The St Lawrence Academy is located in Scunthorpe. Spirituality is a driving force for the academy’s ethos and helps to create an inclusive and caring environment for all the students at the academy. With 400 devices, split across desktops, laptops, tablets and Chromebooks, St Lawrence are able to respond to the needs of each student and provide personalised learning.
Before Impero Education Pro, St Lawrence were utilising NetSupport to control the network and classroom, however the academy needed a better value solution to support the use of technology in the classroom.
Through researching alternative solutions online, attending the biggest education exhibition in the UK, the Bett Show, alongside talking to other IT professionals about what they use, St Lawrence soon identified some potential software providers. One of these was Impero Education Pro. After trialling these alternatives St Lawrence soon realised Impero Education Pro would provide all the functionality currently being utilised, unlike other cheaper solutions, and determined it to be the best value solution.
When it came to implementing Impero Education Pro across the academy network, the Network Manager described the process as “ridiculously easy”. From deploying the clients from the console, installing and configuring the software, the implementation provided no challenges for the academy. Proving a simple technical process, the Network Manager was even able to teach their IT apprentice to deploy clients in no longer than five minutes.
Since installing Impero Education Pro, The St Lawrence Academy has realised a variety of benefits:
layered approach to online safety: With live thumbnail view and keyword detection the academy can ensure that students are acting responsibly online, using a monitoring system alongside their dedicated filtering system. The IT team monitor the captures and escalate those of concern to the Child Protection Officer to deal with as per the school’s policies.
quicker support response: The remote management functionality has made the response time of the IT team a lot better in terms of support. Whether it’s a phone call or ticket, the team can jump onto the machine, see where the problem is, and resolve it a lot easier, helping to reduce downtime and software problems.
create focussed classrooms: Included as part of Impero Education Pro are simple one click tools, designed to gain students attention and keep them on task within the lesson. The USB blocking has proved useful; students often try to bring in games such as Minecraft, but with this feature they are not allowed access.
Q&A with Garry Drinkall, Network Manager
how has Impero Education Pro made your job easier?
It saves me so much time. Using the patch management features, I can push packages out onto every machine, which I find useful. There’s lots of simple things like logging on a suite of machines we want to use or shutting down machines. We often get complaints that machines are slow or other issues that could easily be resolved by rebooting the machine. On the odd occasion we’ve had staff leaving radio stations on. With the power management functionality, I can log into the console from anywhere and log off those users and shut down the PCs. Another feature I like is the log viewer, this is something we’ve recently identified and has been incredibly useful, despite it not being something I initially used Impero Education Pro for. We’ve been able to see which students have been using what machines, monitor what they’ve been accessing. We’ve even been able to pinpoint students that have caused damage to machines. From a technical point of view, we’d be lost without it.
how are the teachers benefitting from Impero Education Pro?
As our renewal date for Impero Education Pro approached, I needed to put together an argument to renew, so I turned to some of the teachers who actively use the software, particularly our IT teacher. I simply asked him “What would be the issue for you if we didn’t renew Impero?” and he just replied “I couldn’t run my lesson if we haven’t got it.” It’s that simple! The teachers rely on it heavily to help utilise technology in their lessons. They like being able to see what’s going on and what students are accessing – they even put the live thumbnail view on the board for all the students to see. The students know they’re being monitored and so they’re less likely to try and sneak onto any online games.
Alongside monitoring, the one-click tools such as lock screen and lock internet are used often. The broadcasting functionality is used in some classes, particularly in IT suites where the layout does not allow all of the students to gather around a board. Teachers being able to change students’ passwords themselves in also really good – that takes some work away from me even!
how would you describe our support team?
That’s a hard one to answer because we’ve rarely had to use them. On the odd occasion we have had to use them they’ve been great. They’ve been quick to respond and dealt with our issues just as quick. But like I said, most of my calls have been to request the new upgrade, because we’ve had hardly any issues.
how would you summarise Impero Education Pro?
Invaluable, both as a teaching resources and a network management resource.