News

Lightspeed Systems Relay 2 Now Available in Amazon Web Services Marketplace

April 30, 2018

Education technology company Lightspeed Systems has released its multi-OS filtering and monitoring solution for purchase online.

AUSTIN, TX. — Today, Lightspeed Systems made its new K-12 filtering and monitoring solution, Relay, available for purchase in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. Lightspeed’s multi-OS Software-as-a-Service solution was built to help K-12 school IT departments filter, monitor, report, and locate school-owned student devices. Relay can be purchased in AWS Marketplace for annual pricing of $9 per device.

There are more devices in K-12 schools today than ever before, and IT departments need to maintain control of those devices to keep students safe and focused on learning. The cloud-based, multi-OS Relay eliminates the need for multiple systems to filter, monitor, and manage school devices with features for granular user activity reporting; content filtering, including SSL sites, with flexible policies; real-time suspicious activity alerts; and geolocation for lost and stolen devices. All these tools are available in a single, streamlined user interface.

Lightspeed Systems announced Relay 2 at London’s international ed-tech conference BETT in January. Version 2 includes features such as simple SSL filtering for every OS; a Parent Report Generator; and Smart Play, a YouTube management feature powered by machine learning. Built on AWS, Relay 2 allows Lightspeed to stay ahead of resource demand by adding capacity on the fly and build out instances around the world to meet the needs of the company’s global customer base.

“The first version of Relay was released just a year ago, but K-12 schools have trusted us to keep their networks safe and filtered for almost 20 years,” says Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “Relay is revolutionizing the way schools protect their technology and its availability in AWS Marketplace makes it easier than ever for schools to start implementing our solution.”

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay2.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile, and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Web Filter, Mobile Manager, and Classroom. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Releases Classroom Management Solution With AI-Powered Insights

April 25, 2018

Lightspeed Systems Classroom surpasses other classroom management technologies by providing new insights into student productivity via machine learning.

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems, the market leader in K-12 student safety, has released a cutting-edge device monitoring solution powered by artificial intelligence. Classroom represents a step up from current K-12 device monitoring technology by assessing student productivity with AI.

The cloud-based Lightspeed Systems Classroom is a disruption to classroom device monitoring technology. Competing solutions such as GoGuardian for Teachers rely on teachers to continuously monitor classroom device activity as it happens. In theory, live monitoring solutions help teachers pinpoint students who are off-task or falling behind; in practice, teachers struggle to track the activity of 30 students at a time, and interpret screen views and scrolling activity timelines. Monitoring those screens keeps teachers tied to their desks and devices.

Classroom — included at no additional charge with the Lightspeed Systems Relay web filtering solution, and available for purchase as a standalone product — leverages machine-learning AI to provide insights into student browsing behavior. Rather than depend on teachers to identify unusual browsing on sight, Classroom alerts teachers when it happens, zeroing in on students who may be distracted or struggling. Although teachers have the capability to live-monitor student device screens with Classroom, the solution’s alerts free them from that responsibility, allowing them to leave their desks and focus on other tasks.

Classroom is available today for Chrome and will feature support for Mac devices starting next week, with support for Windows devices beginning in June.

In addition to AI-powered insights, Classroom gives teachers the power to:
• Receive status updates from students (“need help,” “working,” or “done”)
• See aggregate views of student browsing activity and status
• View student screens in real time, pull browsing histories, and record device activity
• Send quick messages (e.g., “Are you done?” and “Need help?”) and receive replies from students
• Lock device screens and send content links
• Limit student web access to a website or group of websites for the class period, and release students when they change their status to “done.”

“We saw a need in the market for a device monitoring solution that doesn’t create extra work for teachers by gluing them to their device screens and compelling them to draw their own conclusions about student progress,” Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas said. “Therefore, by helping teachers, Classroom helps students stay focused on learning and get the attention they need.”

“We want to give our students and our teachers the best solutions,” said Gary Brantley, Chief Information Officer of DeKalb County School District. “So after comparing every option, including GoGuardian, we chose Lightspeed Systems Relay and Classroom because they have the most powerful features to keep our students safe and on task, in the classroom and out. I recommend them to any district looking to create safe learning environments and engaged classrooms.”

