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This article was last updated on December 14th of 2020.

Image at the top of the screen.

The logo of LanSchool.


LanSchool is a classroom management software owned by Lenovo Group Limited, a Chinese multinational company. It was initially released on February 9th of 1986 by a company named "LanFan Technologies". Interestingly, that same company also developed another tool called "PC Chalkboard", which was implemented by Novell. Funny how much of the software Williamston High School uses can be traced back to Novell. LanSchool is meant to be used on a per classroom basis, with one teacher in control and able to monitor and work with dozens of computers during a class period. LanSchool has had a recent surge in popularity this past decade, with the software being utilized in schools across the United States, including yours truly. LanSchool has a number of features, including: the ability to view the screens of the computers with LanSchool, limit internet access to approved websites, disable internet access, lock the students' computers during instruction, have teachers receive questions from students, and finally, allows teachers to screen share their computer screen to every other computer in the classroom.

The features this software provides has created a lot of media controversy, to the point where some accuse LanSchool of being spyware, rather than a software. Some have also questioned whether or not it should be legal for schools to force the installation of LanSchool on students' personal computers, and then monitor said computers after school hours for the purpose of preventing cyberbullying. LanSchool is not a free service for schools, but the company does provide free trials to some extent.

Here is an image of the LanSchool control panel the teachers have access to.

Implementation in Williamston Middle School

During the 2016-2017 school year, it was made known to the students of Williamston Middle School that the administration has given teachers access to a free trial for LanSchool. For a few weeks, teachers were instructed to try out the program, and so the IT Men installed it on all of the WMS's chromebooks. The middle school had three computer labs at the time, as well as an additional one in a classroom, and a few computers in the library, but LanSchool wasn't installed on those computers because they were rarely used. When the trial ran out, the administration never gave a statement on whether or not the school would actually be adopting LanSchool. It was then assumed by the students at the time that the whole LanSchool thing was a bust. However, suspicions grew when students noticed that they still had to share screens with LanSchool when they used a chromebook, despite the fact that the trial was long over. As it turns out, WMS had at least partially adopted LanSchool after all. The true distribution of LanSchool in Williamston Middle School remains unknown, but it is likely that either the administration distributed full versions of LanSchool to the teachers after the free trial, or some teachers just decided to buy it for their individual classrooms. It is also worth noting that the teachers at WMS typically only used LanSchool's dashboard to make sure the students weren't playing coolmathgames or watching YouTube on their chromebooks. LanSchool remains on the chromebooks at WMS to this day, and may also be on the computers at this point.

Implementation in Williamston High School

It is unknown when LanSchool arrived at Williamston High School, but you can logically estimate that it was implemented at roughly the same time as the middle school. LanSchool is widely adopted in classrooms in WHS that have computer labs. For example, when Mrs. Baldwin taught at WHS, she used LanSchool to lock her students' computers while she was teaching. LanSchool is also installed in all of the chromebooks at WHS, and thus every time a student uses a chromebook, they are required to consent to sharing their screen to LanSchool. However, it has been observed that some teachers at Williamston High School choose not to use LanSchool at all, while other teachers do use the program regularly. The teachers that do use the software find it a convenient way to check on the students and make sure they are on task, and a minority use the "ask a question" feature. LanSchool remains in use at Williamston High School to this day.

Resistance to LanSchool by Members of Willemstan

As it turns out, you can disable LanSchool by just shutting off your ethernet connection. This can be done by yanking the ethernet cable out of the back of the school computer. You can also use the control panel to shut off your ethernet/internet connection. However, this simple fix has an obvious downside, as the moment you disconnect from the ethernet, the teacher will know because something along the lines of "No Signal" will pop up on their teacher panel. It is also possible to force your way out of the computer lock. As far as we know, there is no way to uninstall LanSchool without teacher or IT Men permission. This was attempted by a member of Willemstan, using the classic "C" drive backdoor to modify the group policy editor, which then unlocked the control panel. However, it turns out you cannot uninstall LanSchool using the control panel without the use of a code, which can only be obtained by bribing the IT Man or a teacher. Which will likely never happen.


LanSchool remains on all of the chromebooks in Williamston Middle School and Williamston High School, although it is unknown if LanSchool has been implemented in Explorer Elementary and Discovery Elementary, as well as any of the computers in the middle school. LanSchool is not used to its full potential by the teachers, if at all, and is instead used as an overly-efficient tool to spy on the students to make sure they are doing their work and paying attention in class. Overall, LanSchool has only slightly improved student productivity, as many students are still able to use their phones in class for non-academic activities. This is due to students taking advantage of the few teachers who allow phone use in their class, and/or poor classroom supervision. In all, the program is probably a waste of money for Williamston Community Schools, as it would probably be more effective for teachers to patrol their classrooms, reverse the direction of student desks, or curb classroom phone use to improve classroom engagement.