SmartClass value compared with ‘similar’ classroom control software | Classroom Management | Products

SmartClass value compared with ‘similar’ classroom control software

At first glance, the spec sheets seem to indicate that today’s classroom control software all carry more or less same main features. However, in the classroom reality, the picture is quite different.
The key to really judging how well a solution will work in an educational setting lies in reading between the lines of data sheets and product brochures.
The limitations and bottlenecks of network infrastructure data transmissions are usually invisible to the non-technical reader. Nevertheless, they have a huge impact on system performance: Weak technology can significantly damage the education experience.
Extensive feature lists, don’t indicate a product’s true value regarding technology capability and network efficiency. As such, testing in a real classroom setting is highly recommended before purchasing a product such as classroom control software.

 

Control functions

Most classroom management solutions promote a long list of easy-to-implement control functions. However, these features don’t truly represent how robust the management system is. Blanking students’ screens or disabling internet access, executed by remote command from the teacher’s computer, has a minimal effect on network traffic.

 

Monitoring functions

The same emphasis is given to monitoring functions such as ‘raise hand’ and ‘view running applications’. Simply fetching data packets from students computers, these functions mostly create low network traffic and are easy to implement.
However, the problems begin with many commonly used additional monitoring functions, such as real-time view of multiple active students’ screens. These generate much more network traffic and applying these functions in a slow network infrastructure will affect software performance and inevitably interrupt the teaching flow.

 radix smartclass high quality screen broadcast

Screen broadcast by
competing product
Screen broadcast by
Radix SmartClass
Teacher screen
Radix SmartClass delivers smooth operation on all monitoring functions. High quality, seamless streaming and monitoring without delay of multiple active screens, even when running on a slow network.

Screen broadcast and real-time monitoring functions

The most effective class management functions favored by teachers, such as ‘show teacher screen’, ‘view student screens’, ‘broadcast multimedia presentations’ and ‘broadcast demonstrating student’s screen’, are those which generate considerable network traffic.
Competitor products are plagued by sluggishness and frame drops when broadcasting and monitoring real-time active screens, even when running on LAN-wired fair speed network infrastructure.

 

Video broadcast from teacher screen
Radix vs. competing product


Radix has overcome these challenges with a powerful broadcast engine and network traffic optimization. Radix SmartClass enables extensive real-time teaching functions, including pre-recorded lessons with high quality, seamless streaming video and 3D graphic objects. Broadcasts in all popular formats are supported including PPS, MPEG4, AVI, DVD, WMV, AUTOCAD, HPGL, 3Dmax and DirectDraw.

The lack of a robust data transmission engine in most available class management solutions makes them reliant on expensive network infrastructure. In the learning environment it is the teacher and students who pay the price for this with heavy consumption of network resources leading to a significant drop in quality and time-delays.

 

wifi iconWi-Fi and VDl Classrooms

Traditional LAN wired networks are able to handle a reasonable amount of network traffic. Traditional computer classrooms that run on fast wired networks can deliver screen broadcasts of an acceptable quality. However today, many classrooms rely on wireless communication and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The resulting communication bottleneck has a tremendously negative effect on screen broadcast and monitoring quality.
In over to bypass this bottleneck most solutions don’t broadcast video presentations from the teacher screen in real-time. Instead, they transmit video files to the student workstation, only playing it on student computers via the device’s local video player.
Video stream broadcast
By Radix SmartClass

Whilst this might provide a workaround for very short video transmissions, it is not a viable solution for even slightly longer files. In contrast, Radix SmartClass was designed to support wireless communication and virtual classrooms. The system can deliver high quality, seamless, still and video screen broadcasts in real-time – with no apparent quality drop or delay. This sophisticated capability spans video movie streams, YouTube clips, 3D CAD objects and 3D animations – all possible from the teacher’s screen to the entire wireless or virtual classroom.

 

Like any other product, classroom control solutions that boast a broad features list sometimes offer limited value if the system lacks the power to truly support them. Just as a new car might include an advanced stereo or DVD system, if the engine is weak or the power transmission is poor, you cannot really enjoy the driving experience.

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