Who are Impero Education Pro classroom management software?
Impero is the author of Impero Education Pro, a consolidated suite of network management, online safety and classroom control tools. It’s designed to support IT teams, empower teachers and protect students. Aligned to Ofsted and ISI best practice, Impero Education Pro creates a safe, engaging and efficient learning environment for our digital age.
It’s difficult to define an Impero competitor. While there are companies that do some aspects of what we do, there’s not really anyone that covers all of the functionality. Our consolidated approach to classroom management, network management and online safety ensures a ‘whole school’ approach to remote monitoring and management. Unlike a lot of classroom management providers, Impero is cross-platform, meaning it is compatible with the growing range of devices used in education.
Impero was born inside the classroom and we pride ourselves on our solely education-focused approach. Our experienced workforce is committed to helping all staff within the learning environment and, most importantly, protecting students from the risks posed by the digital world. Many Impero employees have worked in education themselves, in teaching and in technical roles, providing first-hand understanding of the challenges faced in the modern classroom.
What support does Impero offer?
Impero offers a consultative approach to customer support, from the first enquiry, through to the ongoing customer care. Annual support contracts include unlimited technical support, software upgrades, remote training, weekly webinars, quarterly updates, access to the technical knowledge base and a customer portal. Impero also hosts a number of events throughout the year, to discuss key industry trends and best practice with experts from the field.
Could you tell us a bit more about your flagship product, Impero Education Pro?
Impero Education Pro combines network administration tools, classroom control tools and online safety monitoring. It’s designed to help IT teams manage networks, empower teachers in the digital classroom and protect students online. We’ve recognised trends in the education space and have developed our functionality to ensure compatibility with iOS, Chromebook, Windows devices and Mac.
In recent years the online safety element of this product has grown into a major feature, in response to growing concern around student safety online. The development of keyword policies (including adult content, self-harm, counter-radicalisation, sexting, grooming, suicide, cyberbullying, racist language, LGBT derogatory language, violence and weapons and much more) is a priority, and we work with leading charities and young people to develop and maintain the terms and phrases associated with each safeguarding risk.
These policies work by detecting the use of keywords or phrases that may give cause for concern. If one of the phrases is detected on a device - be it typed in an email, on social media or in a search engine, or present on a website or in a url - it takes a screen shot or video capture of the device, providing the school with ‘who, what, where’ style information. This can be used to open up dialogues with the student concerned and safeguard as appropriate. It’s all about identifying and supporting young people before things potentially escalate.
Teaching staff can’t be expected to be experts in all safeguarding issues, so all terms are weighted in terms of severity. Each term comes with a full explanation of why it is of significance and what risk it may potentially expose, helping staff to feel more confident in having conversations with students.
Which countries do you operate in?
Impero operates on a global scale, with dedicated offices in the UK and the US. Impero is already sold in over 70 countries around the world, including the Middle East, Benelux and France. We are continuing to expand our global reach, with a large international sales team and a growing network of channel and distribution partners.
What's your view on the current schools cyberbullying in 2016? Is it going to get any better?
Bullying is nothing new, and cyberbullying is just one of the many threats that young people face online. Sometimes cyberbullying - or ‘online bullying’ - is considered an extension of face-to-face bullying, but cyberbullying differs from ‘traditional’ bullying in two crucial ways:
It enables anonymity – while the online world has provided many opportunities across the educational landscape, it has also served to give perpetrators of bullying several worryingadvantages. Bullies are now able to hide their true identities, either under the guise of fake accounts or ‘pseudonymity’, so there is typically little ramification for their actions.
It is ubiquitous in nature – cyberbullying can occur on multiple devices and via various platforms and applications. Because it pervades all aspects of a victim’s digital life, escape from this kind of incessant abuse proves difficult, and the psychological impact is vast. Online bullying can occur outside of the school environment, so it’s vital that educators consider the wider context of a student’s behaviour to help them identify children at potential risk.
One of the main challenges for educators tackling cyberbullying is keeping up with the latest social networking sites, platforms and apps. Just this week, the NSPCC raised child safetyconcerns regarding the UK launch of Pokémon Go, a virtual reality app that allows users to search and ‘capture’ Pokémon in the real world using their smartphones. As new technologies, such as wearable devices and virtual reality applications continue to evolve, the associated risks grow too. Cyberbullying is just one of many potential risks that new technology enables.
From September 2016, schools must ensure that they have an ‘appropriate monitoring system’ in place, as outlined in the UK government’s revised Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance. This monitored approach is a view shared by Impero; simply blocking or restricting access to online content alone can hinder educational value and prevent young people from learning what safe and responsible online navigation looks like. By allowing access while monitoring for inappropriate or at-risk behaviour online, educators are empowered to step in, address any identified incidents and engage in dialogues about good digital citizenship.