SEMTEC The SE MN preK-12 Technology Coordinators

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I am very interested in what districts are using for client based remote support.  I am looking for something completely web based, inexpensive, and very easy for the client to use.  I know of Webex and GotoExpress, but wondering what you use?

Thanks!
Jen

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Not web based, but I have given consideration to using iTalc across the district. It's free, but software based. Requires no interaction from the client.

Not web based, but pretty useful - TeamViewer. Not free though.

I've also thought about using VNC to connect to remote workstations. Set up all the workstations with the VNC listening service. Shouldn't require any client side interaction. But again, still not a web based solution.

Wish I knew something web based...
Brian,
That Team Viewer might have promise! I had never heard of it and will see if there is any academic licensing. iTalc and VNC might be a little complicated when users leave the district. (laptops)

I appreciate your feedback!

Jen
Sadly, I'd not heard of it either, until I did an executable search on student drives to see what they were doing on our network, and found it. Tried it out the other day in personal mode. Very nice!
If you have a windows environment and all of your computers are joined to your domain you can use the remote assistance tools built into windows as long as the machine you are using to connect to client with is running Windows 7.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee126163%28WS.10%29.aspx

A quick shortcut to run RA in offer mode is "msra.exe /offerra"
Aaron - does that work outside the domain as well? Meaning - if they are at home, will I be able to connect to them. The other thing I am thinking...is providing support to staff that are not on domain computers aka @ home....

Aaron Bergstralh said:
If you have a windows environment and all of your computers are joined to your domain you can use the remote assistance tools built into windows as long as the machine you are using to connect to client with is running Windows 7.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee126163%28WS.10%29.aspx A quick shortcut to run RA in offer mode is "msra.exe /offerra"
Yes and no.

If your clients use an active VPN to connect back into the district than things would work exactly as they do on the domain. If they don't then you would need to use the "Email a link" feature which is client initiated and will work in most situations but you are at the mercy of firewall configs, etc.
Thanks - I will check into this!

Aaron Bergstralh said:
Yes and no.

If your clients use an active VPN to connect back into the district than things would work exactly as they do on the domain. If they don't then you would need to use the "Email a link" feature which is client initiated and will work in most situations but you are at the mercy of firewall configs, etc.
In regards to the Email a link feature, I've found that in most circumstances, it will fail. People are behind all sorts of routers, and firewalls at home. And of those cases, nobody has a clue on how to allow this service to get through.
Agreed! Thanks!

Brian Moskalik said:
In regards to the Email a link feature, I've found that in most circumstances, it will fail. People are behind all sorts of routers, and firewalls at home. And of those cases, nobody has a clue on how to allow this service to get through.
Are you doing support for your staff while they are at home? Or is it more for staff that happen to be at a meeting and having problems with district owned equipment.

Doesn't seem like anybody has any good free options yet.

I know dimdim is similar to a webex and allows for screen sharing. I've used teamviewer under the Personal License deal and that works great.

We use RealVNC on our Windows XP machines but that doesn't work outside of the district unless you have a VPN connection.

The Windows Remote assistance I've used but is cumbersome and slow, but it does work.

Doubtful I'm much help but am interested if anybody else now has found anything.
Been using the solution Aaron suggested like a year now. Works well, just have the computer name labeled for the users on the machine.

Most use Remote Desktop Services to work from home, so controlling their screen is snap with that.

Bomgar makes nice stuff if you wanna go the pay route.
I created a remote server for staff and students to use for external access. It is web based. https://vlab.central.k12.mn.us/ts . They can either remote (mstsc) or web into it and all of the applications and the documents they use during the day is available to them, like ProE, type to learn, Adobe Dreamweaver, Microtypes and etc. I've tied it to active directory so they use their user name and password. For staff, they can also log directly into their classroom or office computers if they leave them on. For support, I can log into most computer or server off campus.

I have used Lan Monitor from lanschool. I purchased some LanSchool lab packs from them years ago and it was thrown in as a freebie. LanMonitor allows me to view all the screens of users from my desk. If someone calls me, I can locate the users screen and watch them as they navigate the fix or I can take control and they can watch me. I can do this from home or the office.

All students can access their desktops and "My documents" on or off campus via web browser or through Microsoft Office installed in an off campus machine (home) via FTP and is a free service with no annual fees and is tied into Active Directory..

For me to work on computers, I use a very old server with remote desktops. I have remote sessions created for several user names and passwords like NWEA testing, Pearson testing, Accuplacer testing, student, admin, etc. When I click the session, I generally log into a block of a hundred computers or so. From there I can quicky access each computer and run what i need to do. I find it easier to create a network share with a install, .bat or set up file, copy the link and can quickly go down the list of computers and copy/paste it into the run command box. This allows me to actually install much faster than using an active directory push or RIS server and know 100% that it was successful. There is no cost for this service. It is free. I worked over 240 computers just this past week getting them ready fro NWEA and pearson testing from the comfort of my office chair while listening to my iTunes. In the eveining, some machines weren't done so I go home and log into the server there and continue the updates from my laptop on my couch while watching the Twins lose against the Yankees (boo). (I have special home made pearson checklist I use to insure testing goes well. I haven't had people kicked out for a couple years now.)

In remote desktops, ALT-F4 is used to close open browser/apps windows, restart or shut down, but - to shut down or restart blocks of computers, I use deep freeze by faronics. I can shut down or restart hundreds of computers with a click of my mouse. It also has a built in component that allows me to schedule all computers to be shut down at about 5pm every day. If someone comes in and turns it back on say for community ed, the program will shut them down a second and third time based on a schedule you enter. This saves thousands in electrical costs each year so it saves me more than the few dollars it costs each year to keep the program updated.

All of these solutions are done basically at no cost to the district.

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