Located in Northeastern Texas, Longview Independent School District is the largest and most comprehensive school district in the area, serving more than 8,500 students and over 1400 . The award winning district offered unparalleled academic and extracurricular opportunities including more Advanced Placement courses than any other school in the area.
As a highly managed district with multiple types of technological devices and an IT helpdesk managed by instructional technology staff, Longview ISD needed a network and classroom management solution that was comprehensive, accessible, and easy to use. Prior to adopting Education Pro, the district ran several different software solutions to manage computers, which began to become cumbersome.
While reviewing the tech landscape of the district, the Longview IT team came to the conclusion that they needed a more holistic approach to technology management. Impero Education Pro became the logical solution because it made it simple for all staff to efficiently use, troubleshoot, and manage devices without having to teach multiple tools. Additionally, Education Pro was the best solution for putting the power of device management into the hands of classroom teachers.
Since Longview ISD already had a highly managed technology roadmap, Impero Education Pro implementation was carried out quickly and with ease. Within weeks, helpdesk staffers were working on their own within the dashboard, creating rules and using functions with little training. Teachers immediately adopted the software and began asking IT to set up features for classroom management use.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, Longview ISD has realized several benefits including:
Makes technology more useful – using Education Pro for network, classroom and internet safety management allows the Longview IT department to make technology more simplified and useful for instructors and students, because it allows the team to open up resources such as Youtube and Netflix, while monitoring usage in the background.
Customization in classrooms – because of Education Pro’s classroom management features, teachers are able to customize internet and software application usage per class or per student. This allows the teacher to be empowered to offer more technology resources for students without the hassle of policing them. For example, the district’s alternative school, which offers online curriculum, is able to use Education Pro turn off certain websites during tests to inhibit cheating.
Monitored approach to online safety – rather than simply blocking and filtering online content, Education Pro allows Longview ISD to monitor student devices. This approach allows educators and administrators to review and assess logged activity based on contextual information. Additionally, this adds to the advantage of giving more local technology control to teachers so that less restrictions have to be made on a district level.
Q&A with Brian Pitts, Technology Director
What was your technology landscape before Impero?
We were a highly managed district with individual software solutions for patch management, software distribution, image deployment, connectivity, network management, classroom management, remote management, and asset tracking. We had custom software that integrated all of these tools. I had to stop and ask ‘how accessible are all of these tools?’ The big picture was that all of these tools were necessary and we couldn’t give up the functions they provided, but our helpdesk people were having difficulty utilizing all of them. Then we realized that Impero supported our idea of a holistic approach to technology management by combining all of the functions of all the other software into an easy to use interface.
What makes Impero stand out in the marketplace?
We find enormous value in Impero because it brings the functionally and information of technology down to the people who use it. Impero is not overly technical. Immediately after full scale deployment, everyone began digging in and using it. In our technology department we try not to interfere with curriculum, but rather, we provide the opportunities for teachers to utilize technology that supports curriculum development. For example, we made BYOD available to teachers if they choose to utilize the option. Because Impero is set up on the devices, teachers can decide to open up the internet with certain classes, because they can block things that don’t pertain to the lesson. Education Pro completely found a place with everyone in our school.
What are the next steps?
We’re excited to implement the updated keyword library features of Education Pro to further provide internet safety for the students.
How would you sum up Impero?
Impero Education Pro is the key to providing a holistic approach to technology management in schools.