Bishop Auckland College, located in County Durham, offers a range of disciplines from Computing & IT, Music to Beauty Therapy. These courses are offered on a part-time or full-time basis to open up courses to adult learners. Rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, Bishop Auckland College promotes safeguarding and equality of opportunities in all aspects of their work and Impero Education Pro is helping to achieve that.
Before Impero Education Pro, Bishop Auckland College was utilising NetSupport, a remote connection tool to control their PCs. However, this product failed to meet the requirements of the college as a whole. Bishop Auckland College required a monitoring solution to keep track of, and control, student usage on their college network. Therefore, the need for an alternative solution was identified.
When it came to looking for a solution, Bishop Auckland College did not have to look far. Using Impero Education Pro in a previous role, the current Head of IT Services at the college suggested Impero Education Pro and no other alternatives were considered. As a consolidated solution for classroom management, network management and online safety, the Head of IT Services spoke highly of the software’s range of features and described Impero Education Pro as “immediately above the competition”.
Bishop Auckland College have used Impero Education Pro for the last 4 years, where it has worked brilliantly. The initial implementation process proved straightforward; once the Impero server was set up, all Bishop Auckland College had to do was set permissions for those who needed to access the Impero console. Upgrades since initial implementation have been very straightforward, with settings and policies migrated over to save the team time. The IT team has even noticed several changes over the four years of using Impero Education Pro, including interface changes, better policies, and enhancements to make their lives easier.
Since installing Impero Education Pro, Bishop Auckland College as realised a variety of benefits:
focused independent learning: Using groups and applying settings to these particular groups, the library staff are able to keep students focused and on task. As part of the “quiet zone”, students are not permitted to listen to music – those who do are moved into a ‘muted sound group’ where websites like YouTube and SoundCloud are restricted.
saves money: Using the power management features included in Impero Education Pro, Bishop Auckland College can shut down and power up PCs in the learning zone each day without user intervention. After running a power report, Bishop Auckland College identified that they have saved £46.00 over the last week using these features.
saves time: Using the capture log, combined with the ability to pull a report based on these captures, Bishop Auckland College have visibility of everything a student has accessed from the time they log on to the time they log off. With real-time email notifications, the IT team can investigate a capture further. Prior to Impero Education Pro, Bishop Auckland College would have to troll through log files which was a long and tedious task.
Q&A with Wayne Longton-Worley, Head of IT Services
how does Impero Education Pro help focus learning in the e-zone?
Like a lot of colleges across the UK, we’re advised to promote independent learning. Each week students are timetabled to the learning zone, an area in the library with 160 devices. From here students can log onto the virtual learning environment, where their teachers have set them tasks or they can finish reports – or any other independent learning. Using Impero Education Pro, we can centralise the monitoring of student usage on these computers. We can monitor attendance and, at a glance, we can see if a student is on track or not. Locking down certain websites like YouTube helps to create a controlled environment and keep students on task, which is a challenge for 16-18 year olds. The library staff have the console open all day every day and can see all the devices from one screen. The notifications help show who is trying to access gaming sites, and they can go over to that student and swiftly put them back on track. It’s like having an extra member of staff – it’s so easy to use, they’d be lost without it.
how does Impero Education Pro help keep your students safe online?
The policy management included in Impero Education Pro really helps, and we’re able to capture the obvious things like gambling sites. Beyond that, Impero Education Pro also helps us to comply with the Prevent Duty by capturing activity and terms related to radicalisation. Impero Education Pro is genuinely a really good safeguarding tool. Terms regarding terrorist organisations are generated all the time and there’s all sort of methods to spread the word, and it was previously tricky to capture this. Now, using Impero Education Pro’s keyword detection libraries, we’re helping to ensure we’re keeping students safe in our school environment. Impero is also really good for reporting these online dangers, unlike filtering systems, which only provide you with raw data that’s difficult to understand, Impero Education Pro gives you the “who, what, where, why”. It’s very clear and that’s a very important feature for us. The granular control helps get information more quickly and pinpoint an issue, we can escalate it much more efficiently.
what are your next steps?
We’ve got various other locations with PCs across our campuses that don’t currently have Impero Education Pro installed. In order to utilise the features included in Impero Education Pro college-wide, we’ve decided to purchase additional licences so we can monitor and control all 500 of our machines.
how would you describe our support team?
I spoke directly with the support team over the summer holidays. I phoned through and got remotely connected with the team almost immediately. They send over a set of instructions to follow and the issue was solved.
how would you summarise Impero Education Pro?
Gives you complete control while being really easy to use.