Glassboro Public Schools

establishment: Glassboro Public Schools, USA

students: Aged 5-18

no. pupils: 2,300

no. devices: 1,200

solution: Impero Education Pro

 

background
Located in New Jersey, Glassboro Public Schools consists of five separate school sites and two administrative sites across the borough. During a recent drive to create an interactive learning environment, the school district invested in a range of activity tables, touch screens, laptops and tablets. With a large network to manage, across multiple site locations, the district required an effective and scalable solution.

 

issues
Prior to Education Pro, the school district was mainly using VNC and Mircosoft Remote Desktop to facilitate its IT support needs. In addition to this, Vision, a product which had previously been used by the Director of Technology at another school district was implemented, however this failed to perform as intended; it was slow to load, would frequently fail to take screenshots and was unable to provide a live view of all machines on the network. With five school sites and two administration sites to manage centrally, the school district required an effective solution which could deliver fast remote access and a reliable suite of classroom management tools.

 

solution
Glassboro Public Schools’ Director of Technology was introduced to Education Pro through a phone call from Impero. Following a demo and a free trial, the district was so impressed with the product, Education Pro was implemented immediately. With fast remote control functionality and a broad suite of classroom management features, the software would provide IT support staff with a comprehensive view of all network activity and place classroom control into the hands of teaching staff.

 

implementation
Glassboro’s technical team encountered no major issues during the implementation, and Education Pro was installed across the district’s network with ease. Some minor issues arose when the district moved over to Windows 7 in 2009, but Impero’s friendly technical support team were on hand to help and a solution was found quickly. The software has been installed across all machines on the network, including interactive tables, touch screen plasmaTVs, laptops attached to interactive whiteboards and document camera systems, and tablets. The software works seamlessly across these; support staff are able to easily monitor activity and remote control these devices when needed.

 

benefits
Since implementing Education Pro seven years ago, the school district has consistently realized several benefits, including:
saves time – remote control enables the IT team to support staff and students with any technical issues across the network, without the need to travel to the site location.
improves behavior – violation alerts inform teaching staff when their students are misbehaving or straying off task, whilst live thumbnail view gives complete visibility of their students’ activity.
enhances learning environment – lab teachers use Impero to log entire classrooms or carts into an application from their desk and, with the recently introduced standardized PARCC testing, test coordinators utilize Impero to log in/out of all PCs and open applications, simultaneously, for the start of an exam, saving masses of time and facilitating controlled examination procedures.
reduces cost – during a power management project, Education Pro’s power management feature contributed to a $1m cost saving for the school district.

 

Q&A with George J. Weeks, Director of Technology
how has Impero helped you to perform your role?
From an IT support perspective, I’m able to view all PCs in real time, so I can closely monitor staff and student activity. Using the remote control functionality, I can also load software to machines across the network without leaving my desk! The ability to watch screens remotely and video record violations is really useful to evidence misuse, particularly to parents, justifying suspension or detention decisions. I’ve recently rediscovered the logviewer, which is a really useful tool to provide information on individual activity. It’s a lot easier to use and more efficient than other standalone remote access products that we’ve experimented with and saves masses of time. It’s a great product, we don’t use anything else because it does exactly what it advertises on the box! We love it – keep up the good work, Impero!

 

have you realized any cost savings since implementing the software?
A few years ago we employed a power management consultancy company to help us reduce our energy use and cut costs. Aside from the usual turning off of lights and lowering the heating temperature, we employed Impero’s power management feature to automatically power off machines when they had been idle for 3 hours. Over the course of the project we realized a cost saving of $1m and Impero has definitely contributed to that figure – it’s been brilliant in ensuring that we don’t leave machines powered on overnight or during the weekend.

 

how have teaching staff reacted to the software?
If the server goes down, teachers get really upset if they can’t use Education Pro! It’s one of those software packages that has become integral to the daily lives of teachers and technical staff across all of the schools. Students know they are being watched, which deters them from misbehaving in the first place. Teachers can send messages, monitor their students in real-time, share screens to display tasks or resources; it’s a great suite of tools for classroom control.