Remote Learning: Data-Driven Decision Making
Get the data you need to measure remote learning success and drive ROI.
Don’t let your school district fall into the Wild Wild West during remote learning. Webinar host Brett Baldwin, National Sales Director from Lightspeed will walk you through reports, and how to use those to improve your remote learning instruction, and drive ROI.
Fill out this form to watch this webinar
Good afternoon, everyone. This is Brett Baldwin with Lightspeed Systems. We’ll get kicked off shortly. We’re gonna give everybody a couple more minutes to get on.
All right, we’re gonna give one more minute and then we’ll get kicked off. Appreciate everybody joining today.
Perfect, everyone, we’re going to get kicked off. My name is Brett Baldwin. I’m the National Sales Director at lightspeed Systems. Very excited to have everyone today. Today, we’re going to be discussing remote learning and making data-driven decisions. We’re going to have a little over 85 attendees in this event, so for that reason everybody’s going to be on mute. However, you are going to have the ability to ask questions during this conversation. If you go to your GoToWebinar screen, you’ll notice that there’s the ability to chat or to ask questions. I encourage everybody to utilize that throughout this conversation, as we definitely want to make sure that we interact and address your questions as we go through this conversation today.
I do want to let everybody know, we will most likely do those questions at the very end of the presentation to ensure that we answer them all and do so in a relevant way, if you will. So, I’m gonna kick off. Once again, Brett Baldwyn, Sales Director at Lightspeed Systems.
Very excited to have everyone, so, what I wanted to kind of start off with, and one of the questions I always encourage people to think about, for those of you who don’t know who Simon Sinek is, he has a great podcast that’s called Starting With The Why.
And one of the things that I’ve had the great pleasure of doing over the last 12 years is working with school districts across the country of all sizes, whether the school districts are single-building schoolhouses, all the way up to the Miami Dade and New York DOEs of the world, even entire states, you know, including West Virginia and Kentucky. And one of the things that’s always astounded me in that conversation is it always starts with the why. Those great teams that are doing great impacts in their educational institutions are starting with that question. And one of the things that’s been interesting over the last couple of months is that that why has unfortunately change for all of us, whether we wanted it to or not. There’s still consistency and it’s built around the students but really the how and the what on how we’re going to accomplish that why have changed.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with this, I’m sure kind of in the same way you’re tired of all the news broadcasts right now about the circumstances we’re in today. However, what’s really interesting in these conversations with schools is with the pandemic we’re all faced with today, remote learning has become a part of our lives, want it to or not.
And the interesting part of that conversation that I’m really surprised by, the only thing that’s consistent information about this pandemic is the inconsistency, meaning that nobody knows does it look like come back and fall. Is this something that’s going to be consistent? Is this something that we’re going to face for long-term, or does it actually break up over summer? This is something that’s maybe over in a couple of weeks. We don’t know. But the one thing that’s been very consistent in these conversations with schools, they’re all trying to figure out what is our remote learning plan going to look like.
And we’d better have one.
The other thing that’s been very interesting to me is, well, a lot of these schools had remote learning improvement plans.
Now that they’re executing, they’re finding out that it’s kind of the Wild Wild West, educators are doing whatever they want in whatever way that they need to get accomplished what they need to do with their students. At the same time, IT is trying to wrangle in and ensure that they are doing what they need to do from an application perspective, or tool perspective to give information to those educators to be successful in the time. So, what I was hoping to do is distilling all that information down and helping provide consistency, as well as consistent feedback we’re hearing from the district that may be helpful for you and your districts. We’ve dug into with these districts: how are we evaluating a remote learning program today? A lot of them already had one-to-ones, which was really interesting to me.
But as soon as the primary learning happened in a remote session as opposed to on campus, what became very clear was that all rules were thrown out. Everybody had to kind of start over. So, one of the things that I thought was very smart, one of our conversations was this team had a process. They said, our way of ensuring our remote learning is successful is to first collect and analyze data.
