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SoftLINK Lab Technician Console Included

December 16th, 2013 by

A classroom management solution is not simply about providing the right tools for the instructor who teaches in a computer class.  Equally important are the tools needed to make sure all computers in the school can be remotely managed and maintained so they are always available for teaching.

 

Wouldn’t it be great to have one complete software package which provided both computer classroom management and a full-featured tech console?

 

It is great.  Applied Computer Systems, Inc. offers SoftLINK classroom management software which also includes a powerful tech console at no additional fee.  That’s right you heard correctly.  SoftLINK includes a tech console at no extra cost.

 

What a relief we hear from schools who are constantly seeing budgets shrink.  The information technology department is continually asked to accomplish more with less. Teachers expect their problem to be fixed promptly as they need their computers up and running now.  The tech support issues continue to rise as the support staff tries to keep up.

 

Why pay the annual maintenance costs to maintain several software packages when SoftLINK can provide all of the computer class instruction, monitoring and management tools needed, plus the tech console features in one powerful easy-to-use solution?

 

SoftLINK provides a dedicated technician console designed specifically for those who are responsible for the updating and managing the organizations computers.  Computer technicians will find great value with the ability to view all computers across the campus right from their monitor.  SoftLINK can remotely access the computers to power them on and off, remotely log-in and reboot the PCs, if needed.  The technology department can generate a full hardware and software inventory for each PC, remotely manage services and processes, and deliver files to selected computers in a single action.

 

SoftLINK includes all the features necessary to provide direct technical assistance to any computer user needing help.  Strengthen communication between tech support and teachers with online chats when needing immediate assistance.  The staff can broadcast a message to selected groups or all users in seconds.  Time is always of the essence and with the ability to distribute files and folders to designated PCs, launch a command prompt from the remote system on your PC, and edit the registry of a remote system are huge time savers.  Plus SoftLINK offers powerful resources that will allow the IT staff to apply a school-wide set of internet and application restrictions that are “always on”.

 

In addition, lab technicians can control a USB, CD/DVD or printer with SoftLINK. Schools can save resources by limiting the printer usage by number of pages printed per day, prevent students from printing randomly and require teacher’s authorization before a student may print.  Also, prevent data from being copied to or from a USB storage device or a DVD device.

 

SoftLINK is the ideal classroom management solution. Not only does it provide instructors with a means of being able to monitor and instruct their class, but it also includes the powerful support features for the network managers.

 

Save your school money and make them aware of SoftLINK’s capabilities.  If you are currently using multiple solutions to accomplish what SoftLINK has to offer, re-evaluate your current strategy and see how SoftLINK can save your school money.

Ease Your Teaching Burdens with SoftLINK Class Control Software

December 12th, 2013 by

As more and more computers are being integrated into the classroom, a teacher’s job is becoming increasingly difficult.  Not only do they have to deal with the distractions that already exist in the classroom, but now they have to keep the student’s focused and eliminate the distractions commonly associated with a computer class.

Is a teacher truly capable of maintaining control of a classroom while simultaneously knowing what is being accessed on the student’s computers?  Alone, probably not, but with a computer management software package, such as SoftLINK definitely!

SoftLINK helps ease the teacher’s burden by giving them access and control over their students’ computers.  If you want to make sure that the students are looking at you and not their monitors, simply use the attention button to blank their screens.  You can even lock their keyboards and mice, if needed.  By giving the teacher this unprecedented control, the teacher is now able to painlessly gain the students’ attention, keep the students on task, and interact effortlessly with the students.

In addition, a teacher can keep the students on task by setting up some policies regarding the applications they are allowed to run and the websites they are allowed to view.  Using the intuitive interface, a teacher can disable any number of applications in addition to limiting the students’ web access to predefined sites.

