St Herbert’s RC Primary School in Oldham wanted to give their students the best opportunities for learning with digital technology. Many students began using school-owned iPad in classrooms and to continue learning at home.
Susan Milligan is the Headteacher at the school and wanted to make sure that the technology being used was safe no matter where it was. “One of the challenges with our existing filtering system was the lack of monitoring in place” she explained. “The filter did not allow the devices to work seamlessly at their full capacity, at home and in school.”
After already successfully using Lightspeed Mobile Device Management to control their devices apps and features, they decided to try Lightspeed Filter. They soon discovered that with Lightspeed’s content filter they could easily report on all device activity and customise policies based on time and location, giving students the right level of protection away from school.
A few months later St Herbert’s encountered a new challenge, with their school and others around the world being forced to close down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable their students to still access their work from home they utilised Google Classroom, providing the remote learning they needed, whilst Lightspeed ensured the devices were being used appropriately. “Lightspeed Filter allows us to monitor activity at all times and this is particularly important in light of recent circumstances,” Susan told us “Online distance learning has now become the norm.”
Another new challenge arising from the lockdown was the need for every student to have a device to use at home. Susan knew that this was now essential for remote learning but having different types of devices could make it harder to get all the reports and control they needed. Fortunately, Lightspeed Filter was designed specifically for education and works on every OS. “Lightspeed has provided us with the ability to monitor at such a level that we’ve confidently been able to loan devices out to families for supporting with learning at home” she proclaimed. For all the families who were unable to buy devices, St Herbert’s could loan the school’s laptops and even convert unused laptops into Chromebooks, confident in the same level of granular filtering and reporting across them all.
Nigel Milligan is the IT Manager for St Herbert’s and thanks to the cloud-based nature of Lightspeed Filter could easily log in and work from home during the lockdown to help Susan keep their students protected. He was extremely impressed with how seamless the setup remote setup was for the new devices that parents were buying for their children. “Personal devices that are not owned by the school such as Chromebooks were so easy to set up” he explained. “When they log in using their Google Classroom account, the device and the user immediately shows up in the Lightspeed Filter platform and we can see and monitor all of the traffic.”
Using Lightspeed Filter, they were then able to effectively control filtering policies on individual devices as well as large groups to ensure that every student had access to the information they need. “It’s very good that we can see all the activity and any websites that are blocked,” Nigel tells us. “It’s quick and simple and just with a few flicks of switches of categories it’s so easy to manage.”
They were even able to relax policies at different times of the day and on more than one occasion could customise or lock down devices based on feedback from parents. “The parents were impressed as well that the device they’ve just invested in is now keeping their child safe online.” Nigel recalled.