bigWebApps, a provider of web-based help desk and customer support solutions, promoted its easy-to-use help desk and asset management software, bigWebDesk, which helps build better communication between school districts and individual schools.

Within 24 to 48 hours, the company says, a school system can integrate a fully operational help desk to prevent interruptions to teachers’ lessons by technology issues, evaluate the workload of internal and contracted service staff, reduce response time on service requests by as much as 80 percent, and decrease on-site visits of technology service staff by 15 percent.

bigWebDesk also helps technology directors monitor the performance of their IT staff, and it keeps a log of all machines throughout the district. Every school district is unique, bigWebApps says, and the software has been designed with this in mind: System administrators easily can control its options and functionality.

SpectorSoft demonstrated its Spector 360 monitoring software, which has been credited with dramatically reducing frivolous and inappropriate PC and internet activity within Tennessee’s Hickman County Schools.

Spector 360 records a PC user’s web-site visits, eMail messages, chats and instant messages, keystrokes, transferred files, documents printed, and applications run. In addition, through a surveillance-like camera recording tool, Spector 360 shows in exact visual detail what a PC user does every step of the way. It also takes these recorded internet and computer activities, feeds the information into a database, and provides more than 50 built-in reports (with nearly unlimited potential for customization) to provide answers to questions that school and district IT professionals might have, such as: Which students are goofing off instead of doing their class work? Which students are eating up bandwidth by downloading music, videos, and games? Can the school or district save money by identifying costly, underused curriculum software? Are staff members using school computers for inappropriate activities and communications? And, are students searching the internet for terms like “proxy server,” “suicide,” “drugs,” and so on?