The Community Schools of Frankfort is a school district located in Frankfort, Indiana. The district consists of four campuses, an administrative center, and bus garage. The district’s technology is managed by a Director of Technology and staff of five. Currently the school runs 1500 desktop Windows machines, 300 Chromebooks, and several iPads. It is the school’s goal to implement a one-to-one program for students consisting of two-in-one Windows devices by January 2018.
Prior to the past year’s hiring of a new Director of Technology, Frankfort district managed all technology using only the free version of Team-Viewer. No remote network management, classroom management, or internet safety software was in use, despite the district’s large amount, and multiple platforms of devices.
In the 2016-2017 school year, the district hired Debbie Bracken as Director of Technology. Prior to accepting the position, Debbie worked at a neighboring district that had run Impero Education Pro for several years. Immediately after coming on board at Frankfort, Bracken, who had experienced the power of Education Pro for school IT management, insisted the district adopt the software as the much-needed solution for the district’s network, classroom, and internet safety management needs.
Because of Bracken’s previous experience with the software, Impero Education Pro was installed quickly and easily on all desktop devices. Once the software was installed, teachers learned how to use it quickly. The IT team also adapted to the software easily, except for a few internal hiccups such as renaming files and groups. This was solved simply by creating set naming conventions.
Since implementing Impero Community Schools of Frankfort has realized a variety of benefits, which include:
Consolidated solution – Because Impero Education Pro works on all device platforms, the Frankfort district was able to have one solution for all device types. This is especially important for the district’s technology plan to implement 1:1 Windows devices by 2018. If the district were to move to another type of handheld device scheme, Education Pro will still provide the same benefits.
Saves time – Because of the remote capabilities of Education Pro, the Frankfort district IT staff is able to save a significant amount of time because it eliminated the need to physically drive from building to building to manage technology.
Ease of use – Even though the district had no previous consolidated solution for network, classroom, and internet safety management, the faculty and staff had little problem learning how to utilize Education Pro.
Saves energy – By using Impero Education Pro to shut off all computers during times of non-use, the Community Schools of Frankfort now has a significant savings on electricity.
Q&A with Debbie Bracken, Director of Technology
What problems did the district have with their previous network management software?
Debbie – When the school was using TeamViewer, it was difficult to install. They didn’t really know which machines it was on and not on, so that was a pain. They lost a lot of time walking to fix things because they never knew if it had TeamViewer or if it didn’t, and what it was named. It was just pointless.
How did you convince the district to implement Impero Education Pro as a new hire?
Debbie – “When I was interviewing for the job, I told the IT team, “Hey, you guys have to come see this [Education Pro} and see how it works.” I explained to them that I know it works, and it will save so much time. No one would have to get in the car and go across town to fix something. Instead we could just use the remote console, and it’d already be done. After that the team said, “We have to have that.”
What are some of the key benefits of Education Pro for network management?
Debbie – When we do installations on new machines, we can just install software from our control panel instead of going to each machine. We can deploy MSIs to several machines at one time, and we can get the inventory information that we need all at once.
Tell us a little about how Impero Education Pro has helped with energy management.
Debbie – We turn the teacher machines off at 5pm, and turn them back on a half hour before teachers arrive in the morning. We do the same thing with the student labs, especially checkout labs. For example, the last person in a check out lab doesn’t necessarily know at 1 pm that they’re the last person in, so we set Education Pro to shut all the labs in the district down at 3pm. It saves us tons of money and time.
How do your district teachers use Education Pro for classroom management?
Debbie – Teachers love the screen projection feature so they can show the class a student’s screen, or presentations from their own desktop. Now we don’t have to have special software for the projector. It’s easy and teacher-controlled, not student-controlled, which nice. With Education Pro, teachers are able black out all computers so kids are paying attention to them, and then turn them back on when it is appropriate.
What about Education Pro’s internet safety features?
Debbie – We like the fact that Education Pro records if somebody is doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Recorded incidents can be saved and played back later for parents to see. “Yes, this is what your child was doing.”
What are some of the other uses that you’ve for Education Pro?
Debbie – We use Impero for online testing. We turn all devices on and log students in with our test log-on. Rather than having students logging themselves (because the settings are not the same on the desktop) I log them all on as students of that building, and then run the test from there. I have everything set up by the time students walk in the door, instead of losing 15 to 20 minutes to get all the kids logged on.