And we’ll get into that here a little bit more in detail throughout this presentation. The second thing that they said was, we’re challenging the status quo. So even though we have a plan today, we’re actually going to challenge that plan over and over until we feel that we’re being successful.
The third piece of that was taking that data and that challenge to the status quo
And in those areas that we’re identifying, need change, pivoting, and using data to pivot and data that’s going to drive this successful methodology into those that were less successful.
The fourth piece, which I think is the most important, every one of them, has been able to identify successful areas of the remote learning process.
And some of the greatest feedback from another district, I think, applies with this model as well. They said, we’re actually taking the successful portions of our remote learning process and we’re actually doubling down on those. We’re sending that out from a central location to all of our educators, giving them information on what’s been successful, why it’s been successful, but not just giving them that theory, but actually providing the data to back up that theory.
So, what we’re going to talk about are some of the main concerns that have come up in districts in these conversations.
The first one has been, one of the things we’ve never had to concern ourselves with when educators and students were on campus, was governance. We’ve never had to concern ourselves with our students appropriately learning, our educators were able to deliver what they need to these students during an actual school session. So, one of the things that we’re going to talk about are some of the proposed actions that they’ve had, which is bringing in more solutions with reporting visibility. Governance is all about having data. And what we’re finding in some schools is that their administrations are demanding more and more data than they ever have in the past.
Because we’re all in this together, trying to figure out how do we best serve our students out in the field, and ensure that they’re getting the education that they deserve,
The second thing we’re going to cover today, for those of you that follow along, you’ve probably seen a lot of articles around this right now, in remote learning. How do we handle student data privacy?
And I’ll give a couple of examples. Most of you probably are very familiar with the Zoom circumstances. Right now, a lot of schools are moving away from Zoom. One of the schools we talked to, a very large institution, they essentially have a BCC solution fo remote learning or broadcasting solution. However, now that they’re querying out to their teachers are finding out, they actually have 11 of them in production, seven of which did not meet the school standards on student data privacy. So, what a lot of these schools are doing is increasing their application vetting process, and you’re forcing compliance. And I’ll talk through that today in the presentation.
The next one that’s been really interesting was identifying student and staff engagement.
This has become more and more important recently, not only to understand who’s being successful, but to also understand what happens if we do have to go into remote learning in the future. How does that impact the school’s ability to receive funding? And how do we do things like taking attendance, and also providing the required data on engagement of those students while they’re remote to get that funding?
And so a couple of things that we’re finding, once again, from our schools is that they’re really pushing back on their vendors to help them provide the data necessary to successfully identify how this is working, who’s engaged, take attendance, and do these types of things, and I’ll get into that here shortly.
The next thing that’s been really interesting, and a challenge in these times and remote learning is getting devices in students’ hands. It’s been very interesting to me, while some schools have been very fortunate to have a full 1:1 K through 12. Most schools have one-to-ones in both the primary and secondary schools, but not necessarily in their case, K through five portion of their school or elementary.
And what’s really interesting in that circumstance is, they are trying to get devices as quickly as you can, whether it’s purchasing, pulling devices out of closets, putting them in the students’ hands, and getting those prepared to be in the students’ hands where they can remote learn in a safe environment.
What’s really interesting about this is, a school may have been standardized on Chrome, or may have been standardized on Windows in the past.
They can’t use just those operating systems anymore, because what I’m hearing is, we’re having a hard time getting devices, or they may be on back order from some time, because fulfillment, or we used to be a year ago, or when we’re trying to get these devices deployed while we are crumbling environment, we’re having to figure out how to use Google on a Windows based device or an iOS device. I’m gonna talk to you how Lightspeed can successfully help you with some of these things.
The next pieces have been really interesting in access to curriculum. And probably a lot of you are either in this circumstance or heard of districts in the circumstance. A lot of the schools around us, I’ll use Austin ISD, and then also Texas as an example, originally were sending out manila envelopes with the curriculum for parents to work on their students with a printed and put these packets. The school busses were actually dropping them off at the individual stops and parents were grabbing that and then working on that curriculum with their students, and then returning that when that bus would come back.