The interaction that SoftLINK allows between the teacher and student will also increase the students’ comprehension and retention rates.  To explain the increase in comprehension and retention, let us take a look a common scenario in a computer classroom.  The teacher is explaining how to use a program but a student does not understand a concept and is afraid to ask the teacher a question.  Using SoftLINK, the student is able to alert the teacher electronically when she has a question.  The question is displayed as a private message on the teacher’s computer, so that a student can ask questions without fear of criticism from their peers.  By selecting the student’s “Help Request,” the instructor immediately sees the student’s screen and is able to guide her in the proper direction.  Perhaps this is a common question among the students and the teacher would prefer to explain it to everyone at once.  The teacher can show his screen to every monitor in the classroom simultaneously and every student will have a perfect view at their own desk.  The teacher, wanting to ensure that everyone truly understands the concept now, issues an electronic survey to the students.  A question, that he just composed and multiple responses, also determined by the teacher, appears on each student’s screen.  As each student selects an answer, the teacher gets instant feedback and is able to determine if more time is required for the subject or if the next topic can be addressed.  Also, the teacher can create an electronic journal with each class session, allowing both the teacher and students to store notes, screenshots, and other data into a PDF file that can be viewed at their leisure.

SoftLINK works for virtually any environment.  If you are involved in the education process of K-12, college students, corporate employees, or military personnel, you will find using a classroom management solution a win-win situation.   There is even a built-in Tech Console that the IT staff will instantly fall in love with.  Regardless of whether a teacher is experiencing problems with students viewing inappropriate websites, chatting online, or simply not following along with the class, SoftLINK provides the tools to eliminate these daily frustrations and more.

Why Can’t I Do That?

December 10th, 2013 by

 

Take a quick look around your computer classroom. You probably have “state-of-the-art” technology and equipment: powerful networked computers, sophisticated multimedia capabilities, a tablet of some sorts, and an overhead projection system. Yet, with all this advanced equipment you still find yourself roaming the classroom to monitor trainees and clustering your trainees around one of the trainee monitors to see the excellent work they did on a project.

Likewise, your overhead projection system isn’t making your life any easier with the continual lighting adjustments required, expensive bulb replacements, and complaints from the back of the room about blocked viewing and fuzzy images.

You ask yourself. “Why can’t I just monitor the classes’ work at my computer? Why can’t I share any trainee’s screen with the class? Why can’t I help a student work through a problem using my own keyboard and mouse?  Is there a way I can show my screen on the trainees’ monitors? Why can’t I black out the student screens and get their attention?

Now you can. As the students enter the classroom and take their seats they immediately start working on their computers, but before they begin you have some important announcements to make.  So how can you easily get their attention?  Simple.  With the LINK System, the instructor can blank the student’s monitors individually, as a group or the entire class. Now the students’ screens are blacked out and the instructor has their attention.  One touch on the LINK System console and the instructor has control over the classes’ monitors.  It is that easy.

As you finish with your announcements and release the student’s monitors back to their local screens the students can then begin their classwork.  While students are progressing with their assignments you notice as you scan the class that a student is having a difficult time with a question. You continue to monitor the student to see if he can figure it out but you realize he is not making any progress. With the LINK System you can help him without disrupting the rest of the class. You can easily communicate with the student one-on-one by using the intuitive chat feature.  If the student needs hands-on assistance you can remotely access the student’s keyboard and mouse and show him how to work through the problem.

As you continue monitoring the classes’ computer activity you notice several students are stuck on this same question.  With the LINK System you can share the student’s computer screen with the rest of the class by broadcasting it directly to their monitors. This provides you with a great opportunity to effectively help many students at once while others continue to progress with no difficulty.

In addition, when you need to present your lesson and instructions to the class you can broadcast your screen directly onto the student’s monitors.  Now no matter where the students are seated in the classroom they can easily see the presented material on their screen.  The students no longer have to deal with not being able to see the projected image on the overhead.  Plus there is no better way to see the presentation than right on the monitor only a few inches from the student’s face.

