LanSchool is the monitoring program that we have to keep track of what students are doing on their laptops in class. We’ve had all sorts of trouble getting it to work right, but it seems to be pretty much ok at this point.

I use word clouds for class a fair amount (, but the problem is that they are difficult to share. Wordle has a bit of a cumbersome save / search method. One of LanSchool’s features is to beam out a student’s computer to the other students, and so this seemed like both a good use of LanSchool and a good test to see how it was working.

I dial up LanSchool and most computers are visible. Close enough. And I start sharing the word clouds by beaming a student’s computer with the word cloud visible to the other computers. And around the room we go. So maybe 10 minutes into this a student shows up at the door, computer in hand. I know who she is but don’t really know her; she’s not in any of my classes. She comes in a bit sheepishly and says that Mr. Chase sent her. He and I are pretty good friends, and I assume she has some sort of computer question or that he does and he sent her to ask me. She turns her computer screen to me and on her screen is my student’s word cloud.

She had signed up for this course but dropped it. I had made my LanSchool lists before she dropped and, especially since I wasn’t using it much because of the glitches, never edited my class list. So there she was in history, minding her business, when all of a sudden her computer started showing random images (my students’ word clouds). Ten minutes later another student came to my room with the same problem.

Don’t worry, though. My class list is now edited.