Located in central Tennessee, Coffee County Schools has 10 locations across the district. The mission of the Coffee County School System is for all students to achieve and exceed state performance standards. The school also prepares graduates for college and careers and strive to help them become confident and responsible lifelong learners. The shared vision of the Coffee County School System is to become one of the top performing academic systems in the nation. Coffee County Schools believes that all decisions impacting students should be data-driven, researched-based and shared among stakeholders.
With 10 school campuses and two information technology specialists, Coffee County faced a challenge managing all of its computers. Previously, Coffee County had Smart Shield in place before moving to Impero Education Pro. Because Smart Shield did not provide remote administration of devices, just two people were responsible for completing the task of managing, updating and troubleshooting over 4,500 devices. Additionally,l the school district faced many of the issues typical of a school IT environment, such as updating software and extinguishing viruses.
Knowing they needed a solution that would allow remote management and time-saving functionality, Coffee County adopted Impero Education Pro while the software was still in beta form. Education Pro’s remote control feature would allow Coffee County’s IT department to respond to technical issues at any one of its 10 campuses, therefore freeing up time for their small IT team to keep the whole network running smoothly.
The setup of Coffee County network Education Pro beta version ran smoothly. As new updates and features became available, the Coffee County team experimented with more ways to use the functions of the software. They look forward to utilizing Education Pro when they add Chromebooks to their digital device repertoire in the near future.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, Coffee County has realized several benefits, including:
Saves time – Before Education Pro was adopted, the Coffee County IT team went from two people driving around from building to building to manually fix things. Now, they are able to have one IT manager fix or update all of the computers in their eight middle school labs simultaneously in minutes.
Keeps things organized – Setting up groups with specific naming structures for building, teacher and student in Impero Education Pro allows the IT team to quickly find a computer and fix a problem. Grouped lists of computers creates efficient workflow when users submit trouble tickets.
Smart functions – Functions such as Mimic Script allow the Coffee County team to quickly perform updates to software and applications such as Firefox and Flash remotely and without any interruption to teachers and students.
Safety – Having the history function available allows the IT team to pinpoint and fix problems such as viruses with little downtime or interruption to day-to-day school happenings.
Q&A with Randy Damewood, Director of Technology
Impero: what made you choose Impero Education Pro?
Randy: When we started with Impero we only had two IT techs to manage 10 buildings. We were using Smart Shield, which didn’t allow remote management. We had to drive around to each building, and it was too time consuming to get our jobs done. It was nearly impossible to manage our labs. We found Impero nine years ago and saw so much potential that we adopted it while still in beta. We were one of the first schools to adopt Education Pro in Tennessee. I’m glad we stuck with it. Now, we have three IT techs, but just one of them can update all eight of our middle school computer labs at one time in just minutes.
Impero: what impresses you about Education Pro?
Randy: It’s amazing; Impero has so many functions, but it runs so smoothly. When we first started demoing we thought, ‘This has got to kill our network.’ But it doesn’t bog down our network at all. Impero’s live monitoring functionality is so fast, we can watch someone’s screen while they’re watching a movie! With other software like Lanschool, it updated every few minutes but not in real time like Impero.
Impero: what would you say are the most helpful network management features of Education Pro?
Randy: Organization: We can work instantly with each computer. We have consistent naming conventions so we know where our computers are all the time. If we get an email ticket for a problem, we can fix it in seconds.
Mimic Script: We love using this function. For example, when using Chrome or Firefox, if Flash isn’t the newest version, a website won’t work. All of our computers are protected by SmartShield software, so in order to update the Flash plugins on the different browsers, we have to turn the SmartShield off on each device, then update it then turn it back on. This made updating routinely very unpractical. With Impero’s mimic script function, we can remotely unprotect the lab, run scripts, perform updates on all the computers at the same time, then turn the SmartShield back on. We now have a website for our IT guys that has lists of commonly used mimic scripts so they can search for what they need and get things up and running quickly. This makes updating extremely efficient.
History: When a virus spread the to our student share drive, we were able to look at the history and pinpoint where the virus started. It turned out that a fourth grade student accidentally downloaded the virus from a website. We were quickly able to block that site and get rid of the virus.