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Coronavirus, School Closures, and Relay

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With the number of Coronavirus cases in the US and around the world increasing, and expected to continue to do so, more schools are developing school closure plans. In many cases, these also include options for distance learning options that would allow learning to continue in the case of extended school closures.

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Five Ways to Maximize Class Time with Relay Classroom

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Going 1:1 is big deal! As someone who’s been the teacher in a 1:1 classroom, I know how excited your teachers and students are to revamp the learning process. When making the transition to 1:1, I found endless opportunities to enhance my lessons and classroom activities, but I also found myself spending valuable class time managing the appropriate use of all these new devices. The day-to-day hurdles of keeping my students on-task, engaged, and safe while using these devices required a solution to help me manage my instructional time in this new era of learning. Relay Classroom offers just that – one solution to give your teachers the power to monitor, control, and protect devices without disrupting crucial class time. It goes far beyond the ability to monitor student screens with smart features that save instructional time:

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Relay Filter Reports Just Got Even Better with the Web Activity Log

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Because of their breadth and actionability, Relay Filter reports are already one of the things that set us apart and make us the top filter in K12 schools. In addition to robust policies that control internet access, schools need powerful reports to understand usage, troubleshoot issues, spot trends, and track activity. Relay reports do it all:

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4 Ways Schools Can Drive Ed-Tech ROI and Compliance With Analytics

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It’s something we hear from a lot of schools: first came all the devices, then came a flurry of apps and applications and digital tools and curriculum to use with them. And now, it’s a little out of control with unused tools, redundant resources, unvetted apps. Analytics can give you the data you need to take back control and optimize all of that!

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DNS over HTTPS – What Schools Need to Know about Web Filtering with DoH

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Recently, Mozilla announced its plans to implement the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol by default in the Firefox browser starting in late September. Soon after, Google announced its intention to do the same for the Chrome browser. The implications for web filtering and schools could be big. Learn what DoH means for schools that need to filter traffic and protect students.

What is DoH:
DNS stands for Domain Name System; it’s the system for matching the domain name of a site (like www.something.com) to its IP addresses that makes it easy to browse the web and get to your favorite sites. Historically all of that has happened via an unencrypted DNS connection. As the name DNS over HTTPs implies, DoH takes DNS and shifts it to a secure, encrypted HTTPs connection.

Why DoH:
Mozilla and Google are making these changes to bring the security and privacy benefits of HTTPS to DNS traffic. All those warnings about the security risks of public WiFi? With DoH, you’re protected against other WiFi users seeing what websites you visit because your activity would be encrypted. DoH can also add protection against spoofing and pharming attacks and can prevent your network service providers from seeing your web activity.

What Does DoH Mean for Schools:
DoH prevents network services from seeing web traffic – but seeing web traffic is something schools rely on for web filtering and reporting. Much like Google’s move to encrypted search and other services years ago, while this can bring greater privacy and security to many users, it can also have big, negative implications for schools. Schools rely on the ability to see student traffic to provide essential services like filtering, monitoring, and reporting on school-owned devices.

When Does DoH Take Effect:
Firefox has already started to gradually shift to DOH. Chrome is expected to start shifting some traffic by the end of the year.

Does this Impact Your School?
If you rely on DNS filtering, you may be affected: without proper preparation or solutions, traffic won’t be able to be reliably blocked and your filtering may be ineffective. For our Lightspeed Systems customers, we have you covered.

Why Lightspeed Systems is DoH-Ready:
If you’re using Relay, you’ll be ready for DoH because our Smart Agents are installed on the device to provide the most granular, decrypted filtering; they don’t use DNS.
Our Relay Rocket (for BYOD and IoT traffic) uses DNS, but we’ve prepared our technology for DNS over HTTPS and the Relay Rocket will block the DoH domains so traffic is forced back to standard DNS where it can be seen, filtered, and reported.
Inline Rocket Web Filter customers will also be able to filter traffic across DoH.

What Other Web Filter Users Should Do:
If you’re not using Lightspeed Systems Relay or Rocket, make sure that you will be able to effectively filter all traffic even with these shifts to DoH.
• If you’re using a different DNS Filter, or a DNS feature of other cloud-based filters, reach out to your provider to discuss if you’ll be able to ensure ongoing filtering with DoH.
• If you’re using an inline filter, you will be able to effectively filter over DoH (but you may be missing out on other benefits a cloud solution can provide).
Switch to Relay 🙂 and get all the benefits of Smart Agents, including hassle-free SSL decryption,

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