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further education

When students make the transition from secondary school to a further education college, it’s generally expected that they will continue their learning in a mature working environment. That being said, the typical problems associated with online learning remain as prevalent as ever.

UK colleges cater for a variety of students, differing in age, understanding and learning styles. With a broad array of subjects and qualifications on offer, from apprenticeships and vocational courses to BTECS and A levels, the need for enhanced computer-based conditions and access to specialist resources rises – and therefore, so does the need for computing monitoring software.

software for colleges

Impero Education Pro

Distraction is rife in any educational environment involving technology, as is the potential for online safety risks. And colleges prove no different. That’s why the Department for Education released new requirements in KCSiE for education establishments, including colleges, requiring that all establishments have an active ‘appropriate monitoring’ system in place. Not only is Impero Education Pro compliant with the UK Safer Internet Centre’s ‘appropriate monitoring’ checklist, but seamless network admin and classroom control tools also help to streamline networks and enhance learning.

Impero Education Pro software for colleges boasts a comprehensive suite of network management, classroom management, and online safety features, designed to streamline networks, focus learning and protect students. Real-time monitoring allows colleges to scan for inappropriate or at-risk behaviour and intervene where necessary, in line with Ofsted guidelines. Classroom management tools – from access management, live thumbnail view and lock screen to an exam module – help to both enhance and focus learning. Regardless of age, students can become vulnerable to influences of unwelcome persuasion and other safeguarding risks; Education Pro includes keyword detection libraries to identify when terms have been typed anywhere on the school network, while a glossary of definitions alongside screenshot and video captures of the incident, help colleges to put these phrases into context, so students can be safeguarded as appropriate.

The management of a large network serving thousands of users, from students to lecturers, is an arduous, yet vital, task. Combine these challenges with the huge costs involved to facilitate such an environment and network management issues begin to emerge. Remote control and support functionality allows college IT teams to discreetly monitor users and respond to technical issues quickly and with ease. The desktop utilisation functionality provides detailed reports on machine usage across the network, helping to identity hotspot areas and inform procurement strategies, so colleges can maximise the usage of existing equipment. As budgets continue to stretch, and environmental issues become more prevalent, the need to cut down on energy use intensifies. Education Pro includes an intelligent power management feature designed to save on energy and reduce costs, enabling colleges to do more with less.

It’s not surprising that further education students, from 16-year-olds through to adult learners, will own at least one mobile device. Whether they own a smartphone or a tablet – or often both – the proliferation of mobile devices across further education has fuelled a rise in 1:1 schemes and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives. As tablets and mobile devices, from iPads to Chromebooks, become an increasingly popular tool for learner engagement across further education, colleges are required to facilitate effective monitoring and control.

Compatible with Android, iOS and Chrome OS, using EdLink alongside Education Pro enables colleges to effectively support BYOD and 1:1 programmes, while protecting students and their devices, in line with the DfE’s Keeping Children Safe in Eductaion guidance. When used in conjunction with Education Pro, EdLink ensures that teaching staff have complete access to use the suite of classroom control and online safety tools, while the general management of mobile devices is also simplified; collegeIT teams can control device settings by pushing out actions in bulk, such as installations and updates, or enforcing safe search or forcing single application mode. With granular reporting, intelligent SSID, GPS and iBeacon technologies, Impero EdLink is designed to help collgessupport successful mobile device integration and realise the benefits of mobile learning.

Impero Insight

An advanced reporting and analytics tool, Impero Insight provides further education colleges with access to a comprehensive overview of a college’s Impero data. Great for colleges spread over disparate sites or campuses, Insight’s multi-server reporting functionality enables staff to view, compare, contrast and analyse data across all sites, via a visual dashboard, to help identify and track trends, such as safeguarding issues. The visual dashboards can be tailored to individual users (such as safeguarding staff) to ensure data security and that the right staff members have access to the right information.

Using Impero Insight, colleges can support good decision-making and support a best practice approach to online safety, in line with Ofsted guidelines, by reviewing data on a site, classroom or student basis. This ensures that policies, such as those related to online safety or safeguarding, are being followed and any areas which require improvement can be identified and addressed quickly.

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