A brand-new user interface makes it even easier to find and use all of SoftLINK’s classroom management features. Co-produced directly with instructors, its intuitive layout in a ribbon bar format at the top makes completing tasks quicker without getting buried in extra unnecessary steps.
- Turn off additional confirmations when powering off/restarting or logging out of devices
- New ‘right click’ options to access features even quicker, plus a Delete option has been added to remove student icons on the teacher and tech console.
- Display PC name and logged-on username are both displayed on the icon when in ‘large icon mode’ making it easier to identify each student
- Show the logon name (rather than display name) in the student icons/thumbnails
- Add “Launch” to the tutor toolbar when in the reduced Chrome Mode
- Use keywords to block/approve access to all websites
- Configure the Tutor default start-up mode via the Tutor
- Use custom layouts in User Mode
- Customize the options on the minimized Tutor Toolbar.
- When a new update is available for SoftLINK, a notification will pop-up to notify you of any new features or updates that are available.
Keep Trainees on Task
In addition to already being able to blank all students’ screens, now, when a teacher is viewing one individual device (View mode), they can blank that screen so the student can’t see what the teacher is doing – available on Windows 10/11 (v 2004+).
If a student is running multiple monitors, icons are now displayed on the student thumbnail, allowing the teacher to switch between each monitor or view the whole desktop – handy for ensuring students are fully on task.
As well as launching a website or application, now you can also launch an associated file such as a PowerPoint or Word document – handy for getting the entire class working on the right document at the same time.
In the student toolbar, you can also hide an approved website in the list displayed on students’ screens.
The whiteboard can now be resized to fit the student’s screen, making it easier for the teacher and student to view and collaborate.
Within Feedback mode, more icons have been added for students to select, helping them to better represent their wellbeing/topic understanding.
Reduce energy costs
In addition to power on/off and log in/log out all classroom computers, teachers can also power off student PCs that are not logged on – perfect to help reduce costs on unused devices.
A list of servers known to the Connectivity Server is now displayed, allowing you to see at a glance how many students are connected, and any active sessions. A filter bar also allows you to search for students in the Connectivity Server Console.
In addition to displaying the client name, IP address, MAC address and Gateway key, the Gateway console now displays the description of the gateway key in use under the Clients section.
The Connectivity Server console window can now also be resized to make it easier to view.
Test and assess
In SoftLINK’s Testing tool, PNG images can now be added into the test, and a new question has been added, called ‘Highlight text’. Teachers can create a question and highlight the correct text in a statement.
The student must highlight the correct section of text to qualify as a correct answer – useful for providing more challenging ways to assess students’ understanding.
Two fake (incorrect) answers can also be added to the drag-and-drop question type, so students have to identify the correct answer before dragging it into the statement.
Plus, if there are any connection issues, you can recover in-progress test results. Teachers can also reward students with new animated stickers that will appear on the student’s toolbar. These can also be added to the student journal.
Distribute and collect work
In addition to sending files to students, you can now send folders/subfolders from the teacher to the student. Plus, in the File Transfer tool, you can also collect files from students and enable the student to choose which file to upload to the teacher (without needing to send them a file first).
To make access easier, in the tree view in the File Transfer and File Distribution windows, you can access the downloads folder to directly transfer files quickly and easily. In addition, folders that need to be accessed regularly can be added to a ‘Favorites’ folder in the Tree view.
Manage students and connections
From the Classwizard, teachers can select multiple rooms to connect to – perfect if students are spread across several classrooms. An updated reboot command can now be sent to all machines which ensures they reboot whatever their logged in/off state.
When in User Mode, you can use the ‘refresh list’ to re-connect to a student who has logged off/on or re-booted, plus any late joiners can now join a ‘Show’ that is already in progress by the teacher – preventing lost teaching time in getting that student up to speed.
In the student register, you can now save the Registration Report as a PDF file.
When a teacher sends a message to students, messages displayed that include any URLs are now clickable, making it even easier for teachers to point students in the right direction. Plus, all chat sessions between the teacher and student are automatically logged and stored – perfect for supporting evidencing requirements.
