Located in New York, Spencerport Central School District aims to educate and inspire each student to love learning. In order to help achieve this mission, Spencerport CSD implemented a fully Windows 1:1 scheme throughout the district to enhance learning and provide students with greater responsibility, especially online. With the introduction of this 1:1 investment plan, controlling what students were accessing online, as well as teaching them digital citizenship, required a monitoring solution.
Before implementing Impero Education Pro, Spencerport CSD used SMART Sync to control technology in the classroom. Despite having substantial functionality, this product was later discontinued, which left Spencerport CSD with an unsupported program to manage and support its 1:1 scheme. Alongside SMART Sync, Spencerport CSD also utilized SCCM for their network management needs, however this alone did not allow teachers to have better management over their devices.
Following the news that SMART Sync was being discontinued, SMART (alongside a number of other vendors) communicated to these customers that Impero Education Pro was the recommended upgrade pathway. Spencerport CSD investigated Impero Education Pro further and identified that it provided all the functionality that SMART Sync offered and more. Working alongside their current SCCM, with its own dedicated network management, classroom management and internet safety features, Impero Education Pro would provide all the essentials and more for Spencerport CSD.
Once Spencerport CSD had planned and organized what they wanted to do in terms of implementation, the process was easy. The install was clean and did not require input from the Network Technician. Since implementing Impero Education Pro, the Network Technician has worked with our support team to answer any questions, all of which were responded to over the phone within 24 hours. Spencerport CSD’s Network Technician described Impero’s support team as “the best customer service I’ve worked with.”
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, Spencerport Central School District has realized several core benefits, including:
focuses learning – Teachers love being able to see all their students in one view at a glance. Using the live thumbnail view teachers can easily pinpoint students who are off task and send them a message to bring them back on track.
saves time – For K1 students, where writing is difficult for students, getting all students logged onto desktops and laptops can take up to 10 minutes. With Impero Education Pro Spencerport CSD can log all students on with a click of a button; this is particularly beneficial when classes are only 40 minutes long.
increases efficiency – Some of the network management features, including wake-on-Lan and task manager, saves the IT team masses of time. The task manager functionality is simplistic and easy to use, enabling trouble shooting programs, which are causing problems, to be closed easily on behalf of students, enhancing PC performance.
Q&A with Steve Pickett, Network Technician
how does Education Pro help keep students safe online?
Helping to support the digital citizenship course we’ve started offering our students at Spencerport CSD, Impero Education Pro provides us with email alerts regarding several subjects of concerns, specifically suicide, self-harm and violence. I’m responsible for looking at the captures and escalating them to the relevant Principals when necessary. If we suspect something is going on with a particular student we can access their log viewer and see what they’ve been searching and when, and pass this information back to the Principal for the appropriate response. The log viewer saves a lot of time and provides a granular view; it’s much easier than digging through a filter.
Our middle school is using the internet safety functionality the most – they’re fantastic at responding to the alerts. Creating a new policy, my counterpart, myself, the Assistant Principal and the Principal all receive alerts for every suicide and self-harm keyword detected. The capture give us a rough idea if the content is of concern and, at this point, the relevant staff member will sit down with each student and talk to them about the concern. We’ve had 3 instances where we’ve identified at-risk students, and we’ve been able to get them the help and support they need before anything has worsened. It’s a really big feature for us.
how has Education Pro helped create interactive and focussed classrooms?
Some of the teachers broadcast the live thumbnail view onto the whiteboard so students can self-monitor each other. Since everyone can see what you’re doing this often keeps students on task. Alongside monitoring student activity, block lists are especially useful for keeping students on task. We can control what games they play (or ideally don’t play at all) by adding them to a list which closes down the window and prevents students from accessing the site further. Included in Impero Education Pro is chat functionality, and this can often be used to send a particular student a message to tell them to get back to work, but it’s also used to ask and answer a channel of questions during teaching time.
what are you next steps?
We’ve started to use the power management feature throughout the district, however we’re planning to implement it more to turn off PCs in computers labs, and particularly teacher machines which are sometimes left powered-on over the weekend. We recently tested the scheduled power off functionality which was very effective; when I came in on the Sunday to check its performance, only three machines were on, and this was because the process has been overwritten by the Net Admin for testing purposes. We’re also planning on adding 1500 more licenses over the summer to control more of our devices within the district.
how would you sum up Impero?
Useful, user-friendly, powerful.