At Lightspeed Systems, we listen to our school IT community to find out what’s working — and what’s not — in the world of education technology, and use this feedback to develop solutions that make your jobs easier.
With the new school year on the horizon, we surveyed our community of IT pros to learn about their biggest headaches. Keep reading to see what your peers said and post a comment about your biggest obstacles for the 2017-2018 school year.
IT Headache #1: Teachers Want to Unblock Sites
We know it’s important to empower IT departments as well as teachers to manage technology. Lightspeed Systems Web Filter 3: Longhorn offers several ways for IT to give teachers the management features they need and customize their access.
Establishing assignments and rule sets to differentiate internet access for students and administrators is a great first step to allowing appropriate access to teachers. Learn how to create Assignments here; learn how to create Rule Sets here.
You can also provide Overrides to users, granting hem access to sites that would otherwise be blocked according to their Rule Sets.
Longhorn’s machine-learning URL database processes 2 million sites every day, so you can rest assured that inappropriate sites are being blocked. You can learn more about our robust, comprehensive database categorization in this blog post.
Plus, if you want to customize which website categories are blocked and allowed, you can! Our filter doesn’t block the web — it categorizes the web. Only three website categories cannot be unlocked locally: offensive, illicit, and extremism.
Learn how to unblock specific sites for teachers with this short video tutorial.
Are teachers asking for access to iPad apps? A new feature in Lightspeed Systems Mobile Manager allows teachers and students to access pre-approved apps — without involving IT! The Self-Service Portal is a quick, easy way to allow access to educational apps for classroom use.
IT Headache #2: Students Are Misusing the Web
Identifying users that have attempted to access inappropriate content requires accurate reporting wherever students take their devices.
With Web Filter 3: Longhorn’s Dynamic Reporting Engine, you can track students’ on- and off-network activity with granular reporting capabilities. You can easily view online activity of individual users to identify inappropriate use and escalate these issues.
To keep students safe 24/7, IT pros can utilize Live Reports to monitor web activity as it happens. With real-time streaming data accompanied by alerts, you won’t miss a thing.
The Suspicious Search Queries report also provides a detailed list of users plus suspicious and inappropriate search queries.
IT admins may also customize reports to suit their needs and create widgets to monitor activity quickly from the Web Filter Dashboard.
IT Headache #3: Bandwidth Hogs Are Slowing Down Your Network
Unnecessary downloads and streaming services can wreak havoc on network speed. The last thing school IT departments need are users complaining about slow networks.
How can you find bandwidth hogs quickly? Web Filter 3’s Traffic by User Report allows you to see who is generating traffic on your network so you can quickly address any inappropriate use (such as excessive downloads, using Spotify or Netflix, etc.). Simply select a user and drill down to access the user’s activity.
Web Filter Traffic Reports also allow IT admins to dive into network activity to identify network efficiency issues.
Guaranteed Categories are a great way to ensure that essential categories, such as online courseware, don’t have to share bandwidth with less important traffic, like media streaming. Learn how to set up Guaranteed Categories with this helpful walkthrough.
Web Filter 3: Longhorn was designed with IT and teacher needs in mind. Longhorn eliminates many of the daily headaches that come with keeping students safe as they continue their digital learning journeys.
If you’re already Lightspeed Systems community member and haven’t upgraded to Longhorn to get the power to protect, follow these simple steps to get started.
Interested in seeing the Web Filter in action for yourself? Schedule a demo with us.