News

Lightspeed Systems’ Filtering/Monitoring Solution Relay Released for Mac OS, iOS and Windows

June 19, 2018

Education technology company Lightspeed Systems announces the availability of its patent-pending Smart Agents for all operating systems, including Chrome OS.

AUSTIN, TX. — Today, Lightspeed Systems announced the general release of its Smart Agents for Mac OS, iOS and Windows, bringing multi-OS support to its school filtering/monitoring solution, Relay. These revolutionary, patent-pending agents — which provide seamless SSL decryption and mobile filtering to student devices, and have previously supported just Chrome OS — are available to Relay customers now.

Schools are implementing one-to-one programmes 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: tablets, laptops, desktops and smartphones, often on a variety of operating systems.

The cloud-based Relay 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 these tools are available in a single, streamlined UI.

Relay’s innovative design gives the ability to filter and monitor any device OS by deploying Lightspeed Systems Smart Agents. Relay also includes such features as:
• Classroom — Relay’s AI-powered classroom management solution, Classroom, is included free when customers license Relay.
• Built-in SSL decryption — 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 nearly 100 million educational videos (and none of the bad stuff)

“Relay has been a game-changer for schools with Chromebooks, giving IT maximum visibility into those devices and making the Web safer for students,” says Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “We’re excited that schools can now enjoy these benefits on every operating system.”

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


Lightspeed Systems Relay Prevents Student Harm in Nye County School District

May 31, 2018

New case study reveals how Lightspeed’s device filtering/monitoring solution helped Nevada school district identify students at risk of suicide.

AUSTIN, TX.Nye County School District in Nye County, Nevada, used Lightspeed Systems’ device filtering/monitoring solution, Relay, to identify two students considering suicide. Nye County School District Director of Technology Robert Williams shared this anecdote and other details in a new case study, “Lightspeed Systems Relay Keeps Nye School District Safe and Secure.”

There are more devices in schools today than ever before, but 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. And all these tools are available in a single, streamlined UI.

Shortly after implementing Relay, Nye County School District Director of Technology Robert Williams used the software to pinpoint students in trouble. “Within the first week, we identified two students in one of the schools that were researching a suicide hotline,” Williams said. Using information surfaced by Relay’s Flagged Terms feature, Williams passed the news along to the school’s principal, who intervened to help both students, potentially saving their lives.

Relay made headlines last February when Lightspeed announced the release of Threat Check, a Relay feature that provides schools with information that can help identify high-risk behaviours and prevent school violence, self-harm, bullying, and more. School personnel can flag high-risk students and input offline activity such as violence, threatening speech, or bringing a weapon to school. This synthesised insight gives schools a more holistic picture of potential threats, as well as indicators of when high-risk students are escalating toward violence.

“Time and time again, we hear from school IT departments that have used our software to identify student safety threats, allowing them to intervene and prevent crises,” Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas said. “It’s stories like Nye County’s that show how powerful Relay is — not simply as a content filter, but also as a tool to make schools and students safer.”

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay. To read the case study, visit https://bit.ly/2L5hyYm.


Lightspeed Systems’ Filtering/Monitoring Solution Relay Released for Mac OS and Windows

May 16, 2018

Education technology company Lightspeed Systems announces the availability of its patent-pending Smart Agents for Mac and Windows, with iOS support on the way.

AUSTIN, TX. — Today, Lightspeed Systems announced the release of its Smart Agents for Mac OS and Windows, bringing multi-OS support to its school filtering/monitoring solution, Relay. These revolutionary, patent-pending agents — which provide seamless mobile and SSL filtering to student devices — are available in beta to Relay customers and will be released for iOS in subsequent weeks.

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: tablets, laptops, desktops and smartphones, often on a variety of operating systems.

The cloud-based Relay 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’s innovative design gives the ability to filter and monitor any device OS by deploying Lightspeed Systems Smart Agents. Relay also includes such features 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 nearly 100 million educational videos (and none of the bad stuff)

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


Lightspeed Systems Filtering Database Hits 65 Million Websites and 90 Million YouTube Videos

May 8, 2018

Lightspeed has honed its proprietary database — the core of its web filtering products, Relay and Web Filter, designed for education — over almost 20 years.

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems, the market leader in device filtering, achieved a new milestone today as its URL database hit 65 million websites. Lightspeed Systems’ proprietary database of sites categorised for education powers Lightspeed Systems Relay, a cloud-based device filtering/monitoring solution for every operating system, and the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter, a multi-OS device filtering solution with multiple deployment options.

Lightspeed Systems has carefully cultivated its database since the company began filtering school networks in 1999. Lightspeed’s database uses a combination of artificial intelligence and real-time analysis to categorise websites, but AI alone can’t accurately read images, videos and foreign languages. Thus, its database also leverages a combination of human and robot teams to categorise the web in order to ensure schools using its filters are giving safe, appropriate access to students. Its 65 million websites are organised based on what is suitable for children and for educational environments. Relay and Web Filter can also block new, unknown URLs until they are categorised, giving Lightspeed another edge on competing products.

Additionally, Lightspeed has categorised approximately 90 million YouTube videos to give students safe access to streaming video and block bad content; this feature, called Smart Play, can be enabled in the Relay or Web Filter with the click of a button.

“We know that other filter databases, like GoGuardian’s, categorise a couple thousand websites each day,” says Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “Lightspeed’s database categorises 2 million websites each day, representing hundreds of millions of URLs. Our products save IT departments from having to recategorise what other products miss and they keep students safer as a result. No other filters are this powerful.”

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 Classroom, a classroom management solution that leverages machine-learning AI to provide insights into student browsing behavior; simple SSL filtering; a Parent Report Generator; and the aforementioned Smart Play, a YouTube management feature.

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


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 educational 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 school IT departments filter, monitor, report, and locate school-owned student devices.

There are more devices in 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 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 revolutionising 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.


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 behaviour.

AUSTIN, TX. — Lightspeed Systems, the leading education technology provider for 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 behaviour.

 

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 — revolutionises 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 behaviour, 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.


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 behaviours and prevent school violence, self-harm, bullying, and more.

Lightspeed Systems Threat Check helps schools identify high-risk student behaviours 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 behaviour specific to several differentiating attributes, including age and geographic location.

Through its web filtering solutions, Lightspeed Systems has a vast and unique trove of data about the typical online activities of 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 synthesised 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.

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


Lightspeed Systems 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.

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 schools 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.


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 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. Recognising that YouTube presents many educational opportunities for students as well as many unsafe videos, Lightspeed Systems developed Smart Play as a feature to the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter and Lightspeed Systems Relay.

Smart Play utilises machine-learning technology and artificial intelligence to analyse video content and make an unrivalled 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.