Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LanSchool – The Ultimate Homeschool Tool!


Of all the reviews I have written for the crew so far, this has definitely been my absolute favorite! LanSchool is so much more than just a classroom management program, there are so many awesome things you can do with this software:

  • see the screens of ALL your student’s computers and track their activity
  • take over control of student computers with the “remote control” feature
  • administer tests and quizzes from the comfort of your own pc or laptop
  • share your screen with your students
  • chat with your students and send them messages
  • lock down the students computer by restricting their controls, audio, internet, or even log the student out of the system or power the computer down
  • track student keystrokes
  • receive alerts when the student types something from the “banned words” list
  • and much, MUCH more!

Ok, so how exactly does this software work? LanSchool uses your home network to tie all the computers using that network together. You can choose one computer as the teacher computer and set the others up as student computers. The software is super easy to install and has you up and running in just a few minutes.

When I first received this program for review, I didn’t tell my kids I had installed it on the laptop they use. As soon as the first one logged in to get online, I took over the controls (all while they were unaware of what was going on) and they thought something was going really wrong with the laptop. Hehe, I know, I’m such a mean momma :) We all got a good laugh out of it and it was a fun way to introduce the program to them and show them everything it could do.

Since installing the program and learning to use it, I have used it just about every day. My youngest uses the computer to do several learning programs online, so LanSchool makes it super easy for me to log him into his next assignment from my own laptop while I am sitting on the couch helping another child. It makes for a lot less up and down for me, which is a big plus when you are homeschooling 3 kids and chasing around a 2 year old! The one feature I keep forgetting about is the quizzing feature, but I do plan on utilizing that as soon as possible.

The one thing I was hesitant about regarding this software was the bandwith it would use up on our wireless home network while running. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find out that I really don’t notice a difference at all in how quickly the computers connect to the internet and download files. All this with having the lowest speed cable internet our isp offers.

I just can’t think of anything I don’t like about this software. I never even knew anything like this was available at a decent price to home users and I am so glad I’m “in-the-know” about it now. Now that I have shared with you how much I LOVE this program, let me share some necessary details with you!

A subscription to Lanschool for home use costs $99. This price includes a perpetual license, and 3 years of updates and support.  There is also an option for homes that need up to 10 computers.  It costs $299 and includes the same features as the base priced program. You can learn a lot more about the software by visiting their website here. They also offer a guided tour of the software from this link. And if you are really interested and want to take it a step further, you can get a free trial of the program here.

image DISCLAIMER: This item was provided free for review purposes through the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner above to read more reviews on this and other products by other Crew members.

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