Free Stuff for tight budgets

Posted on October 18, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

by Kevin S. Merritt, Instructional Technology


I just returned from Edtech 2009 (disclaimer – GCSD did not pay for mine) where the attendance was much better than I anticipated but still off from previous years.  Many conferences are experiencing the effects of state and district budget cuts.  Travel and purchasing funds have been slashed or eliminated during these tough economic times, hitting both conference planners and the vendors/exhibitors that come to “peddle their wares.”  What are we to do?

FEAR NOT, FRUGAL FRIENDS!  I, Kevin, the King of Bargains, will help you in your quest for FREE AND USEFUL STUFF!  In light of these tough times, I am on a quest to help teachers and administrators get the most out their ZERO ACCOUNT BALANCES!

Today’s bargain is FREE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE for your computer lab, media center computer area, or laptop cart.

Many schools use software such as NetSupport to manage student computer usage.  NetSupport is a great product, and many Greenville County Schools have it.  Since we all seem to be short of cash these days, however, let me suggest some FREE alternatives for schools that don’t yet have NetSupport licenses already purchased.

NOTE:  PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DISTRICT TECH SUPPORT PERSONNEL BEFORE INSTALLING ONE OF THESE PRODUCTS.  They will need to test the software in your networked environment for conflicts and compatibility issues.

I have 3 alternatives for you to check out:

1.  iTalc (link) – This is a free, open source, “full blown” Classroom Management software package.  It contains everything you would expect to find in this category of software for a GREAT price!

2.  Netop MyVision Free (link) – This is a “light” version of their “paid for” software.  It has a smaller feature set, but basic functions such as thumbnail monitoring of student screens is still included.  You download the basic trial version, and it turns into the free, reduced functionality version after the trial period.

3.  LanSchool Lite Free (link) – Another “light” version.  This also has some reduced functionality, but may still serve your purpose.

Check out these products and see if one of them might work for you!  I’d love to see some posts from folks who have tried them out.  Give me your feedback!




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One Response to “Free Stuff for tight budgets”

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My vote is for LanSchool Lite! MyVision isn’t even shipping and iTalc is pretty difficult to configure.

I use the battery monitoring to make sure that our Macbooks are charged up.

The thumbnails also show the student’s current application and website which allows me to quickly see if the students are on task.

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    The School District of Greenville County – Instructional Technology Department


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