College of Arts & Letters

AL Student Lab Documentation


Apple Remote Desktop

Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) is a utility that lets the instructor observe and control the stations in a computer lab. It is commonly used to blank out screens during a lecture, or show someones station screen to the class. There are many other features to help with lab administration but for our setup the instructors are limited to screen interactions.

Where is the Remote Desktop Application

Instructors can use ARD from the instructors station in the Mac labs. Only those stations have the serial numbers to allow the Remote Desktop application to run. You can find it in the Applications folder. On first run you will be asked to set an access password so someone cannot sit down and mess with the lab stations when you are not around. There may also be some questions about report schedules, just select the default settings and continue on.

Creating a list of lab stations

Remote Desktop does not start with the lab pre-configured. A list must be created with your login information. When you run Remote Desktop a SCANNER group will show you the nearby stations that are currently online. Be sure to select the correct stations from the list or you may end up controlling the computers in the next class and upsetting the other instructors. Select the stations in your lab and click the (+) at the bottom of the list and select New List from Selection Selecting lab stations from Scanner
In order to add a computer to your list you must enter your instructor username and password credentials. When you enter them correctly it will try the same information on the whole list. It will add them to an untitled list. Click on the list name and type in the room name so you can distinguish them from other rooms.
Instructor Credentials RequiredName the new list

How to interact with the lab stations

As an instructor you may interact with the lab stations by first selecting the stations to manage from the room list. You can select one or many stations. Do not select the instructor station since that is the one you are currently on. After you choose which stations to manage select the feature from the Interact menu you want to use.
Interact Menu

  • CONTROL - Only works on single stations at a time. You see their screen and control mouse and keyboard. So does the student. There is a button on the top left of the screen that lets you disable their keyboard and mouse if you need to.
  • OBSERVE - Works with list of stations. It will present a thumbnail list of the lab screens as they use them. You can select stations to control or observe full screen from the thumbnail list.
  • CURTAIN - Works on single stations. It is the same as control but it hides the screen from the student so they cannot see what you are doing.
  • SEND MESSAGE - Type a message to send to all the selected stations. It will appear as a dialog box on their screen until they dismiss it.
  • CHAT - For single stations, it lets you have real time chat with the student. Kind of silly if you are in the same room but handy if its across campus.
  • LOCK SCREEN - Type a message and blank the screen from the student displaying the message. Handy to stop any distractions during a lecture or test. Note! Quitting remote desktop will NOT unlock the screens. Please do not leave the screens locked after your class.
  • UNLOCK SCREEN - Return control of the station to the student.