has also been enhanced, providing instant access to lesson objectives and expected outcomes, additional options for silently requesting assistance from a Teacher or Assistant, quick access to USB resources as well as progress tracking of any electronically delivered coursework.
And if you’re looking for a solution that optimises the delivery of files between machines, you’ll definitely be pleased with the performance improvements that have been introduced into version 11. File and video transfer performance is now 10x faster and uses up to 50% less network bandwidth than any comparable solution available.
Commenting on the new version, NetSupport’s Managing Director, Al Kingsley, said: “The IT landscape of the modern school continues to change and classroom management software vendors need to ensure their solutions remain relevant. New computing platforms not only provide inspiring learning environments for students but, more than ever, teachers have the opportunity to enhance teaching practices through the use of technology.
“NetSupport School 11 is an exciting step forward on the road to ensuring our solution continues to meet current challenges. The product has undergone a complete visual refresh, many existing features have been enhanced and the new and unique added functionality is sure to appeal to the education community.
“The Question and Answer module adds to our set of collaborative tools and further aids a teacher’s ability to instantly assess student understanding. And with mobile technology high on the agenda, our Tutor Assistant app for tablets and mobile phones is set to transform the way teachers interact with students within the ICT suite.
“We’ve also been quick to acknowledge the impact Google Chrome is likely to have across education along with the pending release of Windows 8 and this, combined with the product’s extensive feature set, ensures NetSupport School 11 is definitely fit for purpose in the 21st century classroom.”
While NetSupport School continues to raise the bar for Windows-based classroom management, NetSupport has also recognised the emergence of the multi-platform classroom. NetSupport Assist, launched in Spring 2011 and recently named Network Computing Magazine’s 2012 New Product of the Year, delivers a focused set of classroom management tools for Mac® and Linux environments. The addition of Assist to the company’s education portfolio saw NetSupport become the first classroom management software vendor to offer compatible solutions across Windows, Mac® and Linux environments, providing complete flexibility for mixed platform classrooms.
A free 40-PC trial copy is available for download from NetSupport School.