Installing SoftLINK for use with the School Student Extension for Google Chrome

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Download PDF:  KB0206

SoftLINK provides the tools you need to maximize the effectiveness of computer‐led training and you can now utilize SoftLINK’s features in Google Chromebook environments. From the SoftLINK Tutor (Windows or Chrome OS) the teacher can perform the following functionality on students’ Chromebooks:

  • View a crystal clear thumbnail of each student Chromebook in a single view.
  • Click on a thumbnail to discreetly view screen activity on a selected Chromebook.*
  • Remote Control. As well as discreetly monitoring the students screens (Watch Mode), teachers can interact with the students’ desktops with real time remote control (Share Mode). Ideal for providing 1:1 help and support to students as needed.*
  • Show the teacher’s screen. Ensure student attention and focus when presenting by ‘showing’ the teacher’s desktop to selected student Chromebooks.*
  • Perform a show to students in a browser tab, or in full screen mode.*
  • Multi‐monitor support. If the teacher is using multiple monitors, select an individual screen to show to students or show all.*
  • Show an application to selected students.*
  • Lock the student’s mouse and keyboard when instructing.
  • Send an instant survey or request for feedback to each student and display results in real‐time.
  • The teacher can open a discussion session with selected or all students, enter their comments and share with the rest of the class.
  • Send an attention‐grabbing message or instruction to each student Chromebook.
  • Block unauthorized websites.
  • Use approved websites only.
  • Block all Internet access.
  • Launch a website on the Student Chromebook.*
  • Close a website on the Student Chromebook.*
  • During a view session you can copy the content of the clipboard between teacher and student machines.
  • Block FTP Access on each Chromebook.
  • See details of the website that students are currently viewing.
  • Ask students to register at the start of each lesson.

* These features are not available when using the NetSupport School Tutor for Chrome app. This document provides step‐by‐step instructions on installing the various components of SoftLINK that are required to gain the aforementioned functionality.

Planning an Installation
To allow a teacher to monitor and interact with their students using Google Chromebooks, the following must be done:

  • The SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server must be installed on a Windows Server
  • The SoftLINK Tutor must be installed on the teacher’s Windows based computer or the School Tutor for Chrome app must be installed on a Google Chrome device
  • The School Student for Google Chrome extension must be installed onto each of the students’ Chromebooks.
SoftLINK Monitors Chromebooks
SoftLINK Monitors Chromebooks

Please note:  The functionality available for use with Chromebooks is a subset of SoftLINK’s functionality available for other devices and platforms. If you are only connecting to students using Chromebooks, it may be preferable to remove unsupported functionality from the SoftLINK Tutor console.

SoftLINK Monitors Across Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, iPad
SoftLINK Monitors Across Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, iPad

If you wish to remove functionality unsupported by Chrome from the SoftLINK Tutor interface, please refer the Knowledge Base article KB0143 available from the Applied Computer Systems, Inc. knowledge base. http://support.acs-linksystems.com/knowledgebase/

Installing the SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server
The SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server or ‘Gateway’ is designed to negotiate connections between the SoftLINK Tutor application used by teachers and the School Student extension for Google Chrome. Therefore, the Name and Connectivity Server must have a static IP address and be accessible at all times by both the Tutor application and Student extension across the network. Run the SoftLINK installer and…

  1. On the ‘License Information’ dialog, enter the license details provided to you separately or choose a 30 day evaluation.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software License Screen
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software License Screen
  2. On the ‘Custom Setup’ dialog, choose the ‘Name and Connectivity Server’ option and click ‘Next’.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Name & Connectivity Server
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Name & Connectivity Server
  3. At the end of the installation the ‘SoftLINK Connectivity Server Configuration Utility’ will be launched.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Name & Connectivity Server Keys
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Name & Connectivity Server Keys
  4. On the ‘Keys’ tab, delete any existing keys and select ‘Add’ to create a new Gateway key.
  5. On the ‘Add Gateway Key’ dialog enter a description (for example, “SoftLINK Chrome Students”) and click the ‘Set…’ button to enter and confirm your Gateway key. Click ‘OK’ once done.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Add Connectivity Server Key
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Add Connectivity Server Key
  6. Click ‘OK’ to return to the ‘Keys’ tab, and click ‘Apply’ to complete the setup of the Name & Connectivity Server

There is a utility called the ‘SoftLINK Connectivity Server Console’ that can be used to check the status of the Name & Connectivity Server and to see details of which students are currently connected. This utility can be accessed by right clicking and selecting ‘Open’ on the SoftLINK Connectivity Server Console icon in the notification tray.

SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Connectivity Server Console
SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Connectivity Server Console

Make a note of the following information as you will need it when configuring both the School Student extension for Google Chrome and the SoftLINK Tutor application. SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server details:

IP Address: ___________________________________________________________
Port Number: _________________________________________________________
Gateway Key: _________________________________________________________

Installing the School Student extension for Google Chrome on the Student Chromebook
The School Student extension for Google Chrome must be installed on the students’ Chromebooks and configured to connect to the SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server (covered earlier in this document) so that they can be monitored, managed, and respond to surveys and the student register. Visit the Google Play Store for the School Student extension for Google Chrome and, on the Extensions details page, click the ‘Add to Chrome’ button.

Configuring the School Student to connect to the Name and Connectivity Server
Once installed, the School Student extension for Google Chrome will need to be configured as follows:

  1. On the student Chromebook, enter the URL chrome://settings/extensions to access the ‘Extensions’ configuration page.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Chrome Student Extension
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Chrome Student Extension
  2. Locate the NetSupport School Student extension for Google Chrome, and click ‘Options’.
  3. In the ‘Connectivity’ section, enter the ‘Gateway Address’ and ‘Gateway Port’ of the Name & Connectivity Server.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Student Chrome Options
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Student Chrome Options
  4. Select the option ‘This computer is always located in the following room:’ and enter the room that the Chromebook is located in. This information is used to ensure that the Tutor and Students are connected to each other (this information can be updated later).
  5. Optionally, enter the Chromebook user’s name or asset number in the Client Name field.
  6. Click ‘Save’ when finished to complete the setup of the NetSupport School Student extension for Google Chrome.

Installing the SoftLINK Tutor for Windows
The SoftLINK Tutor application is used by the teacher to communicate, monitor, control and test students; as such it should be installed on each teacher’s Windows computer and configured to connect to the SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server (covered earlier in this document).

Run the SoftLINK installer and…

  1. On the ‘License Information’ dialog, enter the license details provided to you separately or choose a 30 day evaluation.

    SoftLINK License Screen
    SoftLINK License Screen
  2. On the ‘Setup Type’ dialog, choose the ‘Tutor’ option.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Tutor Option
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Tutor Option
  3. On the ‘Room Identification’ dialog, enter the room that the Chromebook is located in. This information is used to ensure that the Tutor and Students are connected to each other (this information can be updated later).

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Room Identification
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Room Identification

Configuring the SoftLINK Tutor to connect to the SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server
Once the SoftLINK Tutor application has been installed, it will need to be configured to connect to the Name & Connectivity Server as follows…

  1. Launch the SoftLINK Tutor application and select from the ‘School’ drop down menu the ‘Configuration…’ option.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Configuring Tutor for Name & Connectivity Server
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Configuring Tutor for Name & Connectivity Server
  2. On the ‘Settings’ dialog, select ‘Network Settings’ and tick the ‘Use Name & Connectivity Server’ option in the ‘TCP/IP Settings’ section.
  3. In the ‘TCP/IP Settings’ section, click the ‘Settings’ button.
  4. In the ‘Name & Connectivity Server’ dialog, enter the IP Address, Port number and Key that you recorded earlier and click ‘OK’.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Name & Connectivity Server IP Address
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Name & Connectivity Server IP Address
  5. Click ‘OK’ to exit the configuration dialog and complete the setup of the Tutor application.

Installing and configuring the School Chrome Tutor
The School Chrome Tutor application is used by the teacher to communicate, monitor, control and test students; as such it should be installed on each teacher’s Chrome device and configured to connect to the SoftLINK Name & Connectivity Server (covered earlier in this document). Download the School Chrome Tutor from the Google Play store. You can evaluate the School Chrome Tutor for 30 days on up to five student Chromebooks or, when prompted, you can enter your existing SoftLINK license information. If you’re new to SoftLINK or require additional licenses, contact your Applied Computer Systems, Inc. sales representative by calling 1-800-237-5465.

  1. Locate the NetSupport School Tutor for Chrome app and open it.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Tutor Chrome Extension
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Tutor Chrome Extension
  2. The School Chrome Tutor will start and the ‘Enter License’ dialog will appear. Enter the School License details you have been provided with and click ‘License’ or ‘Evaluate’.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Chrome Tutor License
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Chrome Tutor License
  3. The ‘Connect’ dialog will appear.
  4. Enter the Gateway address, port number and security key. This must be the same as set in the Name & Connectivity Server.

    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Chrome Tutor Gateway
    SoftLINK Classroom Management Software Chrome Tutor Gateway
  5. Choose whether to connect to your Google Chrome Students using Room name or Browse mode.
  6. Click ‘Connect’.
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