We live in a great golden age. And for those of you that are on here, you’re all very pro IT, and you understand we have access to curriculum we’ve never had before at the tips of our fingers. And so, we’re going to talk a little bit about how we can ensure that content sources are getting out to those students. And what a lot of our schools are proposing, is that the evaluate all content sources and considering those by the viability of those content sources, where content sources in the past they may not allowed. They are now considering maybe this is something we should allow. One of the big ones that seems to stand out is YouTube. A lot of schools are allowing YouTube for the educator, but not necessarily for the students. Maybe it’s time that we consider allowing you to view those students, so we’ll talk through some of that.
Last one that seemed to come up that was very, very consistent with simplification in a complex time.
Right now, where, you know, basically a lot of schools have been asked in a week’s time to get devices for students that start remote learning.
We weren’t necessarily planning for that, and it’s a very complex time where schools just need things that work, and that are simple to deploy. So, we’re going to talk through that during our conversation today. That’s a big part of why I believe, at Lightspeed, we can help solve some of these challenges. So, as we go through this presentation. I’m going to tie all of these things together that have been asked of us by our schools. And the first one we’re going to start with is, why is Lightspeed different? And how can Lightspeed helped me with my challenges of getting devices and students hand in simplifying the process of doing such? And so, the first thing to understand is the technology of Lightspeed, so, we have four products, with content filtering, analytics, mobile device management, as well as classroom management today, we’re only going to focus in on two of them, which is content filtering and analytics.
But the first thing to understand was in the past to intercept traffic or look at what traffic was doing, we basically either had an appliance, a gateway, or proxy that traffic at the cloud to get visibility into your SSL traffic.
Great, it works.
Problem is, it’s complex, if something happens with that proxy, or something happens to where their browser doesn’t accept a certificate, or a plethora of other things that could go wrong in that environment,
It’s impossible for you to manage when that student has a problem in a situation of social distancing.
And by coincidence, three years ago, Lightspeed recognized that there had to be a better way. A lot of you are probably familiar with this, as a lot of solutions are doing this on Chrome only today.
We actually do the filtering at the device level and what’s different about Lightspeed and why we’re really able to help our schools, is not only do we take out the need for certificates and proxy traffic, on not just Chrome, we do it on Windows, on iOS, Mac, Chrome. It’s really important to understand in these times, where we’re sending devices home, that we never plan to send home in the past.
In addition to that, you’re also going to have the ability to see all SSL traffic, as well as provide information on what’s happening on that device. Both from a content perspective and from an application perspective.
So, I’m gonna get into, what does this reporting look like?
This is really the driver of this conversation, and how Lightspeed help you take data, analyze that data, use real-world use cases, and apply those really successful things you’re doing,
And change those things that maybe you’re less successful at this moment.
So, we’re going to focus in on things like students, and staff governance, and identifying engagement.
So, one of the big things that’s happened in the most recent times in Lightspeed is the idea of having just a long list of allowed websites, and blocked websites at certain times. Administration is demanding more of us, our IT teams are demanding more of us are teachers, and students are demanding more of us as IT leaders.
We have to be able to provide meaningful data that can help our districts make smart decisions.
one of the things I’m going to bring up, and the reason I started with the switch groups, I wanted to identify that all of these reports we’re going to look at, you can look at them at an aggregate level, you can look at them at a school level, you can even look at them at a classroom student level. So, I just want to make sure everybody understands we’re going through this. You have the ability to get as granular as you need to be.
The first report we’re going to start with is called the Internet Overview Report. And this is a very important report in this time.
Especially, this report is going to show you all of your traffic, where your top traffic is going, and what percentage of your traffic is going into the bucket.
One of the really nice things, and we’ll get to this here shortly, and I’ll browser quickly when we do get through it, is you also have the ability to create your own files in here. So, I’m gonna do some use cases on why this is important to understand.
