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Want a new feature? Get it developed at the LightspeedConnect Hack-a-Thon!

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As if you needed another reason to attend LightspeedConnect 2014, here’s the latest: The first-ever Lightspeed Systems Hack-a-Thon — where YOU will get to work directly with developers to brainstorm new features and updates that they will code right there, right then!

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Make it Real!

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Companies (and people for that matter) often talk about their “vision” for the future.

Sometimes what they say is authentic – sometimes it is a marketing slogan.

And because we (Lightspeed Systems) do not want to be perceived as manipulative, or self-aggrandizing, or false — we generally shy away from this sort of talk.

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6+ Reasons You Should be Using Mobile Manager v3 to Manage Your School Devices

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Mobile Manager was made just for schools, and makes managing devices across your school easy. And now, v3 of Mobile Manager brings even more benefits! It adds support for the latest Apple programs, provides multi-device support for iOS, MacOS, Windows 8 and Android (and soon Win 8.1), and adds some great new features to make your lives easier and your devices more powerful.

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New Lightspeed Systems Support Center – Coming to Austin, TX

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We have been listening to you—and to meet the needs of our growing customer base, we are opening a new support center in Austin, TX. We’re committed to providing expert support to every customer on every support case. This new support center will allow us to more effectively scale our support organization and meet support needs for every time zone. It will be our fourth support center, joining Bakersfield, CA; Des Moines, IA; and Brentwood, UK. The Austin support office will open June 1st and will be led by experienced Lightspeed Systems support managers who will thoroughly train and mentor new staff to provide the unparalleled support our customers depend on us for.

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Student privacy with online educational solutions

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Recently PTAC (Privacy Technical Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Education) released a new publication, Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Requirements and Best Practices. You can get the full publication here.

FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects personally identifiable information (PII) from student records from unauthorized disclosure. But with new technologies and services, those guidelines have a lot of exceptions and nuances; this new report aims to clear up confusion and provide updated guidelines in the face of new tools. The report shares advice and information to help schools protect student privacy while using software, apps, and web-based tools.

Lightspeed Systems solutions (including My Big Campus, Mobile Manager, and our Web Filter) are such technologies, classified by PTAC as Online Educational Services. We stay on top of these issues, and the new report doesn’t require any changes in our policies. We are, and always will be, committed to protecting student privacy and data and complying with all regulations when schools use our solutions.

Because of the variety of services and the wide range of district needs and circumstances, the report offers “It depends” as the answer to both “Is student information used in Online Educational Services protected by FERPA” and “What does FERPA require if PII from students’ education records is disclosed to a provider.” That answer, “it depends,” requires districts to have policies in place and overall knowledge of services being used in order to make an informed decision about which way the “it depends” goes.

Some good advice provided in the report includes:
Be aware of which online educational services are currently used in your district
Have policies and procedures to evaluate and approve online educational services

While it is necessary to collect some information to effectively provide our learning solutions, we go to great ends to protect students and to treat their data with care:

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