Penn Manor School District
The future comes calling
The Pennsylvania Department of Education created an ambitious program to help encourage the use of technology in the classroom and prepare students for the technologically-advanced 21st century workplace. The Classrooms for the Future program introduced large numbers of new computers into districts across the state. For the Penn Manor School District, this meant seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of new equipment, including over 450 new MacBooks.
IT Director Charlie Reisinger understood that if the classrooms were to be ushered into the future, he would also have to update his management tools. Even with the capable assistance of System Engineers Shawn Beard and Chad Billman, Charlie said that they had no way to handle this huge influx.
“Client management software was an unfunded project expense,” he explains. “But without the Casper Suite, we could have never effectively deployed the new equipment in a timely manner.”
Beginning at the beginning
The Penn Manor IT team knew they should bring in the Casper Suite as the first step of the process.
“The software was recommended to us by another school district,” recalls Shawn. “We did some research, decided it would be a good fit for us, and
had it installed before we unpackaged a single laptop.” “
Images were created and software was deployed across all 450 machines, and even with this efficiency, the Casper Suite immediately paid managerial dividends.
“We had software updates we needed to deploy by the time we had the previous version installed,” says Shawn. “If we had to go back and reimage all of those machines manually... well, I just couldn’t imagine going through that a second time.”
Making more of time
William Penn famously said that “time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
He would be proud to know that this does not apply to the IT department in the school district named for him. After the success of the initial deployment, Charlie and his team expanded their use of the Casper Suite across the entire district. Adding approximately 2,400 machines across 10 buildings in the district qualified as a “massive infusion.”
“If we tried to manage these machines manually, there simply would not be enough time in the day,” says Charlie. “I would easily need another full-time tech employee, if not two... and we still wouldn’t be able to respond as quickly.”
Shawn is particularly happy with the time savings available through the use of the Casper Suite’s Self Service application.
“No two laptops are alike, and we can let users manage those differences,” he explains. “Just allowing for the easy installation of printers as our users carry their laptops from building to building is huge.”
Chad also has found valuable efficiency in the combination of imaging tools and the availability of Self Service.
“The Casper Suite is very easy to use, both for us and for the non-technical staff,” Chad says. “We were able to re-image over 400 machines just one week before school started, and we could deploy them without very specific software preferences because we know our users understand how to get that software themselves.”
Fearlessly facing the future
Using the Casper Suite, Charlie and his team can take on new projects without worry.
“When the district adopted new mathematics materials,“ Charlie recalls, “the series came with new text books, instructional materials, and a large number of discs with companion software. Because we can group the hardware in the Casper Suite’s inventory manager, we were able to serve up our elementary staff group with the new software from our central location. Three CDs worth of software were installed on 175 machines in three weeks—there’s simply no way that’s done manually.”
Not only can the team effectively and efficiently manage their daily tasks, but this ability to accelerate allows them to be confident about new projects that emerge thorough the course of time. The Penn Manor School District is not only comprised of tech-savvy classrooms, but thanks to the Casper Suite, they also have System Engineers who are prepared for the futuren as well.Download PDF