Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Education Solutions Success Stories From HCGi


Key PGCPS Quick Facts
• 125,136 students
• 207 schools
• 9,197 teachers
• 23,785 employees in total
• $1.795 billion annual budget

The Challenge
Lower IT costs, improve remote management Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is one of the nation’s 25 largest school districts, with 208 schools and centers, more than 125,000 students and over 22,000 employees. The school system is responsible for administering PARCC testing (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) in each of its schools. The school system previously used a mix of iPads and laptops of various brands. Management of these various devices became complex. Establishing consistent configurations across the school system became difficult, inefficient, and costly.

PGCPS sought a solution that would provide maximum efficiency in the IT department without excessive hardware costs. Further, the school system wanted the capability to fully manage configuration settings on every device from one location. PGCPS was an early adopter of Google Apps, so the IT team and the students were already familiar with Google’s platform.

HCGi Solution
HCGi began a pilot project at Oxon Hill High School in the fall of 2013. It deployed a limited number of Samsung Chromebooks and the Google Chrome Console Management solution. The management console allows the PGCPS IT department to remotely manage every device in any location. This includes installing or removing apps, blacklisting websites, and configuring user roles, access and security.

HCGi provided a Google Certified Training Instructor to PGCPS to help implement this solution in the school system. HCGi also provides ongoing training and support to the PGCPS team responsible for managing and deploying the equipment across the system. PGCPS has three technology distribution centers.

Every newly acquired Chromebook is shipped to one of these centers for asset tagging and enrollment into the Chrome Management Console. HCGi performed a “White Glove” enrollment service for the initial 2000 unit Chromebook deployment. In addition to providing guidance in hardware selection, HCGi managed the configuration team to perform all service functions as well as administrative console and network configurations. HCGi validated device policies with a sample school or class.

Early testing revealed that LCD screens from the leading low-cost manufacturer were prone to breaking easily in a K12 education environment. HCGi quickly provided alternative Chromebooks by other manufacturers. A semi-rugged Lenovo model was selected and over 4000 units have been deployed, with no hardware issues reported.

HCGi’s longstanding partnership with a wide range of manufacturers, promises greater flexibility for Prince George’s County Public Schools. Further, the installation and activation of their Remote Management software give the IT department authorization and full control of every device district-wide. HCGi has delivered this powerful technology, allowing full implementation with the district’s IT team and ensuring the smooth deployment of the Chromebooks.

PGCPS enjoys dependable and affordable hardware, with superior hands-on client support by HCGi. The Google Chrome Management Console has given PGCPS the ease of maintaining an online curriculum, monitoring device use and securing student data for all Chromebooks from one central location. This has proven to maximize efficiency in both labor expenses and speeding up the process of getting Chromebooks into the hands of students.

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