Prestatyn High School, also known as Ysgol Uwchradd Prestatyn, is a secondary school based near the coast of Denbighshire. Prestatyn prides itself on creating a welcoming environment where pupils feel valued and respected, with a dedicated pastoral and safeguarding team to ensure students live by the ethos of the school ‘INSPIRE’. As well as 780 PCs, Prestatyn had 115 Laptops and 700 1 to 1 mobile devices that needed to be managed, therefore a classroom management solution became necessary.
Prior to Education Pro, Prestatyn did not have any software in place to manage the classroom, or the network as a whole. Prestatyn was one of the first schools in Wales to introduce a one-to-one scheme; with every student having access to a Windows device, controlling and managing these devices became challenging. The IT team instigated their search via the internet, looking for a solution that could provide them, and the teachers in the classroom with access to monitor online activity and restrict access when necessary to keep students focused.
At the time of the search, Impero and NetSupport were the two big players in the market. After looking at both alternatives, Impero seemed to offer greater functionality that could benefit Prestatyn. Prestatyn therefore selected Impero Education Pro based on it’s feature-rich offering and have been a customer ever since. With the ability to manage and monitor myriad devices across the network, Education Pro supported the school’s forward-thinking approach to technology, including it’s one-to-one programme.
Prestatyn have been an Education Pro customer for many years, so long that the current Technegydd TGCh Uwch (Senior ICT Technician) was not present at Prestatyn when it was first implemented. However, throughout his career he has used alternative network and classroom management solutions. When the Technegydd TGCh Uwch was first introduced to Education Pro he was wary of using a new solution. After the adjustment period, the Technegydd TGCh Uwch realised that Education Pro offered a huge range of additional and unexpected functionality – to this day there is still so much Prestatyn are yet to explore.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, Prestatyn High School has realised a variety of benefits, including:
extra security – In addition to the security provided by Windows on all devices, Education Pro is targeted at integration, therefore providing Prestatyn with an extra layer of security.
saves time – Every computer on the network at Prestatyn has a name, and this name is made available to students and teachers via the wallpaper of the computer. Without needing to leave the room, the IT team can remote straight onto the device through the name provided to resolve technical issues.
improves learning – Students no longer need to strain to see the whiteboard, as teachers are able to broadcast their own or a student’s screen to all devices. This allows teachers to show what is expected during an activity, even if they are at the opposite end of the classroom.
Q&A with Colin Stevens, Technegydd TGCh Uwch
how has Education Pro made your job easier?
It’s indispensable – it saves so much time. Having the ability to schedule all devices to power on and shut down as they are needed is great. You don’t have to worry about it, it’s reliable and you know it’s going to happen. It makes me think “if we didn’t have Education Pro, what would happen?”. Besides saving time, Education Pro helps provide teaching staff with the power to make changes to their classroom as they feel necessary. It doesn’t get in the way and it’s a big aid to teaching.
how has Education Pro helped you manage online safety?
We’ve been working for a long time to set up our acceptable use policies. With Education Pro we can push the policies out and get all students to agree to comply by the policies as they log into a computer or mobile device. This really helps with our ESTYN rating, as they’ve recently bought in computer frameworks that all schools need to comply with. Throughout the summer we’ve been looking into the keyword detection and safeguarding aspect of Education Pro. It seems amazing what it can do! Support have helped set up the keyword detection rules, and we’re excited to have it all configured properly.
what are your next steps?
We want to actively start using the online safety aspect of Education Pro. Now that it’s all configured, we want to get the safeguarding officers involved by providing them with access to the software to look at the captures. Giving them this access will hopefully help identify at-risk or vulnerable users. Support have provided lots of hints and tips to help utilise this to its full ability. We also like looking at the power saving graphs, and it would be good to take this a step further to calculate our annual savings.
how would you sum up Impero?
Powerful, flexible, intuitive.