Simplify IT support and improve teaching with cloud and locally hosted solutions offered jointly
As Indiana’s Logansport Community School Corporation was looking to expand their 1:1 program with Chromebooks to students in grades K-8, district IT leaders wanted a classroom management platform to help teachers lead high-impact instruction with the devices.
The school system was already using the locally hosted version of Lenovo’s LanSchool software to manage students’ use of Windows machines in its high school computer labs, and the program worked extremely well. So when IT leaders learned they could use LanSchool’s latest innovation, LanSchool Air, to help teachers manage instruction with Chromebooks, it seemed like a natural ﬁt for the district. They were excited about the seamless integration between Chromebooks and LanSchool Air, including the beneﬁts of moving their classroom management solution to the cloud. Additionally, the ability to use both the locally hosted and cloud versions jointly offers them the freedom to slowly upgrade their infrastructure as their future budget and resources allow.
“We were looking for a solution that was easy to use and deploy with Chromebooks,” says Cyle Dibble, Logansport’s Director of Technology. “We reached out to LanSchool, and they introduced us to their LanSchool Air solution. We decided to do a pilot project with a few teachers, and the feedback we received was positive from the start.”
Using the same platform to manage instruction with multiple devices makes life easy for Logansport’s IT staff. Teachers are happy as well, because they’re empowered to teach more effectively with technology—resulting in better learning outcomes.
“LanSchool Air has been a welcome addition to our teachers’ classrooms,” Dibble says, “and it has freed up IT resources to work on future projects. Having one solution to support and manage teaching in a mixed-device environment is very important with a limited support staff. LanSchool has ﬁlled that role for us very well.”
Streamlining IT tasks
Adding LanSchool Air to manage instruction with Chromebooks has resulted in several beneﬁts for Logansport’s IT staff:
Easy deployment. Because LanSchool Air is cloud-based, enhancements are available automatically. There is no hardware to maintain, and teachers always have the latest functionality.
Decreased workloads. Because the software gives teachers the ability to control what content their students can access online, IT staff receive far fewer requests to block certain websites on the district’s network. “This puts the power back in teachers’ hands and decreases our work on the IT side,” says Jessica Whistler, a senior support specialist for the district.
Simpliﬁed support. Using the same platform to manage instruction with both Windows and Chrome devices has also simpliﬁed IT employees’ workloads. “We have just one product we have to support,” Whistler says. “That means we can become experts on one product instead of having to become familiar with multiple platforms. And the same is true of our teachers. Using one solution makes training easier.”
IT staff aren’t the only beneficiaries from Logansport’s use of both LanSchool and LanSchool Air; teachers and students are reaping the rewards as well. Using LanSchool Air has made teaching with Chromebooks much more productive, just as the original version of LanSchool has facilitated teaching with Windows devices.
Vicky Maroney, a ﬁfth grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School, is using Chromebooks to help personalize instruction for every child. LanSchool Air allows Maroney to safely and productively utilize software like MobyMax, so students can be working at precisely their own ability.
LanSchool Air makes teaching with Chromebooks more efﬁcient in her classroom. She can push out web links and other resources to her students, which gets them on the same page faster—leaving more time for learning. She can also view thumbnail images of her students’ screens to guide learning as they work on their devices, and she can freeze their screens or redirect them if necessary to keep them focused on the task at hand.
One of the features she appreciates most is the software’s messaging application, which allows her to have private conversations with students to see if they need help.“Rather than asking them in front of their peers, I can check in with them more discretely,” she explains. “Students don’t like to admit when they’re struggling, but this makes it easier for them. It has been very beneﬁcial.”
A true partner
Not only are Logansport IT leaders happy with their classroom management solution; they’re also delighted with the company behind it.
LanSchool “has been a great partner to work with,” Dibble says, “because they value our feedback and make changes to the product based on that feedback.”
For example, Logansport wanted the software to integrate with Clever, the single sign-on solution that the district uses to manage its network accounts.
“We aren’t using Google Classroom, because we have another learning management system. However, the ability to sync student rosters to LanSchool Air was important,” Dibble explains. “We were already using Clever for many other third-party applications. LanSchool listened, and we were able to sync through Clever at the start of this school year. That saves teachers and IT staff a lot of time by not having to set up class rosters manually within LanSchool Air.”
It’s this attention to detail and level of customer care that Dibble appreciates most about LanSchool. What Whistler values most is how the software makes everyone’s jobs easier.
“LanSchool allows teachers to manage their classroom more effectively, which leads to better student engagement,” she says. “It’s making my life better, making our teachers’ lives better, and helping students learn.”
With LanSchool, teachers and IT leaders have a ﬂexible classroom management solution that can evolve with their changing needs. Furthermore, LanSchool is committed to being a true partner in education, helping schools leverage technology for instruction no matter where they are in their journey toward cloud adoption.