Faronics Insight

Faronics Insight
Faronics Insight, from Faronics. Retrieved July 19th, 2019.

AKA the “Owl software,” Faronics Insight lets you present and monitor devices in pre-configured labs. This guide aims to help you use this software in the Conestoga teaching context.

These suggestions were collected from those offered by Conestoga faculty currenty using Faronics. To learn more from colleagues using Faronics or contribute your own suggestions, join the Tech For Teaching Team.

Getting Started

Never heard of Faronics before? Learn about this helpful classroom sharing and monitoring software.

Faronics Insight – Computer Lab Management Made Easy by Faronics (2012). . Retrieved July 15th 2019.

Quick Start Guide

If you’re newer to working with Faronics Insight, start with their Quick Start Guide. Find tips in getting started before you enter the classroom.

Faronics Quick start guide preview
Faronics Insight Teacher Quick Start Guide. Click for a downloadable version.

In your Classroom

Open Faronics Insight from the task tray of your classroom podium computer. It will start up with your computer and connect to all logged in student devices.

Faronics Insight in the task tray of a windows 10 computer
Faronics Insight in the Task Tray of a Windows 10 computer.

Remember, Faronics is only available in pre-configured labs, and not in standard classrooms or BYOD classrooms.

The Teacher’s Console

The following video narrates an overview of the features available in the Teacher’s Console. This guide takes place in a Windows 7 operating system, so your classroom installation may look or feel slightly different.

Faronics Insight – Teacher Console Overview by Faronics (2015). Retrieved July 15th 2019.

Setting Up

The below suggestions require your familiarity with the Quick Start Guide. Refer to this document when needing guidance in these tasks.

View all feature

Set up your view of student devices, so that you can broadly monitor students’ devices. Use the View all feature to do this. Choose the size of thumbnail most comfortable for you.

Configure the app in a way that sets students up for success. Consider how you may need to structure what learners can access to support responsible learning behaviours.

Teaching

Show icon

Show your screen on student devices. Students may struggle to see a presentation screen over their monitors.

  • Use Full Screen when you need their full attention.
  • Use Windowed when you’d like them to follow along with your actions.

Monitor student activity in the main stage. You may want to mute the projector if you do this.

  • Also rove around the classroom to offer support, using Faronics as the big picture to help you see who needs support.
  • If many students are having similar challenges, ask if there is a volunteer who wouldn’t mind you presenting their screen to solve their problem in front of the class.

Help students learn from each other. To show student devices, select the student’s monitor from the Preview area and show on your screen. Don’t use the Show Student feature.

  • Confirm a student’s permission first – this demonstrates respect for privacy.
  • Display positive examples of students’ work accomplished so far in class.
  • Ask a student or group to explain their thinking and processes to the class.
  • Tell students that, at the end of class, you will randomly ask 5 students to report on their progress. This may help with accountability.
Control icon

Use Control to offer support and guidance from the podium computer. You could use this to provide a demonstration to all students, or just one to one.

  • If a student is having challenges, ask if they would present their challenge to the class to solve.
  • If a student is far from the podium, invite them to the presentation screen to watch as you remotely control their device. Then they can see and hear you, and the solution is already in place.
Message feature

Message students collectively for time reminders or cues about troubleshooting or tasks. Students may need help staying on task, and building time management skills. Send a message to help them remember to get back to work.

Right click on individual learners to see options available to interact with them.

  • If necessary, you can limit access to the internet, apps, or other features.
  • If necessary, you can View Student Internet History or View Student Keystroke and Application History.
  • Follow up on these interventions with an email after class. State expectations for the next class meeting.

Supporting Individual Learners

In Faronics Insight, right click on an individual student’s thumbnail to support and monitor their individual work.

  • Support learners by using Remote Control to control their computer. This lets you intervene and correct effectively, without leaning over their shoulder.
  • View Student Internet History, View Student Application History, or View Running Programs to determine the level of on-task behaviour they may be exhibiting. Intervene respectfully, if necessary, or follow up after class.
  • If one app or program in particular is proving distracting, Limit Web or Limit Applications. Talk to a learner about what behaviours you’re noticing, and explain that you’re limiting their access to support their learning.
  • You can perform the same actions with multiple learners by holding the shift key and clicking to select them. Then right click or choose your action from the top toolbar.

Assessing

Many faculty use Faronics Insight to support a controlled testing and assessment environment. Some use Faronics in tandem with exam accounts, which can be requested from the IT Service Desk.

Print the account ID’s out on slips of paper. On the exam day, distribute these to students. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to place the slips with exam accounts at each desk station. Alternatively, write them on the board, next to a map of the devices in the classroom.

Learners enter their exam account in the username field of the computer. They should then click into the password field. You may need to be explicit in this instruction.

  • Confirm everyone has their mouse cursor in the password field.
  • In the device preview, select all the computers with the same exam account password. (In large classes, you may have more than one group of exam accounts, which will necessitate more than one password. Usually, there will be one universal password.)
  • Choose Control, then Remote Control.
  • In one of the controlled computers, type in the password and hit enter.
  • Each computer will log in. Monitor this on the control console.

Begin the exam. Use the thumbnail view to monitor student activity, in addition to roving the classroom.


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Jess Wilkinson

Jesslyn is the Educational Technology Officer at Conestoga. An Ontario Certified Teacher, and holding a B.A. and B.Ed., Jesslyn researches and promotes new technologies for faculty to enhance pedagogical practices. She brings to the role her experience as a Google and Microsoft certified technology trainer and as a classroom teacher in South Korea, Mongolia, and Ontario, focusing on special education and assistive learning technologies. She is available for workshops, consultations, and support with using technology in higher education contexts.

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