Net Control 2 Classroom and PRO for macOS are already available for download. This upgrade is released as a part of the version 20 line and introduces support of macOS Catalina (OS X 10.15). The minimum supported OS now is OS X Mountain Lion (10.8).
The teacher module for Apple macOS is available as a DMG package, and provides access to the same features as Net Control 2 for Windows with several exceptions (Speech Manager and voice & audio features in other tools, web browser, file manager and Windows-platform specific features).
The student module for OS X is available as a .PKG installation package. It supports the following features:
- Student computer screenshots in thumbnails on the teacher computer
- Student computer information (OS version, computer name)
- “Control” (Remote Desktop). Control the student computer from the teacher computer, using the keyboard and mouse. The following features are not supported: screen annotations, computer lock up during the remote session, Ctrl+Alt+Del simulation, “Move an active window to the top-left screen corner”.
- Broadcast Desktop tool
- Broadcast Student’s screen
- Screenshot View
- Internet restrictions. Safari and Google Chrome browsers are supported only.
- Program restrictions.
- Sound muting.
- Program Manager: terminate programs, run programs, documents, URLs etc. from Desktop or /Applications folder; run programs/URLs from a command line.
- Shutdown manager: shutdown, reboot, logoff, hibernate and sleep the computer (should be allowed by the OS settings).
- Send/Collect Files – file operations are currently available only on Net Control 2 Common Files folder, on OS X systems it is mapped to /Users/UserLogin/Documents/Net Control 2 folder (where /Users/UserLogin is a home folder of a currently logged in user).
- Lock – locks the student computer temporarily. “Keep the locked state after reboot” option is not supported.
- Quick Run
- Messages – full screen or windowed messages; setting up the system sound volume remotely. Text-to-speech using built-in Apple’s TTS engine.
- Chats and Help requests. The chat subsystem is compatible with the version 20 clients only.
- Student registration.
- Journal-related features.
- Desktop Records Player. Without audio features.
- Changing the student module settings remotely from the teacher module.
- Connecting a teacher computer from the student computer by IP address or a DNS name (if allowed by the student module settings).
- Students can initiate connections by a Teacher Session ID code.
- The student computer may be found and added to the teacher console, using Scan button of the teacher console, if Connection Password is set up in the student module settings.
- Raise Hand tool.
- Quick Statuses
In macOS Catalina, several permissions (such as the screen capture permission, access to Documents folder, access to accessibility features) should be enabled in macOS settings. Usually the operating system prompts for such permissions during the first start of the student module.
If you already have the version 20 license of Net Control 2 Classroom or PRO, the new macOS packages should appear automatically in Downloads section of your customer area on our website.
In connection with the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, many organizations and educational institutions are switching to different forms of remote work, teaching and training, and we receive many questions on how to implement and use Net Control 2 classroom management software in the remote education process.
In general, Net Control 2 products are designed and optimized only for use in local networks that offer better performance and low latency than Internet connections offer, lack of web servers for Internet gateways for its work and so on. Therefore, Net Control 2 software can utilize multiple different teaching and monitoring tools at a time without impact on the network resources. On the other hand, specialized remote access software for Internet, implements only a few of features that are available in Net Control 2, but is specially adapted for low speed connections and most often cannot be used without access to Internet.
In addition, the software that is designed for use in Internet must implement and use strong authentication, encryption and data protection mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access to computers in the web. While it is assumed that local networks are already protected from access from outside of the LAN with various software and hardware tools; the software that is designed for use in local networks may use more simple ways of authentication and data protection and concentrate efforts on the better usability and performance. So, Net Control 2 software is not intended for direct use in Internet and cannot connect teachers and students over this network.
However, if you need to organize the remote teaching process and use Net Control 2 software in the process of such training, several approaches are possible.
