DeKalb County School District Trusts Lightspeed Systems® Solutions for Effective Online Learning and Safety

Challenge

With a vision to inspire learners to achieve educational excellence, DeKalb County School District (DCSD) set a mission to ensure student success within every classroom throughout the district. To accomplish this mission DCSD implemented a district-wide 1:1 student device program. As DCSD’s edtech program grew, and online instruction became necessary, new challenges were brought to light:

  1. Operating on a hardware-based web filter meant their students were only protected while on school grounds. DeKalb needed to ensure students were safe when they took devices off-campus.
  2. Teachers lacked visibility of student online activity during classroom instruction especially in virtual and hybrid settings.
  3. District technology leaders needed data on investments and app usage for more effective edtech decision-making.
  4. More time was being invested into student mental health, and the Division of Equity and Student Empowerment and Public Safety Department needed more support for investigating safety incidents.

With Lightspeed Classroom Management our teachers can keep students on task and focused. Even when teachers are not walking around behind a student to monitor them in the classroom, they can still 'walk' with them virtually.

Monika Davis, Chief Information Officer, DeKalb County School District

Solution

Together, Chief Information Officer Monika Davis and her team compared vendors and ultimately chose Lightspeed Systems as their trusted partner because of the ecosystem of solutions offered. DCSD utilized ESSER funds to build out their full digital learning environment to keep their learning safe and effective.

To remain CIPA compliant and provide 24/7/365 online protection DeKalb made the switch from the Lightspeed Systems hardware web filter to their cloud-based solution, Lightspeed Filter—putting the power of the filter inside each device. Davis credits this as being the deciding factor, “it’s one thing to filter at the network level, but it’s a next level win to filter at the device level.”

DeKalb County School District implemented Lightspeed Alert to support their Student Empowerment Team, giving them historical timelines of student incidents needed to conduct more thorough student safety and mental health investigations. With real-time, early-warning threat detection, Lightspeed Alert prevents self-harm, cyberbullying, suicide, and school violence. AI technology flags concerning indicators within educational apps, browsers, documents, and more, and sends alerts to DCSD safety personnel and Lightspeed Safety Specialists, who conduct a threat assessment to determine sentiment and intent of violence, self-harm, and suicide. Lightspeed Safety Specialists escalate the alert to DCSD safety personnel allowing for quick intervention.

With Lightspeed Classroom Management DCSD teachers can keep their students logged in, participating, and focused—no matter the environment they’re in. DeKalb County School District teachers now have full visibility of students’ screens and can identify those who are distracted during class. System dashboards allow DCSD teachers to record live browsing behaviors for more productive interventions.

Lightspeed Analytics provides granular reporting and data allowing for informed long-term decision making. For administrative data requests, Davis can leverage charts and reports to track ROI, educational technology adoption, usage trends, and student engagement.

DCSD now has the peace of mind of one vendor, budget, contract, invoice, account manager, all with one implementation. Data and records flow between the solutions, enabling efficient and effortless management of online learning and safety.

Results

“We’ve been able to keep students safe online and CIPA compliant for years with Lightspeed Filter. With these new products, we can pull data to see what apps students are using, identify where our investments are going, and support teachers with their classroom management and instruction. We like being able to partner with one vendor for multiple solutions for efficiency and data sharing. The data and functions are integrated for ease of use, and we love the concept of being able to access and integrate everything from one dashboard. Our intervention team now have a powerful solution to aid in conducting mental health checks with students in need,” Davis explains.

Lightspeed Filter has met and surpassed DCSD’s goal of keeping every student safe and compliant on and off the district network. With cloud-based, device-level protection DCSD students are safeguarded from dangerous and inappropriate online content anywhere their learning takes place.

“With Lightspeed Classroom Management our teachers can keep students on task and focused. Even when teachers are not walking around behind a student to monitor them in the classroom, they can still ‘walk’ with them virtually.” Davis says.

The implementation of Lightspeed Alert and Lightspeed Analytics lightened DeKalb County School District staff’s workload. The Student Enablement Team can now focus more time on social emotional learning curriculum knowing that Lightspeed Safety Specialists are reviewing alerts 24/7/365. Lightspeed Analytics allows Davis to make data-driven decisions and support effective teaching in her district. She explains, “In order to engage students, you have to use teaching tools that students enjoy. With this new software, I can bring data to the administration, and we can make informed decisions to support our teachers and engage our students.”

We like being able to partner with one vendor for multiple solutions for efficiency and data sharing. The data and functions are integrated for ease of use, and we love the concept of being able to access and integrate everything from one dashboard.

Monika Davis, Chief Information Officer, DeKalb County School District

Info

Location:

Stone Mountain, GA

Customer Since:

2011

Students:

93,000

Grades:

PreK-12

Devices Used:

Chromebooks and PCs

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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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Reimagine the inspired and interactive classroom for remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. Lightspeed Classroom Management™ gives teachers real-time visibility and control of their students’ digital workspaces and online activity.

  • Ensure all students interact with only the right online curriculum — precisely when they’re supposed to use it.
  • Push out vetted curriculum links to all students at the same time.
  • Block inappropriate or distracting web sites and apps.

Ensure scalable & efficient learning device management. The Lightspeed Mobile Device Management™ system ensures safe and secure management of student learning resources with real-time visibility and reporting essential for effective distance learning.

  • A centralized, cloud-based solution for infinitely scalable device, application, and policy controls
  • Self-Service App Library, where teachers and students
    can access and install approved curriculum and learning tools
  • Remotely deploy, change, and revoke hundreds of policies and educational applications, while reducing typical downtime and costs

Prevent suicides, cyberbullying, and schoolviolence. Lightspeed Alert™ supports district administrators and selected personnel with advanced AI to detect and report potential threats before it’s too late.

  • Human review
  • Real-time alerts that flag signs of a potential threat
  • Intervene quickly before an incident occurs.
  • Activity logs provide visibility into online activity before and after a flagged event

Protect students from harmful online content. Lightspeed Filter™ is the best-in-class solution that acts as a solid barrier to inappropriate or illicit online content to ensure students’ online safety 24/7.

  • Powered by the most comprehensive database in the industry built through 20 years of web indexing and machine learning.
  • Ensure CIPA compliance
  • Block millions of inappropriate, harmful, and unknown sites, images, and video including YouTube
  • Keep parents informed with the Lightspeed Parent Portal™

Gain complete visibility into students’ online learning. Lightspeed Analytics™ gives districts robust data on the effectiveness of any tools they implement so they can take a strategic approach to their technology stack and streamline reporting.

  • Track education technology adoption and usage trends, eliminate redundancy, and drive ROI
  • Monitor app and content consumption to facilitate early adoption and effective utilization
  • Assess risk with visibility into student data privacy and security compliance