Why UltraKey Belongs Behind Bars!

August 15, 2015 by Art Willer #prison corrections education training0


The Minnesota Department of Corrections Education Unit recently put UltraKey behind bars, choosing UltraKey to teach inmates how to type!

For years, the Education Unit has provided a range of skill development to inmates, including keyboarding. Recently, the Department set out to establish a common instructional approach with a standard software solution. After considerable research, UltraKey rose to the top of their most wanted list.

The Education Unit was already impressed with the quality of instruction in UltraKey, and with its ability to keep thousands of records, using a single server, connected to eleven facilities. This, along with the ability to run independent of any Internet connection, met the MN DOC's education needs.

However, the Education Unit had additional security and administrative needs. They approached Bytes of Learning to see what we could do for them.

Bytes of Learning reviewed those needs and decided they could be met with a manageable amount of research and development. We also decided to make the modifications at no extra charge to the Department, because we concluded the changes would benefit other UltraKey customers.

What the Education Unit Needed:

•  Transfer over 500 inmate records a day with minimal administrative effort.

•  Do all that transferring without interfering with the local instruction control that lets teachers manage the learning.

•  Protect privacy by letting inmates log into UltraKey without seeing the names of other inmates using the program.

•  Prevent inmates from accessing any file-open commands, eliminating any possibility they could explore computer systems.

What Bytes of Learning Delivered:

Bytes of Learning created a new build of UltraKey with all the Education Unit needs in mind. The enhancements the Department requested, plus a number of our own initiatives are now being released to all users as build series 6.4.

The following solutions are unique to UltraKey and make it the ultimate keyboarding choice for any corrections department.

•  Housing the entire state's population of inmates in one secure host.

•  Enrolling and transferring over 30,000 user records in a single process, at a rate of over 10,000 records per hour.

•  Restricting transfers to the site level, while letting instructors manage all records within their site.

•  Providing instructors enrollment and transfer capability, so they are not dependent on central administration to keep records current, while limiting that capability so instructors can only change the information within their classes.

•  Letting inmates log in using IDs and passwords, rather than browsing classes and names.

•  Allowing all file exploring capability to be disabled.

The Result:

The Minnesota Department of Corrections Education Unit was impressed with how UltraKey performed during their trials, even before any changes were made.

They were grateful for the opportunity to discuss the needs that UltraKey did not meet during the trial. So were we.

The education technicians found it commendable that a producer would modify a publicly available product to meet their needs. We felt it was a privilege.

The Education Unit was delighted with the solutions Bytes of Learning came up with, and are looking forward to continuing their state-wide implementation of UltraKey with Bytes of Learning on their team.

Contact us to discuss this or any other questions you may have about using UltraKey in your corrections system. To conduct your own evaluation, request a trial license. To let us price your licensing needs, please request a quote.

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