A viewable web url is also now available in students’ web history, making it handy for reviewing sites and their content.
Updated Tech Console
The Technicians’ Console now features a new user interface and uses a ribbon bar to make it even easier to find and use all of SoftLINK’s features. It includes a new ‘quick search’ function to help IT teams find students and teachers by user name, machine name, IP address, running application or website, for example – making it even quicker to provide support.
Further enhancements include the ability to stop the Client32 service from running, and being able to end the connection from a teacher’s console. In the reports section, the client version number is included, making it easier to see what version of SoftLINK is running on students’ PCs.
Expanded support for Android is also included, allowing you to connect to Android devices using the Tech Console.
Additional Group policy options
Even more Tutor Console Settings are now available to configure via a group policy.
CHROME STUDENT – V2
The latest update to SoftLINK’s Student Chrome Extension provides new features and enhancements to further support schools in monitoring and managing students’ Chromebooks – plus, deliver instruction with ease!
Enhanced Thumbnail View: Teachers (using Windows) can view all activity on the students’ devices within the thumbnail view – not just the activity taking place in the open browser window.
Student View: In addition to viewing student activity via the thumbnail view, teachers can now open a separate view session to discreetly monitor the student’s screen and take a closer look at activity – perfect for ensuring students are on task with their learning activities. (Windows only).
The multi-platform remote control software solution that supports users and devices located on-premises or remotely now includes a whole host of new and enhanced features to minimize support time and strengthen online security.
The working landscape has changed forever. Now, with workforces dispersed across hybrid work environments, having the technology to allow employees to operate effectively while staying secure is key for every organization. For the last 33 years, Manager has been recognized as the perfect solution to help companies manage technology devices in different locations and this latest release fully reflects the new requirements of organizations in 2022.
New look and feel
Co-produced directly with businesses to meet their current and changing needs, version 14 highlights a brand-new user interface with an intuitive layout and ribbon bar to help users navigate the tools more quickly and easily – minimizing training requirements and ensuring IT technicians have maximum flexibility in how they wish to work.
Security runs throughout
Naturally, security figures highly with any remote support tool, so Manager v14 includes support for RADIUS authentication and full Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to fortify security at the point of login and guard against any attempted access by unauthorized users.
To further safeguard an organization’s data and to ensure that it remains completely within its control (without any need to use third-party services), Manager already provides local LAN/WAN support over IP, alongside flexible HTTP communication through its Gateway component that can be hosted on an organization’s premises or in a private cloud.
Now, in v14, new Gateway encryption with SSL/TLS certificates has been added for superior data security – while security strongholds such as gateways, security keys and operator passwords have been boosted with higher levels of encryption.
To support the protection of personal data, Client log files can be edited to only show selected information. For example, to protect personal data in customer databases, usernames may need to be hidden from the view of operators.
Automatic connections save time
The ultimate evidence of impact for any system is its reliability and performance, so learning lessons from the last two years and taking the changing work landscape into account, new Load Balancing Gateways proactively manage incoming connections and automatically distribute them across multiple gateways to avoid a single point of failure. This is especially useful for larger businesses, as it ensures consistent maximum performance and reliability without the need for operator intervention.
Commenting on the release of NetSupport Manager v14, NetSupport’s CEO, Al Kingsley said:
“The pandemic accelerated the shift to the ‘future of work’ and we quickly recognized that security and flexibility are critical in this new environment. NetSupport Manager has been trusted by organizations across the world over the last 33 years to manage their technology in remote locations – whether that’s users at their PCs, point of sale devices, factory robots and more – and the release of version 14 with its new UI and enhanced security features will ensure companies, customers and employees everywhere will benefit.”
Manager fully supports Windows 11, 11 SE and Windows Server 2022, carries the PC PRO badge of recommendation and, most importantly, is free to download and try for 30 days so you can be fully satisfied it meets your organization’s needs.
