Community Connect 4 (CC4) is the latest evolution of the UK's leading networking solution for education. Developed by RM Education following feedback from existing Community Connect 3 customers, CC4 provides a flexible and secure network that can be personalised to meet the needs of your school.
So how exactly can CC4 make life easier for everyone - for you, your teaching staff, your learners and your ICT team? Read on to find out how schools like yours are using CC4.
Gosbecks Primary School in Colchester was already familiar with RM Education's networking solutions. So when additional functionality was made available through the launch of CC4, upgrading seemed the natural step.
As well as including all the best aspects of CC3, CC4 offers a whole host of new and enhanced features that teachers, learners and ICT teams have been asking for. And with its wide range of simple-to-use tools, CC4 delivers benefits throughout the school, making life easier for everyone.
One of the most immediate benefits that Gosbecks noticed was the additional flexibility that CC4 provided. Upgrading to CC4 has allowed the school to introduce new technology on a platform that supports both existing and emerging technology, enabling it to make the most of both its network and ICT equipment.
Community Connect 4 offers the capability of supporting an expanding network. I like the fact that you can run Windows XP alongside Windows Vista. It doesn't restrict a phased upgrade or force schools to stick with older systems.
New tools in the RM Management Console in CC4 are designed to enable ICT staff to adopt a more proactive approach to their role. These tools have given Annette more time to customise the network to Gosbecks' specific needs, and allowed her to support both teachers and learners in the most efficient way. She says: "CC4 makes me more efficient by reducing the amount of time I spend solving problems, and by making it easier to predict and avoid issues before they occur."
Annette also likes the "fantastic" new Assignment Overview tool that enables her to quickly see all the software titles, packages and updates on the system, along with their installation status across all computers. This has made it easier for her to plan which software is installed in a particular classroom for a specific lesson.
Annette also likes the new trickle-feed functionality in CC4, which enables essential updates and software to run in the background when network use is low. This reduces the impact on staff and students, who can continue to use their computers throughout. "The ability to drip-feed packages while users continue to work at the computers is a major improvement," says Annette.
Annette has also been able to leverage the functionality of CC4 when it comes to deploying updates across the network. By using the Local Support Tools in the RM Management Console, she has been able to further reduce disruption around the school by simply and easily communicating her plans to users well in advance.
She explains: "I can now send messages across the network, which users have to remove from their screens by clicking a button. So I can schedule maintenance work or upgrades and pre-warn people over a week-long period. And no-one can say that they haven't seen at least one of my notices!"
In addition, RM Local Support Tools have enabled Annette to perform remote management tasks that would normally have to be performed at individual stations. Being able to remotely control a computer on the other side of the school has minimised the time required to carry out essential maintenance tasks, as Annette now no longer needs to visit each individual workstation around the school.