The purpose of this article is a general description of the possible algorithms. We do not describe each of the cases separately, since the implementation strongly depends on capabilities of the educational institution local network; and in any case the implementation of any of the methods must be done only by a qualified IT specialist who can correctly configure the existing equipment and software. Information provided below is not a step by step guide, it may be incomplete, and please use it on your own risk only.
- Students connect existing classroom computers over Internet, using Windows Remote Desktop software. In this case, students work with the classroom computers as if they sit in front of them in the lab. This approach allows using the existing software environment including Net Control 2 software installed in the network. Net Control 2 software supports Windows terminal sessions, and most often, no additional configuration of Net Control 2 software is required. Despite the complexity of some initial configuration (compared to the Case 2), the costs are offset by greater reliability and performance.
This approach usually assumes the following requirements to the network environment of the organization.
- The OS on the classroom computers must support Windows Remote Desktop connection (e.g. for Microsoft Windows, Home editions do not support RDP, and Windows Professional or higher edition should be used).
- As a rule, you will need to set up static IP addresses for computers in the classroom, and configure “port forwarding” on the LAN router for each teacher and student computer (to forward “external” ports to 3389 local port of a concrete teacher or student computer).
- On student and teacher computers you will need to create user accounts with strong passwords and limit remote access by these accounts only .
- For security purposes, we recommend monitoring all incoming connections to the local network of the organization, and to turn off remote access services after end of the work.
- In a similar way, remote access to classroom computers can be arranged with third-party software like Zoho Assist, join.me, TeamViewer, etc. To organize the remote access, create remote sessions, obtain IDs and submit them to students, this approach requires presence of a teacher or other specialist in the classroom. After gaining access to the classroom computers, students and teachers can use Net Control 2 software and other resources of the classroom computers for their work.
- If you intend to organize a fully virtual classroom in which students and teachers use their personal “home” computers that are connected into a virtual network, you need to install the Net Control 2 software on the teacher and student computers, create a virtual network and configure the software to use resources of this virtual network. To organize a virtual LAN, you can use specialized software like Tunngle (free), LogMeIn Hamachi (free for up to 5 computers). If your organization has a dedicated server or a cloud virtual machine (AWS, Azure), you can install and configure OpenVPN software on the server and create accounts for students and teachers.
In all such cases, the virtual LAN connection provides a virtual IP address that may be used for connecting computers in the virtual LAN. This virtual IP address of the teacher computer should be set in the student module settings of student computers, and the further operation for Net Control 2 software will be the same as in a local network (except the network performance of course).
- Using cloud platforms (Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and others) you can easily create a virtual Microsoft Windows Server machine in the cloud, set up user accounts on it and install the necessary software, including Net Control 2. Teachers and students can connect then the cloud virtual machine using Windows Remote Desktop, work on it as terminal clients and use software and resources of the server. This method assumes use paid services from cloud providers.
Of course, this article does not describe all possible situations and cases. If you need more information regarding any of the described above methods, please do not hesitate to contact our support team.
We are pleased to announce that the new Net Control 2 version 20 classroom management software is already available for download and installation!
The list of improvements and new features was published on this blog slightly earlier, and is available for review here.
This major update is currently available only for Windows versions of Net Control 2 Classroom, SmallClass, and PRO editions. Net Control 2 Mobile Clients version 12 are compatible and can be used together with the version 20. An update for OS X (including OS X 10.15 Catalina) will be available soon (planned for the end of May).
Users of previous versions of Net Control 2 products that would like to upgrade the software to the version 20, if their license is eligible for the free upgrade, should contact us for a new, upgraded registration key. The registration name and key of previous versions will not work with the version 20. Please contact our support team, in your request please specify your registration name and key of the latest license. The new key will be sent within two work days.
Our customers who are not eligible for the free upgrade, but purchased the license not earlier than 5 years ago, are still eligible for up to 50% upgrade discounts. More information about upgrade is available here.
Enjoy your use! We are always waiting for your feedback and impressions, which you can send us through the support panel.