Working in laptop classes with Software can be a difficult task for both teacher and the students. The students have to look at their laptops, their textbooks, maybe their handwritten journals and – sometimes most important – the whiteboard. This can be quite difficult if these sources are not close together as in a typical classroom.
Desktop sharing reduces the scattering of places to look at significantly. In a typical setup with e-books as textbooks and the teacher using screen-sharing software today’s widescreen laptops can display whiteboard content, textbook and the own software window nicely together.
If the notes are taken onscreen (e.g. with Onenote or Notability) everything is in one place.
As a side effect students can take screenshots any time to remember important steps more easily. Sessions can be recorded by students themselves as they like.
A short survey with about 35 students asked yielded about 80% “I like to use this tool” against “I don’t need/like to use this”.
I am using Big Blue Button hosted on a VPS with 4G RAM and 4 cores.