Jul 05 2019

3 Steps to Finding the Right Content Monitoring Solution for Your District

To keep students safe, IT teams should work with faculty and staff to find a tool that fits everyone's needs.

As K–12 schools shift towards an increasingly digitally-integrated classroom, it is essential that teachers have the tools they need to keep students safe from harmful content online

Modern content monitoring solutions are helping schools keep students away from entering inappropriate sites as well as protect them from falling victim to cyberthreats.

“They’re essentially preventing users from going to sites where they may pick up malware or other things that would jeopardize their district networks,” says Linnette Attai, project director with the Consortium for School Networking and president of PlayWell, a data privacy compliance consulting firm.


3 Steps to Implement a K–12 Content Monitoring Solution

Before you commit to a monitoring solution, discuss your intentions with stakeholders.

“Communication is important,” says Justin Dover of Harpeth Hall School. “With parents, we actually have them sign something when we give them the machines. That way, they know exactly what we’re doing and why, and no one ever complains.”

Courtney Sayward, director of curriculum, assessment and technology at Galway Central School District, agrees that conversations with parents are critical. She also recommends consulting with teachers.

“It can be hard to find that balance between safety and educational use,” she says. “Make sure you understand everyone’s needs and talk things out as a team.”

Sayward and Nate Millerwurst, a network analyst at Galway Central also suggest bringing the following topics to the table early in the process:

  1. Selection: Get stakeholders involved as you thoroughly research all options. Find the right balance among cost, compliance, interface and other features before you settle on a product. 
  2. Solutions: Stakeholders should understand how each product meets the district’s goals and the anticipated impact (pros and cons) of its implementation.
  3. Rollout: Pilot potential solutions to ensure they work with your infrastructure, then deploy the best-performing product in a small-scale test environment. After working through any potential issues or concerns, deploy the solution to the entire district.

To learn more about how K–12 schools can benefit from modern monitoring solutions, check out “K-12 Districts Keep Students Safe with Web Filters and Monitors.”

Steve Debenport/Getty Images

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