SynchronEyes 2.0, which uses a TCP/IP network to create a focused learning environment where instructors can monitor and control up to 40 Mac workstations from a single computer, is now available from SMART Technologies.
The computer-lab instruction software helps instructors focus attention, assist students and track their progress, according to Nancy Knowlton, president and COO of SMART Technologies. SynchronEyes displays thumbnail images of all student screens on the teacher’s desktop so she can monitor each student’s progress.
When a student has a question, he can send it directly to the teacher, who can then type a response or click on that student’s thumbnail image to work through the problem together. If several students need assistance at the same time, the teacher can show her screen, or any student screen or to the entire class. To direct attention to the front of the classroom, teachers can blank all student screens and disable mice and keyboards.
“With the growing use of computers in the classroom, teachers need a tool to both monitor and help students,” Knowlton said. “Using SynchronEyes, a teacher can create an interactive environment where students are focused, involved and actively learning.”
A teacher can click on a thumbnail image to see a full-screen view of any desktop, then take control of the student’s mouse and keyboard to provide one-to-one instruction. To provide an up-close view of material that students can easily follow, an instructor can broadcast applications from his computer to each student’s monitor or display a student’s work to the entire class.
Using the Lock button, a teacher can blank all students’ screens and disable mice and keyboards. Once attention is secured, the instructor can use a SMART Board or projection device to teach from the front of the class.
For a Macintosh computer lab, teacher station requirements are a PowerPC 603/604 with 120/133 running 256 colors or higher (although grayscale works); 32MB of memory for Mac OS 8.6 (64MB recommended for later versions of the Mac OS); Mac OS 8.6 -OS 9.x (there’s no Carbonized version for Mac OS X); and 2MB of free hard disk space for complete installation. Student station requirements are any Power Mac; 32MB of memory for Mac OS 8.6 (64MB recommended for later versions of the Mac OS); Mac OS 8.6 -OS 9.x; and 1.3MB of free hard disk space for complete installation. Networks require a 10Mbps TCP/IP network (a sub-net is recommended)
A 30-day evaluation of SynchronEyes 2.0 for the Mac is available from the product Web site. It has a suggested list price of US$999 per classroom or computer lab. Through the SMARTer Kids’ Foundation, grants worth 50 percent of the suggested SynchronEyes list price are available to qualifying educational institutions.