AB Tutor review
AB Tutor takes a different approach to pricing than most network management software. At £199, you only pay for the tutor/control licences – all pupil/client seats are free. While it may not offer all the features of NetSupport School 10.5, it comes a close second.
The Broadcast and Share features allow a tutor to share his or her machine with all pupils and then show an individual pupil’s screen to the class. It’s possible to annotate over a screen and record the tutor screen and audio for lesson playback; you can record pupils’ screens as well, but not their audio.
The display of the class layout isn’t “geographical”, but it’s still easy to view who’s doing what because names are displayed underneath the thumbnails. It’s simple to distribute and collect files to and from pupils’ machines too.
The Violation notification is very effective. This informs the tutor when keywords are typed and takes screenshots of violations, along with user details and the context. Additionally, it’s possible to take snapshots of pupils’ screens for assessment purposes and log the sites and applications they’ve been using.
As with similar tools, the basic features of remote mouse, keyboard and application control are in place along with the option to remotely lock a screen, keyboard and mouse. Going further, it’s possible to power up machines, log on, log off and shut down systems. You can even schedule remote shutdown – thus saving energy – and by controlling printing you can also save money.
It’s possible to monitor internet use, blacklist sites and filter by keyword. Additionally, inappropriate applications can be shut down to prevent pupils from using them.
One-to-one and one-to-many text and audio chat is available, providing an effective range of features to communicate. Plus, you can share a text message to gain the attention of pupils. Question polling is simple yet effective, but AB Tutor doesn’t have the richer features as seen in NSS such as sharing the outcome of polls.
Enhanced Administrative Tools offer the option to gather an inventory for remote machines, right down to installed software. There are some other basic remote admin tools, but they’re not as comprehensive as NetSupport School.
While AB Tutor isn’t as polished or feature-rich as NetSupport, we can’t ignore the price. If you only need the tools on offer, it’s a great value choice.
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