How Sarasota County Schools Transformed Classroom Learning with LanSchool

Anna Lockhart, LanSchool Marketing Manager

What happened the last time you experienced a software issue? Did you submit a support ticket and wait as your request for assistance made its way up the queue?

Or did an actual developer get on the phone with you and rewrite custom code?

For Ray Ebersole, that’s exactly what happened during his early days of working with LanSchool.

At the time, Ray’s school district had just installed a new line of computers and was having trouble getting its classroom management software to work properly on them. After an initial chat with a tech support specialist, Lenovo Software president, took a look at the set up himself. Once he identified the issue—new code would be needed to support touchscreen interactions on the new PCs—he didn’t just promise to make improvements. He bought the same model, had it overnighted and went to work the moment the new computer arrived.

“He wrote new code for us and then two weeks later it was in a new version of LanSchool and made available around the world,” Ray recalls. “That level of customer service is just really cool.”

That attention to detail is the reason Sarasota County Schools’ systems administrator has never regretted his decision to recommend LanSchool.

A Tale of Two Classroom Technologies

Five years ago, when Sarasota County’s executive director of middle school education asked Ray to recommend new classroom technology, he went right to work. The then-technical advisor was experiencing some frustrations of his own and wasn’t surprised to hear his boss suggest it may be time to make a switch.

“The director was moving to a different style and tasked me with testing new software that would allow for better classroom management,” Ray said.

Sarasota County Schools had been using Netop Vision to handle remote operations for its career technical education (CTE) program. By the time Ray was researching other options, it had become clear a much more flexible solution would be needed if the district wanted to stay on the cutting edge of classroom technology and truly embrace digital collaboration district-wide.

“Netop didn’t meet our needs at the time,” Ray says. “It’s very difficult to use for the teachers. It’s difficult to set up. It has some nice features, but is very tech-reliant and not user-friendly.”

Ray considered several options, but LanSchool was the clear winner.

“LanSchool did what it needed to do for the teacher in a way that wasn’t restrictive,” he says. “It really stood out from the rest.”

Ray—now a systems administrator coordinator overseeing the virtual environment and district applications used by 5,000 employees serving 43,000 students—says moving to LanSchool was one of the best recommendations he could’ve made.

“We have a 20,000 computer license with LanSchool, so it’s basically on every computer in the district,” Ray explains. “The teachers love it for classroom management. They can push files to students and do collaborative work with them and don’t have to be at a computer to see what students are doing. They can see what’s on a screen and talk about it. If they see something cool, they can put it up on everyone else’s computer.”

Classroom Management Software, Made Easy

Each of the district’s 41 schools has a dedicated technician. With the LanSchool Tech Console, they can monitor PCs remotely and make adjustments quickly and efficiently.

For example, when it’s time for standardized testing, LanSchool removes hours of manual work that would otherwise be necessary to prep hundreds of PCs.

“Techs can manage and turn on 700 computers in the morning and log them all into a testing account,” Ray explains. “They can also work from their desks instead of having to run out every time there’s a quick problem to resolve.”

In the classroom, LanSchool has helped usher in a new era of collaborative learning. Instructors can select student screens to showcase standout work, provide assistance through chat, blank student screens as needed and distribute quick polls to gauge comprehension or spur discussion...to name just a few of the many, many features LanSchool provides.