Three Ways One California District is Making the Most of Its 1:1 Program with Lightspeed Analytics™

Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD), located in California’s Coachella Valley, is a 1:1 district that serves 27,000 students. Not only is that a great many devices to manage, but district leaders must also track and monitor the tremendous number of applications and online resources used on those devices.

That’s why in 2019 DSUSD deployed CatchOn® [Lightspeed Analytics], an expansive data analytics tool that provides administrative leaders a window into the efficacy of their technology investments and integrations. The actionable data delivered by the solution has enabled DSUSD to make improvements in three key areas: student data privacy, fiscal accountability, and student achievement.

Student Data Privacy

We initially chose Lightspeed because of our data privacy concerns,” explained Dr. Kelly May-Vollmar, DSUSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Upon deploying the tool on all the district’s devices, her initial findings were alarming: in just a few minutes, she had identified several apps in use that violated the district’s privacy policies.

The tool is incredibly valuable to us because it empowers us to ensure that we are only using and working with vendors that have the same data privacy standards we have for our students' information.

Dr. Kelly May-Vollmar, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Desert Sands Unified School District

Fiscal Accountability

Dr. May-Vollmar is also leveraging Lightspeed Analytics to more effectively invest in the district’s educational technology. By gaining insight into her students’ application usage, she can now track who is actually using which apps and determine the apps that teachers actually need. The tool also gives her the data she needs to analyze each app’s performance. “We buy apps because we really believe they’re going to improve student outcomes,” she said. “If that’s not happening we want to know why because we don’t want to waste money. Lightspeed gives us visibility into real results.

Relatedly, the solution helps her deal with the inevitable proliferation of apps throughout the district. “When a district gets a new app to fill a need,” Dr. May-Vollmar explained, “sometimes they don’t get rid of the old one but instead just add on. CatchOn [Lightspeed Analytics] helps us determine which apps give the best return on investment and which ones need to be eliminated.

Sometimes we may think we're only paying a dollar a license, but if hardly anyone is using the app that rate might effectively go up to fifteen dollars a license.

Dr. Kelly May-Vollmar, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Desert Sands Unified School District

Student Achievement

When the pandemic disrupted in-person classes for DSUSD, the district needed to find a new way to track student engagement. “CatchOn [Lightspeed Analytics] helped us move to remote learning,” said Dr. May‑Vollmar, because the tool allowed her to answer three essential questions: “How much time are students spending on their devices? What are they doing on their devices? What apps are they spending time on? That’s how you measure engagement, and this tool empowers us to do that,” said Dr. May-Vollmar.

Additionally, the versatile tool helps the district ensure students are using their devices productively by giving educators real-time visibility into each student’s performance.

Leveraging Lightspeed Analytics to create DSUSD’s data story has given the district’s leadership team the insight required to improve learning outcomes, better safeguard student data, and assess the ROI of their apps and online resources.

We're getting better outcomes for our students because we're monitoring performance along the way. We're not waiting until the annual state testing to find out how a student is doing; instead, Lightspeed Analytics lets us monitor daily, weekly, monthly, whatever we want to do.

Dr. Kelly May-Vollmar, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Desert Sands Unified School District
Desert Unified School District logo



Coachella Valley, California

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About Lightspeed Systems

Lightspeed Systems, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a leading online safety and effectiveness platform for K–12 schools. A proven partner for student safety and engagement, Lightspeed uses advanced AI to view and analyze student activity across the web. Lightspeed serves over 20 million students in 38 countries and 28,000 schools globally.

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