Splashtop Secure Remote Access, Remote Support and Collaboration Solutions for Educational Institutions
In researching remote control applications for teaching and learning, I came across this apparent late entry to the field: Splashtop, billed as “ Secure Remote Access, Remote Support and Collaboration Solutions for Educational Institutions”.
Remote control applications for use in BVI remote learning have already been discussed: Virtual Computer Instruction: Lessons Learned and Remote Desktop Applications for Distance Teaching and Learning. This is the first I discovered that offered specific remote support designed for distance teaching and learning.
There is a 7 day trial and the prices appeared to be very reasonable compared to other software of this type. This software may be appealing to a teacher who is considering such software due to the capability of viewing several student desktops at once, much like Faronics Insight but Insight is only available for local area networks (LANs). I did check with Faronics to verify this. I have been quite satisfied with using Insight in our lab computers but, alas, they do not have a version for internet use.
The software worked as advertised during the trial and may be a viable solution for online teaching and learning by remote desktop viewing and control for several reasons, including the capability for the application student computer to be logged into automatically, relieving the teacher of having to struggle with the student logging in and saving time and the capability of mass viewing and individually controlling several student desktops at once for group instruction.
Several of my colleague teachers did inquire about use on iPads and iPhones, although this software allows for viewing of the student iPad desktop, the nature of the Apple iOS will not allow for remote control. I did not test on an Android OS since I did not have access to one, but the Splashtop website claims that remote control and viewing capabilities can be accomplished on an Android device.
Since this pandemic crisis began, I have become a big advocate of remote control software combined with audio as a viable and effective solution for online teaching and learning of the blind and visually impaired and Splashtop may be an effective, cost effective solution. I say may be only because I had a 7 day trial and have not used it for a longer period. I do not recommend this over any other similar software and have not nor will not accept any compensation to favor one software over another; this review is based on my objective opinion only, based on experience working with the software. In addition, Splashtop would not agree to Louisiana's Student Privacy (PII) agreement, so it was not impllemented at our school.
To Perkins and especially the intrepid Diane Brauner, thank you for your kind support over these past few years and may you all be safe and prosperous.
George S. Thompson