One of our schools, the big school in Florida, they are trying to give the teachers the curriculum sources that they need for online learning, and part of that is, they are purchasing some additional sources of curriculum. In addition to that, as we talked about earlier, they’re looking at opening YouTube to the students, which they’ve never done before. And what was very important for them is to be able to identify at the administrative level, what teachers are being successful with that curriculum. How much are they using it? What students are using it? And then take back the driven data on how their students are doing and if those teachers that are being successful. Take what they’re doing, and model that with the ones that are being less successful.
So, as we get into this, any of these titles can be drilled down into, I’ll use education as an example, and the education category from a very quick, usable database, I can get, or dashboard. I can jump in and see, what are my top websites.
I can also see, who are the top groups, that are utilizing those websites. I could further drill down into that, to find out what parts of the websites are being utilized. You have total flexibility and visibility to make very smart decision in a time where there’s a ton of uncertainty.
In addition to that, we kind of talked about YouTube. one of the things that life has changed is we recognize that we cannot look at YouTube as a whole anymore. YouTube cannot just be YouTube’s on or off.
Or, hey, we’re gonna look at YouTube and just grab these, these little kind of, if you will, restrictions at Google is going to apply to us. It has to be better than that. And so, the way we looked at YouTube is Lightspeed looks at YouTube as individual videos, as opposed to YouTube as a whole. So, if I need to have analytics now that I’m deploying YouTube users, I can come in and quickly see what are the top videos are, my top groups that are using it. When are they using YouTube? Is it during class period or the after session?
I also have the ability to drill down into what’s happening with those individual videos. I can actually watch the video if I’m a curriculum member or even if I’m the IT team and have questions on it or Administrator wants to understand, would be successful. I can actually look at that video from the report, determine how often it’s being used by who, if you click over to the visit so you can even see it, what time they visit that site.
In addition to that, we also have a new report. I’m very excited to announce. This came from our schools’ demands on doing a better job in circumstances of remote learning.
This is called Online Activity report.
And this report, I’ll break it down for everyone, was built to give you that data that is necessary to have, on, how are my students doing, how successful are they being?
And where are we having our shining stars and how do we take that model and apply it across the district?
So the first thing that you’re going to see, is the activity by your users, throughout the time of the day, the activities throughout the time of the week, how many of your students, or what percentage of your students have been active and online.
What percentage of your traffic is being is happening during the school day, from 8 to 3, and what percent of the content that’s being consumed is educational content.
In addition to that, you’re also going to be able to see the active students by hour of day. These are the types of reports that are being demanded, especially as people started to talk about funding in school, the active students, by the day of the week.
And in addition to that.
And more importantly, identifying inactive users and also the lowest educational usage.
one of the things that’s really come up a lot in these conversations at a high level with the school executives, is how do we identify those students that are at high risk of not getting the educational content and educational outcomes that they deserve? How do we do that early? How do we in valve ourselves in that and how do we provide that data to the right people that need it?
The second piece is, how do you identify those users that wall may show up to class or not consuming educational content during class?
How do we identify them? How do we get in front of that, and how do we monitor that? This new dashboard was created by our districts for our districts. We’re really proud of it, and grateful for the input from those districts.
If you decide to ever work with Lightspeed, we’re going to take your feedback, and do our best to provide you solutions that are going to help you. We’re not going to layback on a solution that we created 10 years ago, and hope it still works in today’s environment because things are ever-changing.
And, so, I’m very excited to announce this to people, this is really going to help you with student engagement, with involvement on the metrics that your administration is going to demand of you.
In addition to that, we also provide detailed user level reporting. So, we kind of talked about the overview report. Now, we’ve identified that student, what do we do?
So, here’s an example Angie Gables. We’ve identified Angie Gables in this case, maybe somebody we want to evaluate.
Andrew’s case, most of Andrew’s traffic, you can see here is education. That’s great.
Andrew’s probably doing a great job. Andrew’s probably a great student now. If we had got in here and a small percent of its education, another 40% of its social media or blogs or other content, we as a district now have the right information to make decisions on. Do we need to watch our policy? Do we need to restrict our policy? Is it where it should be? What content is being consumed that successful, and how do we amplify it and push that content centrally.
