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LINK System Improves Training Efficiency

April 24th, 2014 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, and an expensive projection system.  Yet, with all this advanced equipment you still find yourself roaming the classroom to monitor trainees and clustering your students around one monitor to share an idea.  Likewise, your overhead projection system isn’t making your life any easier with special room lighting, continual convergence adjustments, and complaints from the back of the room about blocked viewing and not being able to see all the fine details being projected.

You ask yourself, “Why can’t I just remain at my desk and view everyone’s screen??  Why can’t I share any one of my student’s screen with the rest of the class?  Why can’t I step a trainee through a problem by remotely accessing their PC using my monitor, keyboard and mouse?  Why can’t I black out trainees’ monitors and freeze their keyboards and mice?

For many years, instructors just like yourself have been answering these questions by using the patented LINK Video Network System.  For these fortunate instructors, the LINK System is a dream come true – complete class control through a hardware system that is cost effective, provides years of excellent service and is extremely easy to use!

Now you can immediately interact with trainees when they need assistance.  If a specific problem occurs that is common to everyone, you can show this screen on everyone’s monitor for picture perfect viewing.  If anyone requires additional assistance you can work individually or in groups, again through one-touch operation.  One-touch allows you to “Blank” the trainee monitors and “Freeze” their keyboards and mice, guaranteeing their full and undivided attention!  One-touch will connect your keyboard and mouse to any trainee computer and enable you to operate the computer without leaving your podium.  All the benefits of using a video networking system is just one-touch away!

The LINK video networking system increases your training efficiency by dramatically decreasing the amount of wasted time repeating instructions and roaming the classroom.  The LINK System improves training quality by creating a real interactive training environment.

Backed by more than 30 years of experience in the classroom video networking industry, the LINK System is the most advanced hardware system on the market.  The system will accommodate video resolutions from the lowest resolutions to graphically intensive workstations with full multimedia capabilities.

The LINK System redefines the term user-friendly.  It truly is the most user-friendly class management system, both in ease of operation and installation.  Instructors will intuitively operate the LINK System the very first time they use it.  By keeping each command a one-touch operation, and allowing you to perform any feature anytime you wish, you will be able to master the LINK System commands within a five (5) minute period.  Once you begin using the LINK System you will find it almost unbearable to imagine teaching without it!

Applied Computer Systems, Inc. is not a newcomer to the computer classroom training field.  We have been in the training and education market for over 30 years, providing quality products to schools, universities, businesses, government and military entities.  You can learn more about our classroom video networking LINK Systems by contact us at 800-237-5465 or sales@acs-linksystems.com

Bloomfield Central School District Benefits By Using Classroom Management System

April 21st, 2014 by

Bloomfield Central School District uses LINK System as their computer classroom management solution!

 

 

 

John Wright, an instructor at Bloomfield High School, was tasked with designing and building a CAD/CAM lab for Bloomfield’s Technology Department.  “We were looking for a management tool to enhance instruction and to allow the monitoring of students as they work.”

Mr. Wright researched software classroom management solutions first.  “We tried several network systems but found the intensive graphic requirements of the cad and 3D solid modeling software made the video response too slow.”  Later, Mr. Wright was fortunate enough to see the LINK System installed in a college.  “I saw the LINK used at a local college, that was all it took.  I knew I had to have it!”  Ultimately, Mr. Wright and his colleagues found the LINK System was the best solution for their CAD/CAM lab.

The LINK System is a computer classroom management system that offers instructor’s the ability to broadcast crystal clear demonstrations directly to each student’s screen.  Using the LINK System’s features, students are able to see all of the details of the CAD/CAM program no matter where they are seated in the classroom, contrary to classrooms that use only overhead projector.  “The ability to focus each student on their own screen during direct instruction is invaluable,” says Mr. Wright.  The proverbial “bad seat” is eliminated from the classroom.  In the event that an instructor prefers to use a projector, the LINK System works flawlessly with the existing equipment.  Not only can instructors broadcast their own desktop to the projection screen, they can project any student’s desktop to it as well.

When asked which of the many features that the LINK System has is most useful to him, Mr. Wright said, “The ability to take control of the student station from the teacher station is important.  If a student has a question there is no need to go to that station.”  Using the LINK System’s intuitive touch interface, simply select a student station and their desktop is instantly displayed on the instructor’s monitor. Make an additional selection on the screen and you now have remote access to the student’s keyboard and mouse.  Mr. Wright continues “if you would like to use that student’s screen for helping or instructing other students you can transmit that individual student’s screen to all the other student stations.”  This collaborative teaching style eliminates the need to explain the same procedure to multiple students during the class period.  The LINK System will allow you to engage students more effectively, will save you instructional time, and will help to increase student comprehension.

Bloomfield Central School District purchased the most reliable classroom management system on the market.  “We have used the LINK System since 1999,” says Mr. Wright.  Since that time, the school updated the motherboard in the instructor’s LINK System equipment in 2004.  Incredibly, Bloomfield Central School District is still using the same LINK System equipment that was installed more than 15 years ago!  Due to the longevity of the LINK System, Applied Computer Systems, Inc. (ACS) has developed upgrade paths for customers.  Customers have the ability to use their original student equipment while upgrading their instructor’s equipment.  Later, when budgets allow for it, the student equipment can be upgraded as well.

When asked about his experience with ACS’s customer service, Mr. Wright expressed only praise.  “Excellent.  Their customer service is second to none!  They are prompt, and courteous.  If you call with a problem, they will do whatever it takes to solve that problem.”

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.