The LINK System isn’t just a monitoring big brother system to see if the students are surfing the internet or playing games. The LINK System is a solution which gives you the ability to truly understand your classes’ knowledge. With the LINK System you can view their work and see where they are with the assignment. The LINK System provides you with real-time feedback regarding your student’s understanding and knowledge. Instructors can utilize the LINK System in many ways that help them and their students in the classroom.  In addition, it encourages students to request assistance when needing help by using the trainee call feature built into the LINK System software.

On the other hand, there are instances where an instructor may need to get the students attention during class. In these instances the instructor can blank the student’s monitors. Now the student’s screen is black and the instructor instantly has the student’s attention. One touch on the LINK System touch screen and the instructor has control of the classes’ monitors.

When you use a computer class management system like the LINK System you will have a better way of presenting material to the class, monitoring their computer activity, and gauging their understanding of material.  Being able to view, step-in and answer multiple student’s questions at once really saves the teacher a lot of time.  By saving time the instructor is able to cover more material and keep the pace of the class flowing at a steady rate. The more instructors are able to monitor the classes’ computer activity the more the instructor can learn about their student’s comprehension.

For more than thirty years, instructors just like you have been answering these questions by using our patented LINK Video Network System. For these fortunate instructors the LINK System is a dream come true.

 

What Are The Benefits Of A Classroom Management System?

December 6th, 2013 by

Applied Computer Systems, Inc. (ACS), is a leader in the hardware classroom management industry.  ACS provides the LINK System product line to university instructors, corporate trainers, government and military project managers seeking a tool for better instructor-student interaction and management in the computer classroom.  The Composite LINK System allows the instructor to demonstrate his lesson directly on students’ monitors, providing a clear view of the lesson despite room size or lighting conditions.  The system also allows the instructor to monitor the student progress from a convenient teaching console and provide individual help as needed.

“With the LINK System, it is no longer necessary for instructors to run from student to student explaining the same task while others wait patiently for assistance,” says Todd Broceus, ACS President.  “Using the system’s intuitive touchscreen interface, the instructor can easily broadcast his screen to each student’s monitor.  As the instructor presents the lesson to the class, he can rest assured that each student’s view is identical to his own screen.  Better yet, the instructor can always see if a student needs help.  The instructor can take control of the student’s PC, demonstrate the right procedure, and then give control back to the student.”

The system keeps the students’ attention focused inside the classroom instead of on the internet during instruction.  Teachers can take control of the student’s entire workstation to demonstrate a point by pressing a button on the instructor’s screen. Then students can watch the lesson on their own monitors and are more receptive to learning, without having to strain to see the overhead projections from the back of the computer lab.  Instructors no longer have to dim the lights in the classroom or worry about the overhead projection system not working properly.  They can use the LINK System to accomplish these tasks now.

Now the instructor can automatically view all the students’ screens from the instructor’s desk to monitor their progress.  When help is needed, the instructor can remotely access a student’s computer to assist with a problem.  If the student’s problem is widespread among the class, the instructor can share the student’s screen with the class.  As the instructor leads the student through the proper steps and gets the student back on track, the instructor can continue scanning students’ screens to see who needs further assistance.

In addition, the instructor can electronically administer a quick survey to gauge the student’s understanding of material.  This provides the instructor with very valuable information such as what needs to be reviewed again or who requires additional assistance.  A more complete testing suite is included with the LINK System which allows the instructor to design & administer tests.  The tests can then be sent out to the student’s and once the student has completed the test the results are displayed to the teacher.

The philosophy behind the LINK System is to provide instructors who teach in a computer classroom environment with the tools necessary to manage and monitor trainee computers.  Through the LINK System you eliminate the time consuming requirements of roaming the classroom and repeating instructions again.  The end result is a dramatic increase in your teaching efficiency and an improved classroom setting for you and your trainees.

How Can I Monitor My Classes’ Computer Activity?

