Frequently Asked Questions

DigiClass & Networks
Last Updated 3 years ago

Introduction

DigiClass is an application designed for use in classrooms and meeting rooms for participants to share and collaborate using powerful presentational tools.

The collaboration relies on data being sent between participating devices.

The data is sent over a network, which can be wired, wi-fi or both.

DigiClass does not create its own wifi “hotspot”.

DigiClass is therefore a heavily network reliant application, although DigiClass can be used in standalone mode to create, edit, review IWBPro, DigiClass, SMART Notebook (and soon Promethean Flipchart) documents as local work.

To collaborate effectively with DigiClass a very good, stable network is required.

Poor networks will impact DigiClass in terms of stability, maximum number of devices, speed of data transfer between sessions.

The networking components in DigiClass underwent significant change in version 1.5.

Prior to 1.5 DigiClass used Broadcast mode to announce the class. This worked only where the Teacher/Student PCs and devices were on the same network segment. Version 1.5 added Multicast mode, which enabled DigiClass to work between different network segments.

Version 1.5 and newer

Teacher and Student can be configured to run in UDP broadcast and multicast mode. This affects only UDP protocol used to announce the running class presence on the network.

If a network is divided into segments (sub networks / subnets / VLANs) it may be that DigiClass Teacher is on one subnet and Students on another. Using broadcast Students won't see the class because broadcast will not traverse across subnets. Using multicast and multicast groups this limitation can be overcome and connection to Teacher / Student between different subnets is possible.

Th etable below lists the ports used for DigiClass:

Packet Name Type Port Description
udpPort UDP 63000 Broadcast Mode:
Used by teacher to announce classroom presence on the network
Students listen on this port and update their available class list.
Multicast Mode:
Used by teacher to announce classroom presence to the multicast group.
Students listen on this multicast group and update their available class list.
tcpPort TCP 63001 Used for peer to peer communication: students and teachers talk using this link. This link is direct, one IP to one IP.
udpBinaryPort UDP 63002 Used for desktop screen sharing.

Switching between Broadcast and Multicast Modes

To switch between Broadcast and Multicast, access the "Network" settings from "Application Settings":

image


The default multicast group address is "239.0.0.1".
TTL option limits how "far" UDP packet should jump across subnets on the network.

To prevent non-qualified users changing these settings, the settings on this page are password protected. To unlock the settings a ticket must be raised with iBoardTouch to obtain the password.

If the Multicast group address is changed on the Teacher, it must also be changed on all Student devices that wish to participate in the class.

After these settings are changed the application restart must be restarted.

NOTE: Some Android OS versions have problem with above multicast address, if network is configured correctly (i.e. other devices on same VLAN / subnet see the class) and Android device is still unable to see classroom please change multicast group IP to "224.0.0.1" (change must be made on Teacher and all Students - after changing IP restart is required).


The typical setup is for all devices to be on the wired network, ideally Gigabit per second, including all devices running DigiClass Student.

For embedded devices (tablets) fastest available wi-fi mode is recommended (i.e. 802.11 ac). Actual bandwidth requirements depends on classroom size and document content type. Large images are especially bandwidth intensive. DigiClass software uses internal compression for network payload and image content to achieve the most efficient performance / quality ratio.

Teachers have the option of setting a class PIN to prevent uninvited attendees joining.

DigiClass does not control general network access, i.e. DigiClass does not prevent users from browsing the internet.

DigiClass can run over an isolated network separate from the main network, but multi-casting must be enabled on network. This is only when Teacher and Student are on separate network segment.

DigiClass is not designed to be used over the internet (cloud) - our VCC application is available for that purpose.

Version Prior To 1.5

The notes below describe how DigiClass version prior to 1.5 worked. This section will be archived once all customers have upgraded to 1.5.

DigiClass uses both UDP and TCP traffic, described i n the table below:

Port Name /Type Port Number Description
udpPort / UDP 63000 Used only by teacher to broadcast the class heartbeat signal, using the LAN broadcast address
tcpPort / TCP 63001 Used for peer to peer communication: students and teachers talk using this link. This link is direct, one IP to one IP, No broadcasts.
udpBinaryPort / UDP 63002 Used for desktop screen sharing


The typical setup is for the teacher (usually the iBoardTouch screen) to be on the wired network, and the devices running DigiClass Student on wifi, however if the wi-fi network is good enough all,participants can use the wi-fi.

When the teacher starts a class in DigiClass, the application uses the "broadcast" address so that students can see the class is running, and can elect to join.

Teachers have the option of setting a class PIN to prevent uninvited attendees joining.

Where VLANs are in use, at present DigiClass requires the students/teachers to be on the same network (VLAN). This may change in future.


Please Wait!

Please wait... it will take a second!