Apr 19 2021

Lenovo LanSchool Air Solves Classroom Management Challenges for Teachers

Easily handle the ups and downs of a variety of technical environments with this classroom management software.

As a veteran teacher with more than 20 years under my belt, I believe classroom management is among the greatest challenges a teacher can face. Add in managing in-person and remote students, and this could be a recipe for stress. Back in 2017, Lenovo helped solve that challenge with LanSchool, its powerful classroom management software. Today, the software continues to be an effective tool for managing the hybrid and in-person learning environments.

In 2017, when I was managing 40 computers across six periods of middle school technology electives, the software immediately proved its worth for in-person teaching. While most students were usually on task, a few would be drawn away by the magnetic pull of YouTube videos and online video games. I tested and reviewed the software and found it tremendously helpful because it allowed me to monitor my students’ screens and redirect my students as needed.

In 2018, Lenovo launched LanSchool Air, a cloud-based version of this platform. Like LanSchool Classic (formerly LanSchool), LanSchool Air allows teachers to guide learning, promote collaboration and maximize teaching — with one key difference: LanSchool Air lets teachers connect with students using devices both in the classroom and remotely.

Well-Suited for the Hybrid Learning Environment

While no one could have predicted the events of 2020, a year when so many state and local leaders would order their schools closed in response to a global pandemic, LanSchool Air was already a mature product, easily able to handle the challenges of a variety of technical environments.

Coby Gurr, general manager of Lenovo Software, recently shared with me some of LanSchool’s most significant updates since my 2017 review, focusing mainly on LanSchool Air.

With LanSchool, teachers can choose whether to view all student screens or individual ones. Being able to see a student’s screen and direct his or her learning is important in the classroom, but even more so when students are learning remotely.

Gurr says this feature is critical because it gives teachers a better picture of how students are engaging with the lesson. “Gone are the days of needing to walk around and stand behind the screen to see what the students are doing,” he says.

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Creating the Best Learning Environment

Gurr recalls a conversation he had with a sixth-grade teacher who was teaching writing. She attributed her success to LanSchool Air: Because she could view her students’ screens, she noticed that some students were having challenges. In response, she made adjustments without having to interrupt the class flow. Being able to reach out to a student and say, “Hey, let me help you with this” or “Let me separate you into a breakout group later on Microsoft Teams for that” has been a big factor in her school’s success, Gurr says.

While this function is available for all computers on a teacher’s network through LanSchool Classic, LanSchool Air allows teachers to view all computers anywhere they are connected to the internet.

One important responsibility of a teacher is to create the best learning environment possible. This is a tall order when teaching in person, and it’s even more challenging in a hybrid learning environment. With this in mind, the Web Limiting feature allows teachers to limit online access to approved websites and disable internet access during tests and quizzes. Imagine being able to instantly launch the same website on every device to ensure students are on task.

LanSchool Air’s screen sharing feature enables teachers to help students focus on relevant information by letting them share their screens across all student devices. This is great for capturing attention and streamlining lesson delivery.

LanSchool Air Specs

 

Easy for IT to Set Up and for Teachers to Use

The Blank Screen feature is also available on LanSchool Air. Like a kill switch in a motor, this feature lets educators shift classroom attention by turning student screens blank and locking their devices.

Similar to the locally hosted LanSchool Classic, teachers using LanSchool Air can easily add new students to their classrooms by sharing a unique link with them to download the app. Once installed on a student’s Windows, Mac or Chromebook device, he or she is immediately connected to the teacher.

All students need is an internet connection to use LanSchool Air, making digital learning seamless even when students are learning from home. School districts can easily deploy the app to all school-owned devices so students are ready to go immediately.

With LanSchool Air, IT professionals can configure settings such as active hours to ensure teachers can monitor students only during approved, in-school hours.

LanSchool Classic continues to be my No. 1 classroom management tool for in-person instruction. As teachers and students head back to the classroom, it is reassuring to know that if we ever return to a remote learning model, LanSchool Air is there to offer support in that learning environment as well.

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