Designed to operate over LAN, WAN or the internet, securely and without the need for firewall configuration, Manager provides a single, high-speed solution for the remote management of multi-platform computers, without the need for a third-party service or ongoing subscription costs – making it the perfect tool of choice for any IT team.
IT technicians across a company now have a more flexible and efficient way to carry out specific tasks on multiple staff devices.
From the Tree view, you can select the staff you need and then view the component data for them, e.g. looking at the items such as application usage statistics or the memory status of the devices.
To drill down even more, from Explorer mode, you can select a group of staff based on a more detailed criteria (e.g. a combination of departments) or you can simply select a group of staff/or individual staff to perform actions such as chat or messaging – saving time and delivering extra convenience for technicians.
Chrome and iOS Agents can now connect through the DNA Gateway
Providing more flexibility for companies and their employees, Chrome and iOS devices can connect to DNA through its secure Gateway. So whether users with these types of devices are on or off site, technicians can still fully monitor and support them – perfect for remote working.
Windows 11 was released on October 5th. It is available as a free upgrade on many eligible Windows 10 devices and will also begin to ship on all new PCs.
While the new Windows 11 release may come as a surprise to you, we are proud to announce that we’ve been working hard to ensure that our products are compatible with Windows 11. If you currently own any of our solutions listed below, or are in the market for one of our products, you can rest assured knowing they will work as expected with Windows 11.
Windows 11 offers a new design, updated features, better security and productivity tools. You still have plenty of time before updating, as support for Windows 10 does not end until 2025.
Improved recipient selection
When sending a notification, the selecting of recipients is now much clearer and easier via an update to its user interface. It’s also quicker to select the recipients, thanks to some behind-the-scenes performance enhancements.
Sending notification to offline staff
When sending a notification, offline staff can now be selected to receive the notifications that have been sent to them. When the offline staff return ‘online’ and log-onto their device, they will receive the notifications that have been sent over the past 48 hours. This is particularly useful for helping staff coming back from holiday, for example, to catch-up on or be reminded of any messages that were sent whilst they were away.
Details in History view
In the History view, the sender’s machine name and IP address are included in the details recorded for ‘emergency response’ type notifications (sent via a hotkey combination).
For a standard notification, the IP address of the sender will also now be included in the History view.
Default ‘Sent to’ method
When sending a notification, instead of defaulting to the server option, Notify will now remember the last chosen option (e.g. departments) and automatically select it for you. You can also set the default ‘Sent to’ method as department or server.
When receiving a notification, at the bottom, it will now include the sender’s name. This is handy for better understanding the nature of the message and its urgency. However, this can be turned off, and so notifications can also be sent anonymously.
Recipients of scheduled messages
You can now see the list of recipients for an existing scheduled notification – perfect for checking if anyone needs adding or removing from it.
We’ve made it even quicker and easier to customize your notification by adding in formatting shortcuts for bold, italic and/or underline formatting. For example, ‘Ctrl+B/I/U’ to turn on/off character formatting.
Create scheduled notifications – even if staff are not connected
When scheduling a notification, you can now include users that are not currently active (they are powered off and not connected to the Notification Server but have been in the previous 30 days). This allows you to set up scheduled notifications when users are not connected, e.g. during out-of-office hours or when staff are on holidays. When these users subsequently power-up their devices and reconnect, they will receive the next scheduled notification (providing they are connected during the time/date the notification was scheduled for).
New user interface
Notify has a completely refreshed user interface. As alerts tend to be sent out as the result of a pressured situation, it’s now even easier for a sender to find and quickly navigate to the functionality they need, with ‘one click’ access to features.
Support for more users
Scalable to the largest of organizations, the Notification server now supports 10000 Agents, helping larger companies or multi-academy trusts, for example, to communicate quickly and easily to large numbers of staff and/or students.
Senders can now choose the size and location of the notification that appears on the recipients’ screens, allowing them to adjust the level of impact the notification has. For example, emergency evacuation messages may be set to fill a full screen, whereas an alert about the mail server being down can be smaller and more discreet. This also helps ensure the notification is proportionate to the size of the monitor.
