WESTCLIFF HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS takes technology seriously. In 2003, it became the UK’s first girls’ school to gain science and engineering status. Now it has over 1,000 pupils who need to connect to their work and each other.
During the summer term, staff and a small group of pupils experimented with Kerio Workspace, a tool for remote and collaborative working that gives everyone access to the most up-to-date documents.
The evaluation went so well, the entire school goes live with Workspace in the new academic year. According to the school’s Network Manager, Malcolm Moore, that’s when the application will be “really thrashed”.
Malcolm isn’t worried by that prospect. The look and feel of Kerio Workspace is similar to Kerio Connect, a mail server that’s so robust, it’s been running at Westcliff since 2005 “practically without failure”. The school isn’t just comfortable with Kerio, it has become part of day to day life. Staff no longer talk about ’email’ internally, they call it ‘Kerio’
Before testing Kerio Workspace the school didn’t have any efficient tools for collaborative working.
“We have over 400 computers for students and 160 exclusively for staff. We have a virtual learning environment (VLE) but this can be complicated and it is very education specific. Workspace is much easier to use,” says Malcolm, “and operating-system agnostic. We chose it because we are moving to Linux. The staff use Windows and pupils are on Linux. Workspace works with both.”.
A popular choice
So far, Kerio Workspace has been a resounding success. If anything, the problem is stopping teachers using it too much. They have discovered that they can work on documents at home, share them with colleagues, and then revise them in time for use first thing on Monday morning.
Kerio Workspace has other advantages. Because it accepts all the standard document formats, it encourages staff and pupils to use them. In effect, it enforces the school’s policy against using obscure document formats.
Every document is owned by the school and held internally, so Westcliff can monitor its own policies on school conduct among staff and pupils. Thanks to Kerio Workspace and Kerio Connect if there’s ever any doubt about who said or wrote what, the school has easy access to documents and emails that support the story.
In September, Workspace will also put pupils in control. It doesn’t matter where they are – at school, at home, away on holiday – they can work on the latest version of their own projects without fear of duplication or data loss.
You can also meet Kerio and other SMB Solution providers Acronis and Bitdefender at CompTIA EMEA Member & Partner Conference 2012 on 23rd October in London, find out more details and register here