Aberdare Community School, located in Wales, was formed recently by merging Aberdare High, Aberdare Girls’ and Blaengwawr secondary schools to become a new ‘super-school’. A 21st century state-of-the-art school complex, featuring break-out areas, internet cafes and an iPad scheme for tablet-driven learning, will open to students in Spring 2015.
Prior to Impero Education Pro, Aberdare High previously ran an RM network with RM Tutor implemented for classroom management. The school’s IT team experienced several issues with running an RM network, such as unreliability, and the decision was made to move away from this solution. It was at this point that the IT team realised a need for better network management tools, and the team began development of their own software solution to facilitate the school’s growing IT requirements.
On discovering Impero Education Pro, the IT team found that the software provided all of the tools required to manage the school’s network. Remote control would allow technical issues to be resolved quickly and custom policies would save time and keep students safe, while comprehensive diagnostic tools would enable the network to be maintained efficiently. A suite of classroom management tools would also prove beneficial to teaching staff, providing control over an advanced modern day learning environment.
The software was originally implemented across just one school and, due to the technical expertise of the school’s IT team and the support of Impero’s technical support team, this was carried out with ease. Following the Aberdare Community School merger, Impero Education Pro was installed across the additional two sites with no issues arising, enabling the IT team to support a large network, spread across three separate sites, from a single location.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, Aberdare Community School has realised a variety of benefits, such as:
saves time – a suite of admin tools enables the IT team to manage the network efficiently, streamlining several processes, while the remote control functionality enables technical issues to be resolved across all sites with ease.
focuses learning – classroom management functionality places control into the teacher’s hands in an ever-evolving digital learning environment.
keeps students safe – real-time monitoring and customised policies, including keyword detection, enables potential risks to be identified and dealt with accordingly.
Q&A with Lee Powell, IT Manager
which features do you find most beneficial?
We use the monitoring functionality to give us a complete view of all network activity. The ability to view violations via the timeline feature – with screenshot evidence – is really useful when proving misuse and helping to keep students safe. All of the IT admin tools have been essential in ensuring that the network is running efficiently. We love MSI deployment, the command prompt, scheduling policies and the task manager. Currently, while we wait for the new building to be finished, we have three sites to manage; remote control has been brilliant in enabling us to respond to technical support requests from our desks, without having to travel miles to the location of the school.
how has Impero Education Pro helped to focus learning?
Just having the software in place deters students from inappropriate behaviour, and inititally we found that it eradicated almost all incidents of misuse. From a teaching perspective, it really helps to streamline lessons. Sending URLs to all screens saves time and the block/allow lists allows the right content to accessed at the right time. Teachers can broadcast screens to ensure all students have visibility, which is great for large classes and students sitting at the back of the room.
what are the next steps?
Since adopting two other school sites to become a new ‘super-school’, there’s been a huge focus on using new technologies to improve learning. This has included the roll-out of iPads, so we’re really excited by the new iOS functionality now available in Education Pro and how this could help us better manage and control these devices. Once we’ve moved to the new building, we’ll be providing training on the software for teaching staff to give them better control over our tech-focused learning environment.
how would you sum up Impero?
An awesome administration tool – we’d definitely recommend it to other schools!