The cloud-based, multi-OS Relay eliminates the need for multiple systems to filter, monitor and manage school devices with features for granular user activity reporting; content filtering, including SSL sites, with flexible policies; real-time suspicious activity alerts; and geolocation for lost and stolen devices.

Relay gives the ability to filter any device OS by deploying Lightspeed Systems Smart Agents. It also features simple SSL filtering; a Parent Report Generator; and Smart Play, a YouTube management feature powered by machine learning.

To learn more about Classroom, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/classroom. To learn more about Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay2.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Web Filter, Mobile Manager, and Classroom. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Releases Next-Generation Classroom Management Technology

March 15, 2018

New device monitoring system Classroom uses a proprietary algorithm to alert teachers of unusual student browsing behavior.

AUSTIN, TX. — Lightspeed Systems, the leading education technology provider for K-12 schools, released a new student classroom management product today. Lightspeed Systems Classroom is a cloud-based software solution that uses a revolutionary technology to alert teachers when students are browsing off-task on classroom devices.

 

Lightspeed Systems Classroom gives teachers insights into unusual student browsing behavior.

 

Most classroom management solutions give teachers views of classroom device activity to, in theory, help them pinpoint students who are distracted or falling behind. In practice, teachers struggle to track the activity of 30 students at a time, and monitoring all those screens keeps teachers tied to their desks and devices.

Classroom — included at no additional charge with the Lightspeed Systems Relay web filtering solution, and available for purchase as a standalone product — revolutionizes the traditional model of classroom management by using a proprietary algorithm to identify students with unusual browsing activity (i.e., those who are distracted or falling behind). Teachers receive notifications of that unusual behavior, freeing them from their desks so they can focus on other tasks.

In addition to receiving unusual browsing alerts, Classroom gives teachers the power to:
• Receive status updates from students (“need help,” “working,” or “done”)
• See aggregate views of student browsing activity and status
• View student screens in real time, pull browsing histories, and record device activity
• Send quick messages (e.g., “Are you done?” and “Need help?”) and receive replies from students
• Lock device screens and send content links
• Limit student web access to a website or group of websites for the class period, and release students when they change their status to “done”

The cloud-based, multi-OS Relay eliminates the need for multiple systems to filter, monitor and manage school devices with features for granular user activity reporting; content filtering, including SSL sites, with flexible policies; real-time suspicious activity alerts; and geolocation for lost and stolen devices.

Relay gives the ability to filter any device OS by deploying Lightspeed Systems Smart Agents. It also features simple SSL filtering; a Parent Report Generator; and Smart Play, a YouTube management feature powered by machine learning.

To learn more about Classroom, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/classroom. To learn more about Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay2.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Web Filter, and Mobile Manager. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Announces Threat Check, New School Safety Solution

February 28, 2018

Threat Check combines critical online activity insights with real-world information to help schools identify threats and high-risk students so they can react to help ensure school safety.

AUSTIN, TX. — Today, Lightspeed Systems announced a new element to its Relay student safety and filtering solution: Threat Check. Threat Check provides schools with information that can help identify high-risk behaviors and prevent school violence, self-harm, bullying, and more.

Lightspeed Systems Threat Check helps schools identify high-risk student behaviors and prevent school violence

Using advanced machine-learning technology, Lightspeed Systems’ data science department has processed and curated data to build multiple, proprietary models of students’ typical online behavior specific to several differentiating attributes, including age and geographic location.

Through its web filtering solutions, which are used in more than 6,500 U.S. school districts to protect 25 million students, Lightspeed Systems has a vast and unique trove of data about the typical online activities of K-12 students. This includes web browsing activity; social media interests and posts; online communities to which students belong; searched phrases; minutes spent online; time of day of peak web activity; and more.

Threat Check combines that online activity analysis with other data points: School personnel can flag high-risk students and input offline activity such as violence, threatening speech, or bringing a weapon to school. This synthesized insight gives schools a more holistic picture of potential threats, as well as indicators of when high-risk students are escalating toward violence.

