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Computimes,   September 22, 2000
by Subashini Selvaratnam

Software designed for computer-based training

You can do away with the traditional method of teaching or presentations with Advantage Systems Sdn Bhd's latest software as the product is designed for computer-based training in educational institutions and corporations.

The product, NetOp School Version 1.5, is developed by Danware Data A/S. It operates like a black or white board found in schools or lecture rooms. The difference is that the instructors can give their presentations by transmitting the personal computer (PC) screen to those of the students, making it easier to conduct the class.

"A teacher can also select a student's presentation to show to other students. This creates an interactive classroom environment," said Advantage Systems' product executive Ng Mei Fong.

NetOp School consists of two modules - teacher and student. A teacher module can handle up to 30 students in one classroom without collision or packet loss. Users can also have multiple classrooms on the network and switch between the different classrooms. Besides that, teachers can monitor the progress of the students while they are working.

The content of the screen, whether from the teacher or student, can be shared with one, a few or all the students simultaneously.

With this module, a teacher can lock any of the student's keyboard or mouse if the student is not attentive in class. It also allows the teacher to activate programs on the students' PCs simultaneously, transfer files and chat.

For the chat feature, only the teacher is allowed to communicate with one or more students. With this module, the teacher will also know who are the students who are logged onto the network.

For the student module, one of the features provided is request help. Here, students can send a help message to the teacher, should they face any difficulties in the subject.

The product is easy to use, requires no extra hardware such as server installation and no extra cost for overhead or video-projector sessions, Ng said.

Another advantage of the NetOp School is that it runs on the transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP), inter-network packet exchange (IPX) and NetBIOS communication protocol, according to Advantage Systems.

To run the software, users need an IBM PC with a 80386 processor or higher and any graphics adapter supported by Windows with five megabytes of disk space. The software runs on the Windows platform.

The price for one teacher module with 10 students is between RM2,000 and RM3,000.

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