De Spinaker Transferium is a specialist school designed for children with behavioural and/or psychiatric difficulties. Located in the Netherlands, it strives to provide a fun and enriched learning environment to a minimum of 50 students and a maximum of 80, which varies week to week. Any student who attends the school is provided live-in accommodation at De Spinaker Transferium’s site to conform to its core values of peace, structure and order.
Prior to the implementation of Education Pro, the school was struggling to regulate internet access for its students. Due to the nature of the students’ difficulties, it was considered essential to manage online distractions whilst also providing the necessary access to aid research for assignments. Teaching staff would often find students accessing social media sites or viewing inappropriate content via the internet, instead of focusing on the task at hand. At a school where the improvement of behaviour is integral to the success of each student, a monitored approach to the digital classroom proved essential.
The school’s IT Teacher had previously executed an internet search for a classroom management software solution whilst working at another school. Aware of other software products, he chose to download the free trial version of each and test the potential solutions. It was discovered that these solutions used a huge amount of memory and caused the network to perform slowly. In the search for a better solution, the IT Teacher came across Impero and, after trialling Education Pro for a month, he found it to work perfectly on the network. Impero Education Pro would enable the school to take a managed approach to online learning, rather than restricting access completely.
Impero Education Pro was installed on the network with no issues arising and the technical support team were on hand to help throughout. Considering the nature of the students’ behavioural difficulties, the software was received enthusiastically by teaching staff, desperate to address the issues inevitable in the digital classroom. An enhanced learning environment has been facilitated with the use of the exam module, monitoring capabilities and the extensive classroom management functionality.
improves productivity – the ability to manage access to specific websites and applications keeps students focused on their learning, aiding academic and behavioural progression.
increases e-safety – a managed approach to e-safety, as opposed to a locked down approach, enables students to take responsibility for their own safety online.
enhances learning environment – teaching and learning is more interactive as technology can be incorporated into lessons without concerns over distractions or inappropriate use.
Q&A with Martin Breed, IT Teacher
why did you choose Education Pro over other products in the marketplace?
It just works! Other solutions that I trialled caused network issues and performed slowly. Impero Education Pro provides a range of features to help us manage the online learning environment, along with a broad suite of network management features. It was important to have a product that worked; putting our students (who can be of a vulnerable nature) at risk is not something we can tackle lightly. We needed a powerful solution that wouldn’t let us down, and Impero was the answer.
how has the behaviour of students changed?
Education Pro has altered the entire learning environment. Students know that teachers can view their screens and this prevents misuse from happening in the first place. Access to inappropriate content is managed using Education Pro, and the exam module helps teachers to plan effective and engaging lessons, in turn, encouraging a positive attitude to learning and good behaviour.
did any features surprise you?
There were several unexpected features! The print quota aspect to print management, the exam module and the ability to broadcast screens. I love being able to broadcast my own screen to demonstrate a task and it really helps to build mutual trust with the students as nothing is private, both for the students and staff – which is important in an environment like ours where teacher-student relationships are crucial.
how would you sum up Impero?
At this stage, with the development of education in regards to technology, it’s a must-have tool.