When sending a ‘Full Screen’ notification, an ‘OK’ button can be displayed instead of the timeout function. This allows the recipient to not only confirm they have received and read the notification (rather than the sender assuming they have), but to dismiss the message immediately once seen, helping to quicken the response time.
Added platform support
Adding to its existing multi-platform capabilities, Notify now includes support for Chromebooks to help organizations to communicate effectively across the various platforms they have in use.
View whole message
To enable recipients to read and acknowledge notifications even more quickly, the whole message can now be made visible when sending a notification (instead of recipients having to use a scroll bar to view the entire text).
Enhanced ‘history list’
Emergency response alerts are now shown in the history list (by default) and alerts can now be pinned to the top to make it easier to find and re-use important ones. The pinned notifications will always remain at the top of the list, regardless of any date search.
Send to IP ranges
In addition to sending notifications using the Active Directory, notifications can also be sent to IP ranges – handy for organizations with dispersed networks.
Notify can be further customized to fit seamlessly within your organization and its needs. The font and text size in each notification can be changed to fit with your branding – plus, you can create your own set of notification type icons (using your own text, fonts and color) to suit the types of notifications you wish to send out.
New notification types
In addition to ‘News, Message, Alert, Technical, Critical’ notification types, two new notification types (Health and Security) have been added to help you further prioritize notifications that may contain related information. For example, in a notification related to ‘Health’, it may remind users to use hand sanitizer or to maintain social distancing.
Software Distribution status
When using the software distribution tool to deploy software across the company or to publish software to targeted users (allowing them to ‘pull’ it onto their device), IT teams can now view, via a handy report, whether there were any errors during the install or if the applications were installed successfully. This new feature helps ensure that all staff have all the required applications and quickly highlights if any users are missing or have not installed available apps, thereby boosting productivity levels.
To assist businesses returning to a ‘new normal,’ there is a new AUP available to use (Health and Social Distancing), helping to promote any new guidance and safety information across the company.
IT teams can choose how DNA gets updated across their company: automatically updating via a smart update or by an external method, such as GPO or SSCM. This new enhancement helps put the team in control of how and when they want updates to go live.
Several additional optimizations have also been included in this latest release, making DNA even easier to use – while bringing further efficiency savings, boosts to productivity levels and security, plus much more, to businesses globally! For example, DNA now supports up to 10,000 devices, there are new approval requests for USB devices not encrypted with BitLocker, improved Active Directory user profile evaluation – and much more.
A show (broadcast) of an application can now be displayed in a separate window by changing the Display Mode setting. This new feature allows the end user to continue to use their screen normally – maintaining productivity levels even when a show is conducted.
When showing applications spread across multiple screens to an end user, the screens are now compressed displaying the entire desktop. This provides the end user with a view of all the applications.
Manager now includes the option to control HTTP access based on a user’s IP address. This enhances the Gateway’s security even further for the Manager suite.
Filter List of Clients
Manager has increased user efficiency by allowing your IT team to filter the clients on the Gateway based upon name, username, and description. Easing the process for searching and connecting to clients quickly is just another way Manager will help you save time and money.
The thumbnail views of connected devices in the Manager Control panel have been optimized to improve frame rate and overall performance.
SoftLINK (provided free within Manager), provides educators a way to capture how their trainees feel. An instructor can quickly gauge their trainees’ confidence on a topic. This helps the instructor to decide if they can proceed onto the next topic or if they need to focus additional time on the topic at hand. This will help the instructor to increase their class’s overall comprehension level.
SoftLINK provides a variety of visual indicators to choose from. After selecting the desired option, a dialog box appears and allows the instructor to enter the question they want to displayed to the class. The question, along with the visual indicator selected, will appear on the trainees’ workstations. The trainees can then choose one of the options provided to them.