“Especially now, we’re all looking for ways to make sure our children are safe,” shares Brian Thomas, President and CEO of Lightspeed Systems. “Lightspeed Systems has been committed to helping schools keep their students safe online for 20 years. We believe the technology we’ve developed and the data we’ve curated in that time can now be used to do even more: to keep students safe offline as well. By partnering with school communities, we can provide another critical component to school safety, which is our greatest mission.”

With actionable information in the form of easy-to-consume and easy-to-share trend reports, risk scores, timelines, and real-time alerts, Threat Check arms schools with the information and tools they need to keep their students safe. Alerts and reports can be shared with school staff, safety personnel, law enforcement, parents, and more so appropriate action can be taken in real time.

“We already use Relay to filter, monitor, and protect our students — and this new feature will give us even more insight and tools to do that,” Gary Brantley, CIO of DeKalb County School District in DeKalb County, Georgia. “We are proud to partner with Lightspeed Systems on this powerful new initiative to keep our schools safe.”

Threat Check will be available to all Lightspeed Systems Relay customers in April 2018.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Web Filter, and Mobile Manager. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Releases Report on Parents’ Perceptions of YouTube Safety in Schools

February 6, 2018

Study suggests that parents are concerned about child safety on the streaming-video service and want tighter restrictions in schools.

AUSTIN, TX. — Today, to coincide with Safer Internet Day, ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems released a report on parents’ perceptions about the safety of YouTube for kids. The study indicates that many parents don’t trust YouTube to provide an appropriate viewing experience for children, and want the streaming-video service, as well as K-12 schools, to provide a safer viewing experience for students.

Surveying hundreds of American parents with school-age children, Lightspeed Systems found that:
• 88% of parents say K-12 schools should restrict YouTube content for some or all grade levels.
• 85% of parents say YouTube should do more to police the safety of its content.
• 78% of parents say their children watch more than an hour of YouTube per week.
• 28% of parents report their children have open access to YouTube at school, while only 12% say they believe kids should have open access to YouTube at school.
• 35% of parents say they don’t trust YouTube to provide enriching content for children.

Founded in 1999, Lightspeed Systems provides solutions to build safer school networks, including the market-leading content filter for K-12, the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter. Lightspeed’s device management, monitoring and filtering solutions are designed to help school IT teams track and report on student device activity, wherever those devices travel.

In 2017, Lightspeed Systems announced the release of Lightspeed Systems Smart Play, a proprietary, machine-learning technology that opens educationally valuable YouTube videos to students while protecting them from explicit, inappropriate content. Lightspeed Systems developed Smart Play as a feature to the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter and Lightspeed Systems Relay; as of today, Smart Play’s database holds more than 41 million educational videos.

“Teachers and students love using YouTube as an educational tool, but our study suggests that parents are aware and fearful of the dangers that lurk there for kids,” said Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “Lightspeed has been filtering schools for almost 20 years, so we understand their concerns better than anyone, and we’re proud that our filtering solutions and Smart Play help make YouTube a safer place for students.

To read the full report, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com/parent-opinions-youtube/.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Relay, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems K-12 Filtering/Monitoring Solution Relay Now Available for All Operating Systems

January 24, 2018

Education technology company Lightspeed Systems releases Relay 2.0, a major update of the school IT software solution that brings safe, easily managed filtering to every major device OS.

LONDON, ENGLAND, U.K. — Today, at the 2018 BETT show at ExCel London, ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems announced Relay 2.0, a major new release of the filtering/monitoring solution Relay that offers real-time safety and hassle-free filtering for every device. While version 1 of Relay is compatible with only the Google Chrome OS operating system, the game-changing Relay 2.0 uses smart agents to make filtering for every OS easier and smarter.

K-12 schools are implementing one-to-one programs in record numbers, and school IT departments are responsible for the daunting tasks of filtering students’ internet access on these devices as well as identifying suspicious online activity, locating lost devices and more. Complicating matters is the wide array of devices in individual schools and districts: tablets, laptops, desktops and smartphones, often on a variety of operating systems.

