Review: iTALC classroom monitoring and management

iTALC is for any teacher, training department, etc. needing a tool to control multiple workstations in order to simplify classroom instruction.

If you are a teacher, instructor, presenter or anyone who needs to help a classroom (or audience) grasp certain PC concepts, nothing helps better than a tool that allows you to, in real-time, demo those concepts or steps to your students. Or what if you had to test students on hands-on aptitude? Or what about taking control of a classroom of desktops, or even locking a student out of his/her computer? It might sound difficult, but there are plenty of tools available for such tasks. One tool is the open source iTALC, which is not only free (both in cost and source), it is also incredibly powerful and not insanely difficult to set up.


Available for Linux and Windows XP/2000

  • Linux requirements:
    • libqt4-dev
    • xorg-dev
    • libxtst-dev
    • libjpeg62-dev/libjpeg-devel
    • zlib1g-dev/zlib-devl
    • libssl-dev/openssl-devel
    • ssh client and server
  • Windows requirements:
    • Windows 2000 at least, Windows XP recommended
  • iTALC is an acronym for Intelligent Teaching And Learning with Computers
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Who's it for?

iTALC is for any teacher, school, university, training department, etc needing a tool to control multiple workstations in order to simplify instruction.

What problem does it solve?

iTALC simplifies the problem of taking control of a students' workstation, demonstrating a task to a classroom of students, watching workstation progress, and more. iTALC also allows a teacher to control workstations, to the point they can lock a student out of his/her machine. And testing or progress is made easy by allowing a student to show a demonstration from their workstation as well.

Standout features

  • Easy to use interface
  • Overview mode allows Master to watch and take snapshots
  • Power on/off workstations
  • Send text messages to workstations
  • Secure-key authentication for better security
  • Easy installation
  • Works in heterogeneous environments (Linux, Windows)

What's wrong?

  • The biggest problem issue that some might have is authentication. If the key pairs are not generated correctly, or given the proper permissions, the Master will not be able to log into the workstations. And, if the keys are not locked down, a student could temporarily keep the Master out of the machine.
  • The other issue is that (as of this writing) Windows is only supported up to XP. Windows Vista support is promised soon, but nothing about Windows 7.

Competitive Products:

Bottom line for business

If you are looking for a cost-effective classroom management solution, you need look no further than iTALC. Not only is iTALC easy on the budget, it is easy to install and use. You won't find a better match, near the same price point, as iTALC.

User rating

Have you encountered or used iTALC? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....