In addition to just having those types of reports we still do have the IT level reports, I wanted to make sure that you’re aware of that from an IT perspective to troubleshoot as the device is remote.
So, you still are going to have that level reporting.
One of the other things that we’ve done that’s really interesting as a company for filtering is instead of just looking at the site that they went to that it produces. I’ll use CNN as an example, when you go to CNN, they don’t produce their own content. They actually pull from a bunch of different content sources. The problem with that is that if the kid goes to CNN, you’re actually going to see the kids visit, 88 website.
One of the things that Lightspeed has done is you’ll notice that I have opened here, the Blocks Report, and then the Block Asset Report. The Block Report is going to give that initial site that that user went to. While the Block Asset Report is going to have all those sites that are required from an IT perspective, you’re probably asking, why is that important to me? And so, I’ll definitely get into that.
Administrators, when you give them giant long URLs, they may or may not understand what they’re looking at, they may also not understand why 20% of a student’s traffic is going to advertisements. What they really want to understand is, what was the intent of that user. And so, when you can actually provide that intent of that user in a very legible data driven report that they can look at and quickly understand what’s going on, they can make the decisions that they need to, around what’s going to be best for that students.
So, I wanted to talk a little bit outside of just reporting on, how can Lightspeed help us with access to curriculum? So, now we’ve identified curriculum that we really need, or we’ve identified maybe gaps in our curriculum. We also have identified those users that are highly engaged versus those that aren’t, how is Lightspeed now going to help us with that?
The number one thing I want to bring up, and this is very important, this is a slide. And this was brought to our attention by school, that you’re working with that one. But purchase a new content filter, some of their frustrations was the lack of flexibility in some of the competing products’ databases. And what they meant by that was, I’m gonna use this as an example in education category, and this was actually a school we worked with: they ended up in the newspaper, because an art history teacher, was teaching on art. And unfortunately, the photography sites that they were using had some dude photography.
Of course, high school boys being high school boys, one of them grabbed their cell phone, snapped a picture of it, and shared it with all their friends. And as you can imagine, that became quite a problem for that district.
You should not have to be the police of the internet as IT professionals. You should not be the one that had to decide. Does this art page meet the requirements of CIPA and does it meet the requirements of my students?
We as the vendor should be responsible for that, and we take pride on that and over 19 years of doing things right. And doing things that weren’t right, and then pivoting on those couple of the database that out of the box should contain 98% of the curriculum you need and block the 2% you don’t need.
It’s very easy to look at pornographic content versus sexual education. But it’s really hard when you start talking about history sites, that maybe you have an open blog that could have very, very erroneous content in it.
So, as you start to gauge this data and ingest this data and find places where you may have gaps in your policies, you’re going to have the flexibility. You need to adjust those policies.
The second piece, and policies I really want to focus on, or what can we do with things like search engines, or Google, or the G Suite, or the Google environment of the world?
You have total control; this is very important.
Long time ago, some of you may know Lightspeed dabbled their toe in the LMS environment for a while, but a very quickly became evident to us that the Microsofts of the world, the Googles of the world were going to do a far better job than we were delivering content to students.
And so, our job became, how do we best tie ourselves into what they are offering? But make it so that you can control it.
So, you’re going to have things like the ability to control the thumbnails that are viewed by the students. Restrict your students when they’re at home, on your school and devices, on your Google domain.
Now they can’t check their personal Gmail and bring back a virus from some coupon, they got off the web.
No longer will they potentially grab inappropriate images off of their Gmail that were sent via dating application. You get that level of control that you need with your users through those types of sites.
We talked about YouTube a little bit earlier. Maybe your school based on this day, it makes the decision that we need to back up for a second. We need to change our thought process around YouTube. I’d mentioned earlier that we’re taking a different approach to YouTube than anybody else in the market.
And that approach involves what we call Smart Play. I know it’s really small on your screens up here, but it’s right under YouTube.
That is a proprietary Lightspeed solution that we’re going in using AI to take out those things that we know are appropriate. We know those are bad. Things are really, then actually putting physical eyes on the content of the individual videos that are questionable.