October 22nd, 2013 by

Applied Computer Systems, Inc. is a proven leader in classroom management software.   For nearly 40 years, ACS has known the importance of computer lab monitoring software and has committed itself to providing superior products designed for instructors who teach in a computer classroom.  Hundreds of colleges, universities, and K-12 institutions across the U.S. are improving the quality of classroom instruction by utilizing our computer classroom management systems.

Throughout the years, we have found whether instructors are teaching adults or children they experience the same challenges in a computer classroom.  Instructors spend a lot of time preparing for their class and find it very frustrating to see that students’ are not staying on task and are being easily distracted.  Students are not staying focused on the presentation, instead they are surfing the web, instant messaging a friend, or on social media.

ACS offers two software packages which allow you to monitor your classes’ computer activity.  Our basic ScreenWatch software simply allows you to your classes screens right from your desktop.  You can view each student screen one at a time or multiple screens simultaneously.  Another valuable feature instructors find resourceful is the ‘blank’ feature.  By blanking the student’s screens this gives the instructor the opportunity to make announcements and provide important instructions to the class before they start working on their computers.

Our top-of-the line package is SoftLINK.  SoftLINK is a comprehensive package designed to incorporate all the teaching aids an instructor could utilize to enhance the teaching and learning process for everyone involved.  With SoftLINK instructors can show his screen directly on the student’s screens, view student’s computer activity, share any student’s screen with the class for project demonstrations, block websites, remotely power on and off computers and more.

SoftLINK is compatible with iPads and Android devices.

Free demos of SoftLINK and ScreenWatch are available for download on our website.  You may also find apps of SoftLINK on GooglePlay and App Store.

Composite LINK System Receives Recommendations on LinkedIn

October 22nd, 2013 by

Applied Computer Systems, Inc. is proud to receive multiple recommendations for their class room management system known as the Composite LINK System.  ACS has been in business for over 40 years with great success.  ACS believes their success comes from caring about the customer needs, helping them find the right solution that meets their requirements, and building a lasting business relationship.  Our main focus is to provide our clients with superior customer-service and product satisfaction.

ACS has started connecting with more clients via LinkedIn and would like to share these recommendations.

http://www.linkedin.com/company/applied-computer-systems-inc-/composite-link-system-673410/product?sRevId=10203181&trk=hb_userreview

If you are interested in learning more about classroom management systems you may follow Applied Computer Systems, Inc. on LinkedIn.

 

Buckeye Career Center Benefits from the LINK System in CAD Lab

September 5th, 2013 by

BuckeyeCareerCenter

Timothy Sheehy, Computer Assisted Drafting teacher at Buckeye Career Center, enjoys teaching and watching his students’ advance in their knowledge of CAD. The biggest obstacle he has found during his many years of teaching is the physical layout of his classroom. The layout inhibits the students’ view of his demonstrations shown on his projection screen.

Mr. Sheehy was searching for a solution to resolve this obstacle and learned about the LINK System computer management system at a school seminar. He also looked into a software computer management system but found the LINK System was the best solution for his CAD lab.

The Composite LINK System is a computer classroom management system that offers students the opportunity to clearly see demonstrations on their own screens. Mr. Sheehy’s students now can see the fine lines and details of the CAD program at any workstation in the classroom, something that is nearly impossible to clearly see on an overhead projector. The students are happy that they can now watch his demonstration on their monitor without having to reposition themselves in order to obtain a better view.

Mr. Sheehy can also remotely access a student’s video, keyboard, and mouse to simply observe their progress or to help them through a problem. If he notices multiple students are experiencing a similar problem, he can then help a group of students work through the problem by broadcasting one student’s screen to the remainder of the class. Collaboratively, he can step those students through the problem with the video distribution of the LINK System. It is amazing how the LINK System can be used to enhance the teaching and learning process for the class. Mr. Sheehy also uses the LINKCET software to electronically administer tests. Once the test has been delivered to each student he can view their progress as they work through the test. Once the student’s complete the test, the results will be displayed on his screen and he has the ability to store these results as a CSV file, later to be imported into his grade book. He can even allow the students to view their test results immediately following the test’s completion.