Classroom Management Solution For Cryptologic Linguist Training

January 30th, 2014 by

Applied Computer Systems, Inc. has Audio Composite LINK Systems installed in dozens of classrooms at Goodfellow Air Force Base. These particular classrooms are used to train Cryptologic Linguists. A cryptologic linguist is responsible for detecting and recording foreign communications using signals equipment for the purpose of military intelligence. We are proud that the United States Air Force has chosen to use our classroom management system to help train our soldiers. Please watch the Air Force video to learn more about this unique military profession.

Classroom Management Solutions Help Gauge Classroom Comprehension

January 8th, 2014 by
Tutor Console view of SoftLINK’s Classroom Survey

Comprehension is something that all teachers strive for.  Knowing that your class grasps the concepts and information that has been taught to them is an incredible feeling.  However, how can a teacher adequately gauge the class’ comprehension?  A teacher can ask a question verbally, have their students raise their hands, and then call on an individual to answer the question.  All too often, class participation is limited and only a select few attempt to answer the questions.  The teacher can ask the question and poll the class, asking them to raise their hands if they think the answer is answer “A”, “B”, or “C.”  Many times, students simply look to their fellow classmates and follow along with the majority answer.  Of course, there are also quizzes and tests, but at that point, students are expected to already know the material and if they don’t, their grades will suffer.  So how can a teacher get instant feedback from all of their students, feedback that is discrete and not public, that will allow them to see the class’ overall understanding?  Use one of Applied Computer Systems, Inc. (ACS) classroom management solutions!

ACS offers a variety of solutions that enable instructors to easily gauge their students’ comprehension during the course of their normal class.  Both ACS’s patented hardware, LINK Systems, and their software solution, SoftLINK, provide the means to survey students discretely.  How is this task accomplished?  The teacher simply types in a question to the Survey area of the software and then lists the possible choices.  When the survey question is sent out to the class, the students will be able to read the question, choose the response that they believe to be the correct answer, and submit their response to the teacher.  This survey or poll of the class will give the teacher instant feedback.  As students select their responses, the results update automatically on the teacher’s monitor.  They can see what percentage of the class selected each response.  They can also see how many students have answered and how many have yet to answer.  This private response method allows the teacher to get a true snapshot of the students’ comprehension.  Students who typically are not engaged during class will find it easier to participate and will answer questions.  They will no longer fear that they will be the focus of attention if they answer incorrectly.  Students will not be able to see how the other students are answering and will instead have to answer on their own accord.

Perhaps best of all, the results of these surveys can be shared with the class.  Many times students who do not understand the subject matter may just conclude that no one in the class knows it.  By giving the teacher the means to show a breakdown of the class, what percentage of the class selected each answer, students will now be able to better gauge how they are doing in comparison with their fellow classmates.  Often, this alone will engage students to work on learning the subject matter.

These tools allow teachers to clearly see the progress their class has made.  If the majority of the class answers correctly, the teacher can safely assume that the subject was covered completely and can move onto the next topic.  If the results are inconsistent, the teacher can review the material while it is still fresh in the students’ minds and further their overall comprehension.  This all leads to an increase in the material that can be covered during the class as well as improving overall grades for the students.

SoftLINK Helps Teachers By Eliminating Classroom Distractions

January 7th, 2014 by

Teachers must deal with the same distractions today as teachers of the past.  Perhaps they have an unruly student who constantly craves attention from his classmates or there are distractions in the hallway or outside the classroom which tempts your students to place their focus elsewhere.  In addition to these distractions, teachers today face the daunting task of eliminating electronic distractions.  Whether a student has a smart phone, an Ipod, a portable gaming device, or an mp3 player in their possession, all instructors have the chore of teaching their students and trying to keep them focused on the subject matter at hand.  Often enough, electronics are simply banned from the classroom, eliminating them entirely from the possible disruptions that can consume a class full of students.

Computer instructors, however, have a very unique training environment.  In many ways they can conduct class just as other teachers do.  They might utilize an overhead projector or a whiteboard or they may just lecture their class.  The major difference, however, is computer instructors cannot eliminate the temptations posed by electronics because the electronics are the sole focus of the class.

Quite often, instructors find that they must constantly navigate their classroom during their lesson so that they can monitor what their students are doing.  Teachers do not want their students to be browsing the web or working on another assignment while they are attending their class.  So how can an instructor ease this burden?  How can they cover more material and improve comprehension simultaneously?  Install SoftLINK on all of the computer lab’s workstations!  SoftLINK gives instructors the necessary tools to forego the old style of classroom monitoring and brings your class into a new age of digital teaching.

How will SoftLINK alleviate common computer classroom distractions?  SoftLINK gives the teacher an unprecedented view of their classroom, a view of each student’s monitor simultaneously!  SoftLINK’s Tutor Console features a thumbnail view that enables the instructor to quickly glance at the students’ progress and quickly determine if they are on task.  If a student is not on task, immediately gain their attention by locking their workstation.  Need to speak to the entire class without interruption?  Select Blank All and instantly gain every student’s attention as all of their monitors turn black.

Instructors are regularly concerned with administering tests in computer labs as well.  With computers, students can easily Google the subject matter and find the answer on the web.  How can an instructor administer a test and be certain that students are not searching the web for the answers?  SoftLINK solves this problem too.  SoftLINK’s internet tab gives instructors the ability to define what websites students have access to.  If students only need access to a single website, limit their access to that specific website by adding it to the Approved Website list.  Do you need to keep students off of social media websites like Facebook and Youtube?  Add those distracting websites to the Restricted Websites list.  Do you want to prevent your class from having web access entirely?  Select Restrict All and the entire class will be denied access to all websites!

Imagine the amount of time teachers can save by eliminating the distractions in their classrooms.  That saved time will translate into a substantial increase in class material that is covered.  With these benefits alone, why not evaluate SoftLINK and see how it can improve your teaching environment.  You will find that SoftLINK is well worth the investment!

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.