Making a determination are these educational or not. I’ll give you an example of why this is important and why this continues to come up.
I had a school on site with this was right before the covid incident and one of their biggest challenges they had from one of their teachers was
The high school boys had found the Miley Cyrus is wrecking Ball video on YouTube.
As most of you probably know there’s a lot of perceived nudity in it while it’s not considered nudity. Well, Google’s restricted mode on YouTube actually allowed that video through.
So, their current solution, while they had restricted mode in place, students were laughing in the back of classes, causing disruptions to the educator. And, more importantly, got to the point where certain educators didn’t feel like they wanted to use devices in their classroom, because they felt like they were out of control, and they were just a distraction.
Darn shame. And so, that’s one of the things that we’re really taking seriously, real feedback. If any of you ever decide to look at the Lightspeed product or using it, I highly encourage you to evaluate Smart Play.
The next piece we’re going to talk about is outside of the content filter. A lot of schools now are moving forward in bundling, both filtering and Analytics together.
We talked earlier about how the actual agent works on the devices and can analyze everything leaving that device.
One of the really important things about that we learned really quickly, is schools were clamoring for data not only on content, but also on application utilization, and I’m not just talking about your centrally deployed SSO application. I’m talking about the 10 video conferencing applications your teachers have put on their devices to try to help their kids during remote learning. I’m talking about the curriculum sources that you didn’t know they picked up on a USB drive when they were at the large convention they went through last year. We can see all of that with the way that this technology works, and this is very important to talk about. The second piece, we’re going to talk about is student data privacy.
This is very important, and what people are realizing, that, combining the ability to have visibility to applications and content, the ability to understand, what the student data, privacy risks are, and identifying the risky application. They can actually have a high level governance that’s necessary in a time of remote work.
So, the way that that the App Analytics Agent works is the App Analytics Agent basically works off the exact same agent that we would deploy with your web filter. For those of you that are current Relay customers, if you’re interested in looking at your own data, we can actually turn this on for you. You don’t have to do anything from an IT perspective, and we can actually share that data with you. You can make a determination was valuable to you, or not at that point, but this is actually going to track all applications that are being utilized in your environment. Once again, the really nice thing about this is auto discovers those applications.
And you’ll hear me use the term rogue applications a lot in this conversation. We all know the applications are essentially deployed. That’s easy. There’s a lot of analytical software that can show us even what are centrally deployed, applications are doing, those that are in single sign on, or those that we push out through MDM.
But what about the ones that we didn’t push out?
And especially as we’re getting more and more lax around what can be done on the device because teachers are under a lot of stress to be able to teach their kids at home right now, we’re going to detect those applications on your behalf.
Not only are we going to detect those applications, we’re then going to give you usable data on those applications. The first one I want to talk about is an actual privacy rating.
So, we are taking the alphabet soup of the world, including COPPA and all these other pieces, and actually have drilled down to where you no longer have to go through that painstaking vetting process of what an application actually complies and which of those doesn’t comply with it. We’re going to provide that data to you. So, I’ll use Adobe Creative Cloud as an example. In here, there’s two things that we consider a concern. Now, based on your school’s policy, you can decide if it is not, but you’re going to have that data.
The two things are they do not address the COPPA Requirements of Parent Consent and it also retains data after you cancel your subscription with them.
So, these are two things you just need to be aware of.
These are some of the minor offenders, but it’s nice to know as you’re getting applications that are being brought in, you didn’t even know about, it also is going to provide you those things that they do really well. They’re really good about their data security, we’re looking at how they’re transmitting the data, how they’re storing that data, as well as the how are they using that information.
This one has a question mark because they don’t publish how they use personal information regarding advertising tracking, which, as we all know, with miners, is a concern.
In addition to that, you’re going to also see in here the utilization of those applications.
So, this is very important to understand, especially right now, one of the things that you’re really going to like in the solution is a dashboard called the App Usage Dashboard. And what this actually looks like is the adoption of that application versus the usage of that application.
Now, why is that important?
