This review reflects the observations and experiences of independent teacher volunteers, and is provided as a service to Education World readers. The review in no way constitutes an endorsement of the product or its manufacturer by those teachers or by Education World.
NetOp School, a software application from CrossTec Corporation, allows teachers and teacher trainers to monitor, share, and control the PCs of an entire classroom or an individual student. Recently, Education World reviewers checked out NetOp School in actual classroom situations, rated the software on a scale of 1-4, and shared their thoughts about the program's strengths and weaknesses. This is what they had to say! Included: Comments about how the software functioned in actual classroom situations.
NetOp School by CrossTec Corporation, enables a teacher or teacher trainer to display his or her computer screen -- or another demo screen -- on all student computers; highlight screen contents for demonstration purposes; monitor, share, or control students' computer screens; create monitored chat rooms; send coursework and files to all student PCs at once or use remote control to provide one-on-one instruction to an individual student; allow individual students to control a demo screen; freeze, shut down, or restart all student PCs; and more. The program also can be used by administrators or teacher-trainers to conduct professional development workshops and in-service classes.
Recently, Education World asked our reviewers, all teachers or educational technology specialists, to check out NetOp School in actual classroom situations. Reviewers were asked to use NetOp School with their students for a period of at least one month, note specific strengths, weaknesses, and/or quirks of the program, record personal observations -- both positive and negative -- and rate various qualities of the software on a scale of 1-4.
The results are in -- and this is what our reviewers had to say!
Click here to see educators' reviews of other products including Kidspiration, Timeliner, Graph Master, Adobe Photoshop, NetSupport School, more!
"We used the software with a variety of applications, such as Office and Internet Explorer. The most common use was by teachers leading classes using PowerPoint demonstrations. Teachers were able to demonstrate steps or procedures by displaying their screens on all students' screens. Students could easily see what was happening without having to break their necks to view the projector screen that is typically used."
"The teachers favorite part of using this program was being able to lock the students' machines when they needed students to stop working and listen to instructions."
"Teachers liked being able to monitor each student's screen to watch for problems. If a student's screen didnt change over time, the teacher knew that the youngster either was stuck or goofing off."
"I have been assigned to teach in two different schools in a variety of labs. It is difficult to set up a lab so that the teacher is available to all students all the time. I always have a few students who manage to locate themselves in the areas that are hardest to supervise. This software has allowed me to be nearer those students who need more direct supervision."
"One of the purposes of this software is to give a demonstration to the class or even a part of the class. The software that I used was limited to ten stations, which made it impractical to use for that purpose. I would caution the buyer to get enough licenses to demonstrate it to every student at the same time. Also, our lab is not equipped with sound, which would make the demonstration difficult to understand because so much is given verbally."
"This program is very similar to Net Support School. Given the choice, I would go with Net Support School over this one. The price is more reasonable and the interface is more intuitive. Of course, part of that preference could be caused by the fact that I used Net Support School before using this one. Ive also been contacted three times by people from Net Support School with offers of assistance and specific price quotes for my schools."
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"Interference with normal computer roll call and running the grade book program has been one of the major drawbacks of the software. It took some time to find out that it was causing a conflict with the student information system (SIS) that we run in our school district. Sometimes the whole computer system would lock up and it would take several reboots to get into the SIS. Both seem to work fine as long as the other was not open. I have access to another program that uses a browser to check the screens of individual computers. That program is not anywhere near as sophisticated as NetOP School, but it does not conflict with our SIS program the way NetOp School does. It was easier to set up and was adequate for checking up on individual students."
"I mentioned the conflicts that we have with our Student Information System, but in all fairness, I am not too impressed with our SIS. It has taken several years to get the bugs out of it. I understand that it was written in Visual FoxPro, which does not give a real clean program."
"One of the reasons I was excited to see this software is that the lab in which I teach is configured in such a way that it's impossible to see all the computers at one time. That gives some students the notion they can goof around and not be productive. When the students found out I was watching them, they performed much better."
"This fall we remodeled our lab to take out some visual obstructions. That made it possible to supervise the students much more closely and reduced the need to "spy" on students. This has been a more cost effective measure than the use of software."
"The ability to lock or freeze all student computers is a great feature! Often in a lab setting, students continue working or playing when the teacher tries to give further instructions. When the computers are locked, kids have to pay attention."
"One of the features I wanted from this program was to load the software automatically every time a student logged onto the computer. This feature was available, but it was difficult to find and implement. When I contacted technical support, I was assured it was possible and I was given enough information so that I could find it in the reference manual. It still took fair amount of trial and error, however, to get the setting correct."
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