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|Initial release||February 9, 1986 (as LanFan Technologies)|
April 2001 (as LanSchool Technologies, LLC)
|Platform||Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android|
LanSchool is a classroom management software owned by Lenovo and focused on school environments. The company is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and was founded as LanFan Technologies in February 1986. Two versions of the software are available: LanSchool, the locally hosted version that comes with the full feature set, and LanSchool Air, the cloud-based version that includes a smaller feature set and is delivered as a cloud-based product. Both versions enable teachers to monitor students’ screens while in class, limit the websites students may visit, “push” a website to open on all classroom devices, and message the class.
LanSchool is available in North America and Europe in 15 languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Arabic, Korean, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Hungarian, and Serbian.
LanSchool's locally hosted software uses a proprietary remote desktop protocol that communicates over a local area network via TCP and UDP. A console application is installed on the teacher's computer, which communicates peer-to-peer with a software agent running on the pupils' computers. LanSchool can function on the Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android operating systems.
LanSchool Air is delivered as a cloud-based software, accessible through the teacher and students’ browsers and managed by Lenovo Software. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS operating systems.
Originally named LanFan Technologies, the company was founded in February 1986 when Dana Doggett began exploring the concept of a software application that would allow an instructor to control multiple computers.
Doggett developed a software tool called PC Chalkboard that was then implemented by Novell. PC Chalkboard allowed Novell lab instructors to broadcast their screens to each PC in the lab. LanSchool was licensed by both Intel and IBM and actively marketed through each company's education sales channel. In April 2001, Doggett left Intel and formed a new company, LanSchool Technologies, LLC, where he could work on LanSchool full-time.
There have been cases of students being able to exploit the LanSchool software to bypass restrictions, and in some cases take control of other student computers. A 2006 post on CompSci.ca details the packet structure of older versions of the software, and claims there was no encryption or similar precautions. This issue was confirmed to have been caught and fixed in the same post the following year.
Some of the product features included in LanSchool are:
- Cross platform support for Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android operating systems,
- Thumbnail view allows teachers to view each pupil's screen,
- Detail view allows teachers to see detailed information on each pupil's session/history,
- Keystroke monitoring (if enabled by the school) can report on weeks of pupil use with actual keystroke history,
- Screen snapshot capability allows teachers to document screen, user, time, date, and other information,
- Internet history shows a list of websites visited by a user, and
- Running programs view shows all programs running on a pupil's machine, even if minimized.
- Whitelisting and blacklisting of websites/programs.
- "Home | LanSchool & LanSchool Air Classroom Management & Guidance Software". lanschool.com. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- "POPUP". helpdesk.lanschool.com. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
- "Lenovo Software Delivers Cloud-Based Classroom Orchestration Platform for Windows and Macs". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
- "Press Releases - LanSchool". LanSchool Press. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "Lenovo To Acquire U.S. Cloud Company". UBM Channel. 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Reyes, Janine (February 13, 2018). "9 Investigates: Students exploiting classroom monitoring software". Cox Media Group. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
- "LanSchooled - LanSchool Hack for v7.0". CompSci.ca. 2006-02-23. Retrieved 2019-09-12.