Education and gnuLinEx

Teacher manual


First of all, only the teacher has access to all of the classroom control and management functionality that this application provides. To enable this, the teacher must use a teacher's computer and be logged in as a member of the system's teacher group. If not, he will see the same interface that a student sees and will have the same rights, as explained at the user manual. The way to define a user as a teacher and how to define a computer as a teacher's computer is explained in the documentation for sysadmins and in the installation and quick start guide.


After the teacher starts the application, he will see the interface displayed in the image at right. In this interface, there are five separate sections:


All the classroom desktops are represented in this display, with at least four shown at all times, and 40 shown as a maximum.Panel del puesto

 There is a small frame for every desktop providing the following information: 

To take any action on a computer it must be selected by clicking on its icon, and then clicking on the action to be taken. The action can be chosen from the Actions list or from the contextual menu that will appear when the teacher right-clicks the desktop icon. There are also a couple of buttons on the upper left part of this area to make it easier to choose all or none of the Desktops: Selección de puestos

Action lists

Tray menu

As a general rule, actions can be classified as being of one of two types: those that will have some effect on a student's desktop (disabling internet access, switching it on, etc.) and those that will start some application on it (the web browser, workgroup, big brother, etc.). For this latter type of action, the same button that launches an application can be used to close it when the teacher clicks on it again. I.e.: clicking twice on "Start Projector" won't start the projector twice: it will start it and then close it.

Actions can be performed from the buttons on the right of the tray icon on the Desktop panel. It will produce the same effect, either way: executing it over the selected desktops.  Performing the actions from the contextual menu on one of the computer icons in the classroom area will affect only one PC.

Available actions:

Switching the selected desktops on or off.
Enabling/disabling Internet access on the selected desktops.

For this action to work, the student computers need to be switched on (Puesto encendido), but they don't need a user logged.
If the teacher has a printer, it will be configured as the default printer for the student computers to use over the network.
Lock/unlock the keyboard and mouse on the selected computers. While locked, the student will be able to move the mouse, but clicking or typing is disabled.
Selected desktops will see only the teacher's desktop.
With this function, the teacher's computer effectively becomes an electronic chalk board.
While his desktop is in this state, a student will not be able to use his keyboard or mouse.
Big Brother
This allows the teacher see the screens of the selected desktops. The desktops are shown as tiles on the teacher's screen. The size of the tiles will depend on their number.
Clicking on a tile will let the teacher take control of the selected desktop.
This allows the teacher to broadcast a DVD, VCD, or a video file to the students' screens.
After selecting this option, a dialog will appear to choose between transmitting a file or playing a DVD/VCD.
There are two choices:
  1. If broadcasting a file, clicking on the "Choose file to be transmitted" button will show a dialog to choose it. Clicking on the "Transmit chosen file" button will begin the broadcast.
  2. If broadcasting a DVD or VCD, after inserting it in the drive and choosing its type, clicking the "Transmit disk in drive" button will begin the process.
Send file
This action will send a file to the selected students.
A dialog will be shown to choose the file to send, and clicking on the "Send" button will do it.

The sent file will appear in the home folder of the student.
Send message
Short messages will be sent to the selected students.

A dialog to write the message will be shown. Clicking on the "Send" button will complete the message.
A session for the selected students to work together on a document will be started with this option. By selecting it, a new file shared by the teacher is created. To work on an already existing document, the teacher must right click on it in the the "My Data" tab and choose this option.
Students will be able to modify the document in real time and the modifications will be immediately shown on everyone's desktop with a different color to identify the authors. The students will also have a small chat window in the lower part of the application.
After the teacher launches this action, a dialog will appear on the students' desktops to let them to choose a color that will identify them and another window to choose the document to work on.
The whole time, the teacher sees what is written in the document and all the chat messages. The students can save local copies of the document, but the original version will be kept as a shared file by the teacher.
In order to end the workgroup session, the teacher must click on its button again.

Launch application

Working with computers in the classroom can be a waste of time when the teacher wants to begin new activities on the students' computers. With this option, the teacher can automatically start any application on the selected students' desktops using a single button. To enable this, drag the required application  from its menu and drop it on the ControlAula window. After dropping it, the icon will appear in ControlAula and clicking on the "Launch" button will start it on the selected student computers. 

Launch applications

Clicking again on the "Launch" button will close the application on the students' computers.

Launch web site

Very often, web URLs are hard to spell or write down. Students often make mistakes in the browser dialog and thus undesired results can make surfing the web very unpleasant in a classroom with many teenagers. With this option, the teacher can launch an URL on all the selected students' desktops, avoiding these mistakes. Just typing the URL and click the "Apply" button to make the magic happen.

On the student desktops, the URL will be shown in their default web browser, which is usually set up as x-www-browser.

After clicking again on "Apply," the web browser window will be closed on the students' desktops.

"My Data" tab

My dataThis tab has all the files shared by the teacher, organized by categories. Its use is the same as described for the general users in the users documentation.

There is only one difference when using ControlAula as a teacher: right clicking on a selected file will cause the Workgroup option to appear. The way this option works has already being described in the actions list on this page.

Application manuals

Last modification on 17th November, 2007 Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional Document made with Nvu