A+ Arts Academy are committed to academic success and creating exceptional citizens. With small class sizes, A+ prides itself on keeping its students safe, protected and cared for in an atmosphere that rewards learning, including the online world. With growing online dangers and an ever-increasing amount of desktops, laptops and Chromebooks, A+ needed a solution to keep students safe online.
With regulations put in place by the government, specifying that certain websites needed to be blocked, A+ was faced with the manual and laborious task of managing the firewall regularly. With no internet safety solution in place, ensuring student safety and teaching good digital citizenship also proved difficult. The regulations enforced by the government, combined with concerns over student safety online, highlighted a new requirement for A+ Arts Academy – the need for a solution that incorporated the ability to monitor student activity online.
After receiving an email about Impero Education Pro and its consolidated functionality, the Director of Technology set up a demonstration of the product and was happy with what the solution had to offer. When looking at pricing, he described the decision as a “no brainer”. Searching for an alternative, or multiple alternative solutions, that offered the full functionality included in Impero Education Pro made no sense, and the decision to purchase the software was made easy.
The implementation of Education Pro at A+ was hassle free. Impero’s dedicated operations team took over the Director of Technology’s machine, then logged in and set everything up, while demonstrating the system once more. Since implementing Impero Education Pro A+ have been able to update to the latest versions with no pain at all. As and when any problems occur, A+ knew they could simply call Impero’s support team and issue a ticket, where they would take control and fix the problem, leaving the Director of Technology to step away and deal with other tasks at hand as he pleased.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, A+ Arts Academy has realized several core benefits, including:
Cross-platform monitoring – When Chromebooks were first introduced into A+ the tech savvy students quickly realized that Impero Education Pro was not compatible. Following developments to Impero Education Pro, A+ are now empowered to monitor students’ activity across Window laptops and PCs, Macs and Chromebooks in a single view, simultaneously.
Supports internet use policies – As part of the school’s internet use policy students can only be logged into one machine at a time. If a capture is logged for a particular user, students have to take responsibility for their online activity and cannot simply state, “I let so and so use my log in”. This in turn ensures compliance with the policy and promotes accountability of their actions.
Focuses learning – Using Impero Education Pro teachers can easily set up groups, monitor and restrict access to particular websites and applications, keeping students on task and identifying those who are losing focus.
Q&A with Reginald Edwards, Director of Technology
How does Education Pro made your job easier?
Before A+ became a multi-campus establishment, walking around the school to fix issues and resolve IT problems was simple. Now we’ve expanded, I’m definitely using the remote control and network management features to take over computers and fix problems more often. We’ve even considered opening a helpdesk-like process where students and teachers can send in screenshots and I can deal with these issues as they are submitted. Alongside fixing IT issues, Impero Education Pro is used every day to monitor student activity online; with captures and a dedicated activity log for each student, we no longer have to sit at our desks waiting for things to happen.
How does Education Pro help create good digital citizenship?
Using the policies included in Impero Education Pro we receive alerts on sites that students should not be accessing. These alerts are collated to produce full reports and we can hold students accountable for what they have been doing and viewing online. As well as restricting access to social media during school hours, Impero Education Pro has helped identify a number of students trying to access pornographic and other sex-related sites. Once identified, we’re able to discuss this particular topic with the students and offer counter-narratives before a situation escalates or worsens. Education Pro captures anything on the network, not just the typing of URLs and websites. If a student is messaging a friend and is discussing inappropriate content, we will see it – Impero Education Pro helps us covers all bases
Why did you chose Impero Education Pro?
Why spend time looking for something else? Impero offers great support, a great product, and the product is constantly evolving!
What are you next steps?
We really want to try to ramp up using Education Pro and utilize more of the features included. Our goal for the summer is the get teachers using it the way we want to – block screens, broadcasting screens and using allows lists to focus the classrooms. We’re also talking about using the power management features as teachers often leave their computers on, and we currently rely on the screensavers to save energy costs. Another feature we’ve been discussing is using print management; we go through a lot of paper and having control of this through the use of credits would help to reduce paper waste.
How would you sum up Impero?
Absolutely fantastic monitoring system. One of the best packages I’ve ever come across, especially for the price and everything you can do with it. Worth every penny!