The items that are up in this quadrant, they’re highly adopted and highly engaged. There’s no reason even question, whether those are being successful or not.
The ones that are below that are highly adopted, but not very engaged. These are often things like grade books, where a teacher goes into a couple of times a day, but they’re not in their good part of the day.
However, the other side of this is what you really want to pay attention to.
In times like now, those applications that are highly engaged, but not widely adopted, maybe applications that are proving themselves successful and a remote learning environment but were not successful prior to that. And now you may want to go in and analyze that application for, do we actually want to promote this out to our educators? Do we want to potentially look at buying more licensing, is it successful in helping with remote learning. Another great example of that would be maybe this is an application that we didn’t even know about that was brought in by an educator and maybe it replaces an application we already have and the adoption level is low but very high engagement is maybe we should look at analyzing. Should we replace it with this application?
The ones that are in the lower quadra down here are the ones you should question. Should we really have purchase these, or should we have not? Those are questions that you can come up with, but in a time, like, now, on the things that we should focus on, based on the communications with school districts.
They’re looking for the data that they need to be successful in determining what applications are working in remote learning, what curriculum is working in remote learning, and why is it working? Remote learning, now, a part of that is drilling down. So, let’s say that we did want to understand what’s going on with an application.
Here, I pulled Achieve3000. You can now. This session is taking place. How often is it taking place, who are the groups that are engaged? Who are the users that are engaged? You can get all the way down to the user level to determine what is going to provide the data that I need to be successful in an environment where we don’t have the opportunity to go run into our teachers in the hall and ask them how things are going. We don’t have the opportunities if a student is not meeting expectations to actually bring them into a counselor’s office and have a conversation with them. Or from an IT perspective understanding or we hindering education, because we’re too restrictive on our policy. Or are we maybe to open to where the students are not engaged in that technology? You’re going to now have this visibility at your fingertips.
So, to kind of wrap this altogether, the biggest thing that we wanted to bring to everybody is solving the challenges that you’re facing.
In this conversation, we’ve talked about how you can solve student and staff governance in a remote learning environment, how you can plan student data privacy and ensure that you’re in compliance, especially in a time where rogue applications are at the highest, we’ve ever seen them. I had a school that has essentially deployed video conferencing solution.
And when we actually pulled data, we found they had 11 different video conferencing solutions out in the wild with their educators, because they’re scrambling to try to figure out how to help their students when they queried those educators. They realize one really important thing. They didn’t know that they have that tool available to them, and they didn’t understand how to use it.
The other thing that we realized was that student data privacy restrictions inside of those video conferencing application did not meet the requirements of student data.
The third thing we covered today is identifying students staff engagement, both from a curriculum and an application standpoint, getting the devices in students’ hands. The most important thing of this entire conversation is how easy this is.
You literally push out an agent or an extension to the device, and you’re done.
You set your policies in the back, and you’re now getting the appropriate filtering, as you would expect. Of course, you may want to make some adjustments, either side based on the feedback you’re getting from your reporting, but this is easy to do in a time of uncertainty and a time where there just isn’t enough time.
The last piece is access to curriculum. Or I’m sorry, the next to the second to last piece is access to curriculum. I think we talked about how Lightspeed differentiates itself, and the way that we look at that the web and curriculum and content, we’re here to ensure that you can get as much curriculum in students’ hands, but also while keeping it safe, also while keeping them on task. Also, in getting them what they need, any remote learning timeframe. Or the last piece of this is simplification in a complex time.
Simplification, and I’ll use this as an example, I had a really good friend who’s always nervous to do public speaking.
And so, he went to a thing called Toastmasters to kind of force you to do public speaking, and, of course, you got better over time and less nervous. But what he told me was it wasn’t the repetition that may be better. It was the feeling that I was prepared. I had the data, and I had the expectation of what was going to happen, or the outcome or the questions that we’re going to come my way, and I was well equipped to handle those. That’s the same thing in our jobs. If we don’t have the right data, we don’t have the right information to give us the answers to our questions.