Many classrooms today are setup with a single monitor for the instructor and the students, but Mr. Sheehy’s classroom is setup with dual monitors at both the instructor’s and students’ desks. He particularly likes this arrangement because as he projects his lesson onto one screen the students can work through the lesson on the other screen following his lead.

With the LINK System he says he is “finding it to be ergonomically beneficial to all the students, exciting and fun delivery of content, eliminated the “bad seat” conditions, and beneficial to instructor’s time and amount of content to be delivered.”

Sheehy continues to say, “The most useful features are transmit, testing, student view, and keyboard/mouse control. My overall experience with the LINK System and Applied Computer Systems, Inc. is wonderful.”

To learn more about the LINK System please visit http://www.acs-linksystems.com/products/composite-link-systems.cfm
Applied Computer Systems, Inc. does offer free onsite demonstrations of the LINK System. The LINK System is used in computer classrooms to effectively enhance the teaching and learning process. It improves retention rates and keeps students on task. It is a cost-effective computer classroom management system built to last for many years.

SoftLINK Keeps Students on Task at Crow Creek Tribal Schools

September 4th, 2013 by

CrowCreek

Crow Creek Tribal Schools is a BIA/Grant K12 school with approximately 500 students, located on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota.  Jim Fallis, Technology Coordinator explains the challenges teachers were facing in the classroom and how SoftLINK was the solution to their problems.

 

“We were lacking the ability to monitor our student(s) while on desktops.  Teacher(s) would have to walk around the classroom to keep our student(s) on task.  It was difficult for a teacher to tell whether a student was following along with class work or surfing the internet and visiting non-related school approved websites,” explains Jim Fallis, Technology Coordinator.

Jim continues, “With the implementation of SoftLINK installed our teacher(s) can now monitor all student workstations from their desktop.”  Being able to monitor students’ computer activity keeps students on task and decreases their desire to surf during instruction time.  With less distractions to contend with, retention rates increase as well.

SoftLINK also offers another excellent tool for computer classrooms, content filtering using SafeSearch.  “The content filtering has been awesome for us.  The student(s) are definitely kept on task.  Our teachers get a lot of use out of the other features also.”  Safe Search overrides the default search engine preferences and forces them to provide kid-safe results.

We have a very good relationship with Applied Computer Systems, Inc. (ACS).  Anytime I have needed technical support they have been very helpful and knowledgeable.  “I would say their customer service and technical support would definitely be a 10+.”

For more information about SoftLINK and to download a free 30-day trial, visit http://www.acs-linksystems.com/products/soft-link.cfm

Watkins H.S. has great success with the LINK System

July 29th, 2013 by

Watkins2

“We needed a way to effectively put information in front of our students”, explains Teresa.  Teresa was also looking for a way to keep the students on task and eliminate the ‘surfing’ during her instruction time.

After evaluating the LINK System, Watkins High School purchased several LINK Projection Systems (LPS-II) for their technology classrooms.  They also chose to have the qualified technicians of Applied Computer Systems install them.

“Every student has a computer and the ability to broadcast directly to their screen instead of a projected image in the front of the room is awesome.  For many students, having the information right in front of them is a much more effective tool than general classroom projection.  It is also nice to have the ability to blank the computers so that students are not ‘surfing’ during instruction,” says Teresa.

Teresa expresses that the most useful features are both the ability to project to the students’ screens and to blank their screens when needed.  She goes on to say that the video works much better on a hardware classroom management system versus a software solution.

The LINK Projection System is currently setup in three classrooms at Watkins High School.  The LINK System equipment is used daily throughout the school year with great success.  Teresa rates ACS’s customer service as exemplary and her overall experience with our products as top notch.

PDF:  SouthwestLickingCaseStudy

http://www.swl.k12.oh.us/watkinsmemorialhighschool_home.aspx

For more information about the LINK Projection System, visit http://www.acs-linksystems.com