The cloud-based Relay 2.0 eliminates the need for multiple systems to filter, monitor and manage all those devices with features for granular user activity reporting; content filtering, including social media and SSL sites, with flexible policies; real-time suspicious activity alerts; and geolocation for lost and stolen devices. And all of these tools are available in a single, streamlined UI.

Relay 2.0’s innovative design gives the ability to filter and monitor any device OS by deploying Lightspeed Systems Smart Agents. Version 2 also includes features such as:
• Simple SSL filtering — filter SSL sites like Google and YouTube without having to use proxies, PAC files or trust certificates
• Parent Report Generator — upload a simple CSV file of parent email addresses to automate the delivery of student device activity reports to their parents’ inboxes
• Lockouts — lock students out of internet access if they attempt to access too many blocked sites in succession
• Smart Play — the game-changing YouTube management feature that allows students to access more than 40 million educational videos (and none of the bad stuff)

“In less than a year, Relay has made hundreds of thousands of school Chromebooks safer, more effective devices for learning,” says Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “Now that school districts can use Relay 2.0 to filter and monitor any device, we’ll be able to help exponentially more schools ensure their one-to-one initiatives are appropriate for student use and worth the investment.”

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay 2.0, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay2.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Web Filter, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Solution Makes 40 Million Safe YouTube Videos Available for Schools

January 21, 2018

Lightspeed Systems Smart Play opens access to an education-friendly database of video content while blocking inappropriate videos.

AUSTIN, TX. —Lightspeed Systems Smart Play — an innovative new tool to ease YouTube video streaming in K-12 schools — achieved a milestone today when its database grew to 40 million educational videos. Launched in summer 2017, Smart Play is a proprietary technology from education technology company Lightspeed Systems that opens educationally valuable YouTube videos to students while protecting them from explicit, inappropriate content.

Founded in 1999, Lightspeed Systems has been trusted by thousands of schools around the world to make student devices safe, filtered and easily managed. Recognizing that YouTube presents many educational opportunities for students as well as many unsafe videos that violate Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) standards, Lightspeed Systems developed Smart Play as a feature to the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter and Lightspeed Systems Relay.

Smart Play utilizes machine-learning technology and artificial intelligence to analyze video content and make an unrivaled selection of educational videos available to students. Graphic and inappropriate videos — as well as thumbnails of those videos— are blocked by the solution. Best of all, IT administrators using Web Filter or Relay can enable this revolutionary new tool with just one click in the solution’s interface.

At the time of launch in June 2017, Smart Play’s database included 26 million videos. Its database has expanded to 40 million videos — a growth of almost 54 percent in seven months — thanks to Lightspeed’s innovative proprietary technology. Each day, Smart Play’s database will continue to grow by hundreds of thousands of new videos that are appropriate for student consumption.

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Smart Play, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com/smart-play.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Relay, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Solution Lets School IT Departments Share Student Device Activity With Parents

January 10, 2018

A new feature in Lightspeed Systems Relay gives parents crucial information on how and when their kids are spending time online.

AUSTIN, TX. — Education technology company Lightspeed Systems announced the release of Parent Report Generator, new to Lightspeed Systems Relay. This new feature gives K-12 school IT personnel the power to customize and automate the delivery of student web activity reports to students’ parents.

A sample report from new Parent Report Generator in Lightspeed Systems Relay

Due to the increasing presence of one-to-one and BYOD device initiatives in schools, students are online more than ever. Relay’s Parent Report Generator allows parents to engage in students’ digital learning and ensure they’re using devices appropriately before, during and after school.

With a simple and secure CSV upload of email addresses to Lightspeed Systems Relay, Parent Report Generator lets school IT departments automate the delivery of student activity reports to their parents’ email inboxes. Parent Reports give a snapshot of crucial metrics on each student’s internet activity, including:

• Most frequent search queries
• Most frequently visited websites (including blocked sites), and how much time they spent on each site
• Device usage by time of day (e.g., before school, during school, after school, and late night)
• Device usage by day of week
• Device usage compared to average peer’s usage

Relay by Lightspeed Systems is a comprehensive solution designed to make school use of mobile devices safe and easily managed. The all-in-one, cloud-based solution maximizes return on investment of school Chromebooks with simple tools for filtering, protecting, geolocating and reporting on the devices.

