Clay County District Schools (CCDS) pride themselves on being a tech-forward district, working to decrease the digital divide. The district operates an extensive 1:1 student device program for their 42 brick and mortar schools and ten virtual academies. CCDS issues iPads, Chromebooks, PCs, and Macs to meet the needs of both in-person and virtual learning environments.
With more devices in the hands of students, Clay County District Schools needed a solution that would allow them to maintain e-safety compliance and keep their students safe online regardless of their location. They also needed a tool to help them manage the variety of different devices within their district to push educational apps to students and locate lost devices. With device-led instruction taking place both in the classroom and virtually, educators started seeing a lack of student participation and wanted to find out what was pulling students’ focus from instructional time.
Richard Perkins, Information Services Coordinator for CCDS, took on the challenges of finding: 1. an online safety solution that would work across all device types and all locations, 2. a solution to help him manage all the devices at scale, and 3. empower CCDS teachers with the right tools to regain control of digital instruction for more effective learning.
Mr. Perkins was ecstatic when he found everything he needed on the Lightspeed Systems platform.
To meet the challenge of CIPA compliance and anytime, anywhere online protection, Clay County subscribes to Lightspeed Filter (formerly Relay). Lightspeed Filter is the best-in-class K-12 content filtering software powered by the most comprehensive database of online content, web indexing, patented agents and advanced AI. With cloud-based, device-level protection CCDS students are safeguarded from dangerous and inappropriate online content anywhere their learning takes place—on or off the district network. This feature changed the way that Clay County Schools filtered online content moving forward, specifically for their military schools located on a national guard base. “That feature was critical for us. It made it easier to maintain the Chromebooks on the cloud without the need for a VPN network connection,” Perkins explains.
With Lightspeed Mobile Device Management within his arsenal of tools, Perkins is able to have full control of every device, including Mac and iPad, to remotely deploy, change, and revoke hundreds of policies and educational apps without handling any devices. Lightspeed MDM is critical for loss prevention and reducing liability, allowing Perkins to track student devices in real time for fast recovery of lost or stolen equipment.
Lightspeed Classroom Management helps Clay County teachers to keep their students logged in, participating, and focused. Teachers can see students’ screens remotely and identify those who are distracted during class. Teachers at CCDS can take control of their virtual classroom by providing quick redirections. They can close tabs, push out appropriate content, and send private messages to students who are off task. With Lightspeed Classroom’s dashboards, teachers at CCDS can record live browsing behaviors for more productive interventions. “We knew we wanted to move forward with Lightspeed Classroom Management because it was exactly what we needed for our teachers.” Perkins says.
With an integrated ecosystem of solutions, Lightspeed Systems provides Clay County the peace of mind of one vendor, budget, contract, invoice, account manager, and all in one implementation. Data and records flow between the solutions, enabling efficient and effortless management of online learning and safety.
When COVID-19 forced schools to shut down and provide virtual instruction to students, Clay County was prepared. Perkins was relieved that CCDS students were already protected online, even at home. “Because we were already set up for 1:1, we didn’t skip a beat when COVID hit. We sent devices home, and it just worked! We didn’t have to stress about keeping students on task and keeping them safe, we were already set up for success for that.”
Perkins explains, “We had Lightspeed Classroom available to teachers district-wide, but when COVID pushed us to virtual learning, every teacher used it to teach effectively and view their students’ activity from afar. Now they use it every day for both in-person and remote instruction, and they love it.” The screen view feature allowed teachers to identify distracted students and see exactly what they were viewing. Rather than participating in math class, some students were instead watching videos on YouTube. The CCDS IT department leveraged YouTube Smart Play controls within Lightspeed Filter to block specific video URLs and get their students back on track.
To further support holistic collaboration among staff, Perkins created a “Principal Dashboard” within Lightspeed Filter. The dashboard allows principals to drill down within their school, to a specific student, and view their search history, and identify the cause of the distraction. Principals can also pull student reports without having to rely on IT staff to provide them. With these new implementations, Clay County educators, school leadership, and IT staff are all united in keeping students safe and focused on learning.
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.