School digital strategy implementation

Educational Technology (EdTech) has increased in schools exponentially over the past few years, making it more crucial than ever for schools to create a digital strategy incorporating the effective use of EdTech in school and remotely.

Part of this process is understanding:

  • What EdTech the school has
  • How it’s used
  • How to use it more effectively.

NetSupport DNA can help answer all these points, helping schools to then identify their gaps and make informed purchasing decisions.

Discover what you have…

NetSupport DNA starts by discovering the PCs and SNMP devices on the school network and then deploys itself onto them. It will constantly monitor the network and identify any new devices that join, providing the option to automatically deploy an agent for future management.

It then monitors and tracks from one central point – so no more manual searches or surprises.

Track and monitor its use…

Once installed, it goes to work collecting detailed data, helping you to gain a summary of all activity – even for specific users. The Efficiency View is a great starting point to see at a glance how your technology is being used.

  • Hardware/software inventory: View hardware/software for a single device, department or bespoke group to see details such as unused PCs, PCs with the lowest spec, disk space, software usage and so on. You can also view and record accounting information (purchase details, lease and maintenance plans and much more) for every PC.
  • Software application metering: Monitor which applications, programs and even store apps teachers and students use (or do not use), plus any renewal dates.
  • Spotlight feature: View more details about a selected PC (e.g. any applications, services, websites and processes in use), all in a single glance.
  • Energy/print usage: Stay informed of how many PCs are left on out of hours, where print costs are generated and, most importantly, how these costs can significantly add up over time.
  • USB usage: View which school-issued USBs are used the most/least.
  • Alerting suite: Monitor hundreds of scenarios and receive warnings when problems occur − or, better still, before they occur, such as when a particular PC/server is struggling, where licence usage counts are reaching limits or when software has been uninstalled from a PC.
  • Data protection/GDPR tools: Identify whether software you have installed is compliant, where any sensitive information is stored, prevent data breaches and support individuals’ rights by easily identifying and archiving/removing data history.
  • Reporting tools: Create custom on-screen and print-optimised reports reports in minutes for individual devices, users, departments and dynamic groups for a clear illustration of the data.
  • User Management: Locate and manage users, including tracking of user acceptance forms, history of changes and changes to custom user details.

Maximise it…

Maximise your edtech investment, so you can enjoy all its benefits and reap the rewards.

  • You can identify which PCs are upgradable, which ones need to be replaced and which ones could be more effectively deployed elsewhere – avoiding unnecessary purchases.
  • Reduce unnecessary spending on software licences that aren’t needed or have very low usage − as well as avoid potential fines for using more than you own. Or, re-distribute software to other users/departments that have demonstrated high usage levels.
  • Set Power Management policies to allow selected PCs to be set to power off automatically and back on – all at once, or in stages – the next morning. In addition, “inactivity policies” can be applied, allowing rules to be applied for systems to sleep, log out or power down if they have been inactive over a period of time.
  • After seeing exactly where your print costs are being generated, re-allocate/review printing funds accordingly.
  • Re-deploy unused USB memory sticks to other staff and review the USBs in high use to check they are are appropriate for their use (i.e. memory space).
  • Avoid lost productivity with remote support tools, allowing IT teams to support users with issues via remote control, audio chat, messaging and more.

Online Safety

As part of your digital strategy, it’s key to ensure that the school still considers the implications of any current or new solutions within the context of your safeguarding obligations. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school to protect and educate students in their use of technology and establish mechanisms to identify and intervene in any incident where appropriate.

NetSupport DNA provides a range of proactive and reactive tools that allow all children to have access to appropriate and valuable online tools and resources while remaining safe – and the risk of exposure to inappropriate content is minimised.

  • Application/Internet metering
  • Keyword monitoring
  • Word cloud of trending safeguarding topics
  • Contextual intelligence-based Risk Index
  • Screen capture/record of triggered eSafety event
  • Language packs for EAL students
  • Student ‘Report a concern’
  • Online safeguarding resources
  • iOS and Android internet safety browser
  • Cloud-based safeguarding console

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About the authors

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Al Kingsley

Most of the time, I am Group Managing Director of NetSupport with almost 30 years’ experience in educational technology and digital safeguarding. In addition to my role at NetSupport, I have a passion for education and, in particular, governance and raising organisational performance. With that in mind, I am Chair of two Multi Academy Trusts, the area’s Governors’ Leadership Group and the county SEND Board – as well as being a member of the Regional Schools Commissioners Advisory Board for the East of England and north-east London, and the Local Authority Education Scrutiny Committee. I continue to enjoy supporting other schools with mentoring and speaking at events about all things edtech.

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Mark Anderson

I am a former school leader with more than twenty years of experience in the classroom, leading successful faculty departments, being a local authority lead teacher for my subject, and independent strategic consultant and trainer. I am a passionate advocate for the purposeful use of technology linked to pedagogy and I know the power and importance of student voice in developing sound practice, having co-founded the Digital Leader Network in the UK. I am also an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Innovator, Microsoft Certified Educator and expert in mobile learning and associated pedagogies.

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Special thanks go to the following industry specialists for their contributions…

Karl Denton, James Donaldson, Ty Goddard, Traci Good, Rosie Kolster, Dave Leonard, Olly Lewis, Alan Mackenzie, Linda Parsons, Abid Patel, Henry Platten, Russell Prue, Coby Reynolds, Tony Sheppard, Thomas Slack, John Paul Szkudlapski, Ben Whitaker, Caroline Wright.

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