To learn more about Relay by Lightspeed Systems, visit lightspeedsystems.com/relay.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Relay, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Honored With Two Awards of Excellence From Tech & Learning Magazine

December 13, 2017

The top K-12 ed-tech solution provider takes prizes in each of the two award categories for its K-12 device filtering and monitoring solutions.

AUSTIN, TX. — The leading news authority on K-12 technology, Tech & Learning magazine, has again recognized ed-tech company Lightspeed Systems in its annual Awards of Excellence. Lightspeed was awarded a prize in each of the categories, including Best New Product for its Chromebook filtering and monitoring solution, Relay for Chrome; and Best Upgraded Product for Web Filter 3: Longhorn, a device-agnostic K-12 filtering solution.

Tech & Learning’s Awards of Excellence are a 35-year tradition recognizing the best in education technology, including devices, applications, software, hardware, and AV tools. A panel of Tech & Learning advisors tested hundreds of entries to select the elite group of winners, which were divided into the categories of Best New Product and Best Upgraded Product. Lightspeed Systems has been recognized with Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence for several consecutive years.

Lightspeed Systems Relay for Chrome is a comprehensive solution designed for Chrome OS devices in education. The all-in-one, cloud-based solution maximizes return on investment of school Chromebooks with simple tools for filtering, protecting, geolocating and reporting on the devices.

The Lightspeed Systems Web Filter has been the content filter of choice for schools around the world since 1999. Web Filter 3: Longhorn offers new features to ease user identification, activity reporting and safe web browsing as well as hundreds of other enhancements.

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Relay for Chrome, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Tech & Learning
For over 37 years, Tech & Learning has been — and continues to be — the leading resource for K-12 leaders. Its publications, Web sites, and events provide factual and evaluative information on trends, products, and strategies to educators who purchase technology products in their districts and schools. Tech & Learning, published by NewBay Media, LLC, delivers the highest quality content and essential resources to manage, train, and teach with technology. For more information, visit www.techlearning.com.


CIOReview Selects Lightspeed Systems as Most Promising K-12 Technology Solution Provider

November 15, 2017

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems is featured as the November cover story for CIOReview Magazine’s Top 20 Most Promising K-12 Technology Solution Providers this year.

The latest issue of CIOReview K-12 highlights the innovations Lightspeed Systems has brought to 1:1 device management and web filtering in K-12.

Sharing their stories of success, Lightspeed Systems customers Wilson County Public Schools and Glenns Ferry School District reveal how their mobile learning programs have been transformed through the tools and resources available to support K-12 from Lightspeed Systems.

Lightspeed Systems has changed the way schools are able to manage their Chrome deployments with Relay — combining granular filtering controls, powerful reports, real-time alerts, device geolocation plus classroom management tools.

Going beyond Chromebooks, Lightspeed powers learning with solutions to manage and filter iPads, Macbooks and Windows devices. Lightspeed Systems is solving the unique problems of K12 schools with innovative solutions like Filter Bypass Controls andSmart Play, the easiest way to allow education-appropriate YouTube access for K-12. Backed by decades of expertise and the most comprehensive K-12 machine-learning web categorization database, these innovations set Lightspeed Systems ahead of the pack for K-12 filtering and mobile device management.

New releases and updates are on the horizon, making Lightspeed Systems the #1 choice for the most advanced technology solutions now and in the years to come for K-12.

“We will soon be rolling out the next version of Relay which will take everything we’ve done and multiply it: more powerful filtering and reporting anytime, anywhere, on any device; better features that empower educators to take learning to new heights; and new reporting models that let everyone make smarter student-focused decisions,” said Lightspeed Systems President & CEO Brian Thomas.

To read the cover page story, head to CIOReview: https://magazine.cioreview.com/magazines/November2017/K12/