Milford Public Schools (MPS), located approximately one hour outside of Boston, Massachusetts, recently provided Chromebooks to 3,000 students in grades 3-12, making it easier for teachers to integrate a variety of educational software and applications into their curriculum. As teachers and students alike leverage mobile technologies to explore an expansive world of online resources, district leaders are utilizing CatchOn® [Lightspeed Analytics], a user-friendly data analytics and application monitoring tool, to evaluate classroom app usage, validate investments, and safeguard student data privacy.
Launching a Digital Initiative
Dr. Kevin McIntyre, MPS Superintendent, sought to create dynamic learning environments–a vision he achieved by leveraging technology to transform the way students learn, create, and connect. His district’s journey began with an all-important question: what device will best support MPS’s technology goals? After careful consideration, MPS purchased Google Chromebooks for students in grades 3-9, and, after a successful first year, the initiative expanded to include students in grades 10-12. Committed to providing his students with the very best digital learning experiences, Dr. McIntyre also appointed Director of Digital Learning, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Matthew Joseph, to ensure the initiative’s ongoing success. Two years after deployment, Dr. Joseph and others at MPS, including students, commend the technology’s transformative impact.
Taking the Guesswork Out of Education
Today, with help from Lightspeed Analytics, MPS’s leaders are quickly analyzing real-time data to identify trending applications and software and make the most of the high-performing tools they uncover. “Thanks to the system, our IT team could see that teachers and students were using a free version of a web-based product that connects English-language learners to educational audiobooks— and after some research, we found that it is a valuable resource that can benefit all learners. We deployed it district-wide, and it has been a great success so far. In this way, we’ve improved learning outcomes because we no longer have to guess about what works for our students and what doesn’t,” says Dr. Joseph.
Lightspeed Analytics enables MPS leaders to make data-informed decisions about the district budget. “Having visibility into the learning applications and web tools that our teachers and students are using is, from a budgetary perspective, absolutely critical,” says Dr. Joseph. “The system enables our leaders to save money by using data to create a toolbox of apps that teachers actually use.”
In just the first year of using the system, MPS saved more than $6,000 and reallocated more than $14,500 into trending—but previously unbudgeted—tools, many of which had been specifically requested by teachers.
Safeguarding Student Privacy
The increased visibility afforded by Lightspeed Analytics also empowers district leaders to be vigilant in protecting student data privacy. “Student data privacy is paramount as we introduce new technologies and applications,” says Dr. Joseph. “We appreciate that the system, in addition to implementing its own student privacy policies, makes us fully aware of which apps our students have access to so that we can identify any vulnerabilities.
Data Analytics and the Future of Educational Technology
For MPS, data is now indispensable to its digital journey. “The data provided by CatchOn [Lightspeed Analytics] is a critical utility that we rely on to support our 1:1 initiative,” says Dr. Joseph. “Data analytics eliminates guesswork and, for that reason, will quickly become a cornerstone of educational technology. It has proven invaluable in building budgets, creating curriculum, and determining professional development.”
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.