In our last blog post, we revealed the most popular online searches by K-12 students in school districts using Relay. Our new data science department discovered that, in Lightspeed partner schools, the average student makes more than 300 search queries every month.
Our data science team wanted to know more — specifically, which websites are most important to K-12 students. In their research, they found that the average student accesses about 1,400 websites per month.
When we look at students’ most-visited domains, we can see that Google continues to dominate the interest and focus of K-12 student education. Google.com is the most commonly visited domain by students, with Google Docs in second place.
Currently, Relay supports only the Google Chrome operating system, so it makes sense why so many students would utilize Google services. However, as we’ve already noted, Google services are incredibly popular with K-12 students, even those who don’t use Chromebooks.
Kahoot, a game-based learning platform, dominates student activity as the No. 3 most-visited site. Educational games and platforms continue to grow in popularity as their value increases over time.
The fifth-most-popular site students visit is YouTube. If left unblocked, YouTube can present challenges for children, parents and school personnel. Although there are millions of great educational videos available for K-12 students, it also opens doors to distracting and inappropriate content.
Earlier this year, we surveyed the Lightspeed community and found that 23 percent of schools allow YouTube access across all grade levels.
Filtering and reporting on YouTube’s encrypted video content is difficult. That’s why we released Smart Play in our Relay Filter, to help K-12 schools allow educational YouTube content while blocking inappropriate content. Learn more about Smart Play here.
Lightspeed Systems has been categorizing the web for nearly two decades using machine learning, AI and human review to provide the most accurate filtering for K-12. Using our comprehensive filtering database, we analyzed which categories of websites are popular among students.
We found that students visit websites in the “education” category more often than any other category. The “search” category ranks No. 2 for students, mainly through Google.com.
Because some YouTube content can be inappropriate or unsafe in an educational setting, YouTube is categorized as “mature,” which explains why this category ranks No. 3. It’s an important reminder that YouTube can be great for education but there is a minefield of inappropriate content here, too — which is exactly why we developed Smart Play.
The “computers” category ranks highly due to services like Google Drive and Google Accounts, further demonstrating Google’s domination in K-12.