Parents’ Guide to LanSchool
The unexpected and rapid shift to home-based learning means parents must familiarize themselves with the technology schools use to help their students be successful. As a result, many parents are asking for more details on how LanSchool works and the role it plays in supporting student learning.
In this post, we have answered the most frequently asked questions we receive from parents, starting with the most basic question — what is it?
What is LanSchool?
For over 30 years, LanSchool has been a leading classroom management software that helps teachers work with students as they learn online. With LanSchool, teachers can help guide digital learning by monitoring students’ screens, managing which sites students visit, and pushing websites to student devices to get everyone on the same page. As digital devices have taken on a larger role in teaching, LanSchool has evolved to also offer screen broadcasting, teacher/student messaging, and other communication and collaboration features that are helpful for online learning.
Backed by Lenovo, LanSchool helps guide learning, increase collaboration, and maximize teaching time. We’ve also partnered with best-in-class security software providers to keep students safer while working online.
What does cloud hosted mean?
There are two versions of LanSchool: cloud-based LanSchool Air and locally hosted LanSchool Classic. Cloud-hosted software like LanSchool Air is delivered to teachers and students online. It can be used anywhere internet service is available. By contrast, locally hosted software must be run from private, on-campus servers and can only be accessed and used on school grounds.
There are many reasons schools choose to use cloud-based software, including its usability for distance learning, the ease of getting started, automatic feature updates, and more. Alternatively, some schools choose to use locally hosted software if they have the resources to do so because it gives their IT team more control over how the software is hosted.
What does LanSchool do?
LanSchool enables teachers and students to stay connected and to collaborate, whether students are learning in the classroom or remotely.
Teachers can use LanSchool Air in conjunction with conferencing tools like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams to conduct synchronous (real-time) learning sessions, which many educators believe is an important part of ensuring comprehension and maintaining student engagement while learning remotely.
LanSchool Air also provides features for monitoring and protection, communication and screen sharing, and device management, including:
- Web Limiting – Enables teachers and IT teams to set filtering rules to prevent students from accessing inappropriate or distracting content.
- Screen Monitoring – Gives teachers a thumbnail or full screen view of students’ screens as they work, enabling them to see who needs refocusing or more direction.
- Show Teacher – Allows teachers to broadcast their screens to students’ devices for demonstrating new concepts or walking through a new site or software.
- Messaging – Enables teachers to message directly with students or the entire class.
- Push Website – Helps students get on the same page by enabling teachers to push a website on everyone’s computers.
- Snapshot – Allows teachers to capture an image of students’ screens to easily highlight student work.
- And others
Is my student’s data secure?
Yes, LanSchool takes student privacy very seriously. Many schools choose to set clearly defined school hours during which teachers and students may use the software to ensure educators do not use the screen monitoring features or other collaboration tools outside of class time. The team at LanSchool does not view or otherwise use any student information.
How does LanSchool maintain parent/home privacy?
In most cases, schools will install the LanSchool software only on devices and user accounts that are managed by the school. This means that teachers can only monitor student activity on those devices and only during an active class session.
Can teachers access my student’s camera?
No, the software doesn’t have that capability. None of the features utilize a student’s camera, and LanSchool has no way of accessing it.
LanSchool simply enables teachers to view student screens, including all the open tabs and apps on the device during class. If your teacher is using LanSchool, they may also be able to view the student’s web history, so keep that in mind.
What happens to blocked websites at the end of the school day?
With LanSchool, teachers can limit which websites students are able to access during class. Teachers can enable or disable these restrictions at any time, but only during an active class session. After class has ended, the restrictions are automatically lifted.
Keep in mind that many schools have other platforms enabled to filter internet content on student devices. These are separate from the controls a teacher has within LanSchool and are managed at the school administrator level.
What about bring-your-own device situations? If students are not supplied with a school device, how might LanSchool be installed on their personal machine?
If your school asks you to install LanSchool on your student’s personal device, make sure to ask them what procedures they’ve put in place to ensure appropriate usage, such as requiring students to approve screen monitoring and defining in-school hours.
If your student is using a Chromebook, LanSchool will only be available when logging into the device with a school-managed email address.
For other device types, your school will provide you with instructions on how to install the software with the correct configuration needed to connect to your student’s teachers.
How does LanSchool help keep students safe online?
We are proud to partner with DNSFilter to provide schools with affordable threat protection and content filtering solutions. We’ve also partnered with Bark for Schools to help keep students safe online. LanSchool’s existing web protections are complemented by Bark for Schools’ monitoring technology, which alerts administrators to potential issues like depression, cyberbullying, self-harm, and threats of violence on school accounts.
Are there internet safety options for parents?
The Bark for Schools Parent Portal allows schools to share after-hours alerts with parents and guardians for free. These are times when administration may not be available to respond quickly. As a parent, you can also upgrade to the Bark for Families product to receive safety alerts from social media, text messages, and more to help protect children on their personal accounts.
LanSchool helps teachers inspire better student outcomes
We’re honored to play a role in supporting your students’ education, and we are committed to protecting student privacy and facilitating bigger outcomes for every student. If you have any questions about LanSchool, we hope you won’t hesitate to reach out to your school district for guidance and information on their use policies.
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