The results from the trainee feedback are reported back to the SoftLINK Tutor in two different formats. A list style report displays each individual trainee’s feedback and allows the instructor to see each trainee’s response. The chart view provides a holistic view of the class responses, giving the instructor a overview of the entire class.
*This feature requires the free SoftLINK components (providing classroom instruction/training features), available from the Manager installer package.
Applied Computer Systems, Inc. has restructured SoftLINK (provided free within Manager) to make it even more intuitive and user-friendly, regardless of the instructor’s technical experience. SoftLINK now offers three separate Tutor Console modes; Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each mode provides core functionality that instructors require yet allows the instructor to customize their interface based on their SoftLINK comfort level. The new “Easy” mode provides technology-shy staff the core SoftLINK functionality while providing it in a simplistic interface.
Easy mode’s tools include:
- Blank screens
- Power on PCs
- Message trainees
- Trainee Feedback
- Block all internet
- Help requests
- ‘Mute Audio’ at trainee
- Lesson Timer
The “Intermediate” mode (previously “basic” mode) offers additional control to the instructor. The “Advanced” mode provides all SoftLINK’s features and functionality, allowing instructors to use all of SoftLINK’s features.
*This feature requires the free SoftLINK components (providing classroom instruction/training features), available from the Manager installer package.
Student Feedback Mode
SoftLINK’s new Student Feedback Mode provides educators a great way to capture how their students feel. A teacher can quickly gauge their students’ confidence on a topic. This helps the teacher to decide if they can move onto the next topic or if they need to spend additional time on the current topic. Ultimately, this will help the teacher increase their class’s overall comprehension.
SoftLINK provides several different styles of visual indicators to choose from. Once the desired option is selected, a dialog box appears and allows the teacher to enter the question they want to pose to the class. The questions, along with the visual option chosen, will appear on the students’ workstations. The students can then make their selection from the options provided to them.
The results from the student feedback are reported back to the SoftLINK Tutor in two formats. The first, the list style report, displays each individual student’s feedback and allows the teacher to see each student’s mood/understanding response. The chart view provides a holistic view of the responses, giving the teacher a general mood/understanding of the entire class.
It is essential the money schools invest in EdTech be spent wisely. It is just as important to ensure the educational technology purchased is fully utilized in the classroom. With this in mind, Applied Computer Systems, Inc. has restructured SoftLINK to make it even more intuitive and user-friendly, regardless of the end-user’s technical experience. SoftLINK now boasts three separate Tutor Console modes; Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each mode provides the core functionality that teachers require yet allows the teacher to customize their interface based on their SoftLINK knowledge and comfort level. The new “Easy” mode provides technology-shy staff the core SoftLINK functionality needed in the classroom while providing it in a simplistic manner.
“Easy” mode tools include:
- Blank screens
- Power on pcs
- Message students
- Student Feedback
- Block all internet
- Help requests
- ‘Mute Audio’ at student.
- Lesson Timer
The “Intermediate” mode (previously “basic” mode) offers even more levels of control to the teacher. The “Advanced” mode provides all SoftLINK’s features and functionality, allowing teachers with more SoftLINK experience the ability to use the product to its fullest potential.
Users can now experience a fresh new design, making Notify even easier and clearer to use.
Increased character limit
You can now send more information in your notifications, with the character limit of the message title being increased from 40 to 80 and the main message text character limit doubling from 500 to 1,000.
Emergency response message
To stop emergency response messages from being accidentally sent, you can now choose to set up a combination of three hotkeys to send these messages exactly when you need to.
Active Directory templates
The Notify Console, Agent and settings can all be deployed via ‘Group Policy’ without manual intervention. The centralization of this process will help you save time and resources by avoiding a manual set-up.
To ensure your notification reaches everyone, the notification message will now appear even when a computer is locked.
When choosing the recipients to send a notification message to, the Active Directory display name can now be displayed instead of the logged on user name. This makes it even easier for you to find and select the people you want to send a notification message to.
Notify now provides support for IPv6 addresses, ensuring that all of your devices and networks can be supported.