We’ve failed ourselves, right? We have to think about it that way because the data is what drives the decisions, you’re going to have that level of data. So, at this time, I’m going to go ahead and open up the question. I really appreciate everybody for their feedback, and we’ll go ahead and dig into the questions at this point.
All right, give me one second. Can you see the questions on your side? I apologize. For some reason, they’re only showing one half of the line of them.
All right. There we go. I got to work. All right, we have quite a few questions. Perfect! OK, so, the first question was, can you see as granular as which YouTube video they watch on a iOS device?
Really great question. So, today, on iOS devices, we’re limited to using the iOS apps for filtering, which does not allow us to do that. Now, here’s the great part, though.
On iOS devices, Lightspeed has realized that we need to come up with a better way to handle that. Some of you that are currently likely, customers may be familiar with what we call the Relay Rocket. It’s a virtual instance that you can set up. And we’re actually working on right now, the ability for the Relay Rocket to be used in conjunction with the applications, both on site and off site, to where you will get that visibility into iOS devices. So, great question there.
To give everybody a timeframe on that, we’re really hoping to have that out by mid-summer, just to give you guys some ideas of what we’re looking at.
The timelines on that does the new report for lowest educational usage take into account if the device is being used for entertainment purposes? That’s a great question. To answer your question, yes. That is accurate. It’s going to take in all of that data. One of the things to note on there is some of the reports have been created to be between 8 and 3 o’clock. One of the other things that you may want to consider is, in the solution, we have what we call after-school rules. Some of my schools are actually creating a more restrictive policy between 8 and 3 and then creating a much more open policy after 3 PM. So there are some additional tools that you may want to use if you want to circumvent that data being included in that dataset.
Is the analytics an extra cost? Great question. Yes, so that they are separate products. For those of you that would be interested in that product, I would highly encourage you to look at it at the same time as either renewal or if you come on board with Lightspeed because at the same time, a reason for that is there is the ability to do bundling discounts on those. So, if it’s something you’re looking at both of those datasets on, please let us know. For those of you that are existing customers, good news is, I get a little bit of leverage on my side. Please let your rep know, if they come to me and say you’re an existing customer, I’m most likely going to try to help out to the best of my ability.
What does your districts do if students are using their own personal devices with Lightspeed agents? Great question. So, let me start and back into that first of all, I want to share, don’t put an agent on a non-school and device. I want to be very clear on that because one of the unanticipated consequences of that is now from the parent and the student’s perspective the school is responsible for technical support on that device, and especially where we don’t know what version of OS they’re going to have on it, there’s no governance over that device. That can present a challenge. However, one of the things that would be really beneficial to consider is, we do have the ability to push the agent out in the Chrome environment, even on a personal device. So, if you wanted to push the Relay extension and require that students are inside of their Google domain or tools, during their lesson plan, we do have some schools that are doing that.
But I do want to preface, if they’re on their parents’ Internet connection, and it’s not a school on device outside of potentially pushing the agent when they are inside of the Google domain or the school, I would not encourage that.
Is it possible to make it so that IT admins can remote view student screen without having to find them? Great question on that one. So, the way that the classroom solution works is that you have the ability to see the screen, it’s built out for you to have the ability to see the screen so that you guys could potentially troubleshoot in any event that you needed to on devices. So, yes, it was purposely built that way. I can understand in that circumstance and maybe a little more challenging to get to that class, but, yes, you will still need to go down into that class. You are correct there.
So, is the app usage part of the web filtering service and not Lightspeed MDM. Great question. So, it’s actually, a part of the Analytics solution where the MDM would come in regards to application would be through the MDM, you can actually push apps over the air. In addition to pushing those apps, you can see how many licenses are being used. You also have the ability to do policies over the air that’s the MDM. Analytics is the one that’s actually going to provide you all the usage data or the consumption data of these applications.
Do you have an advanced URL filter? Great question. So, inside the web filter, if you are utilizing flagged terms, we actually can turn on URLS. So for those of you that want to utilize it, we can certainly get that documentation, let your rep know, and we’ll make sure we get that out to you.
Does that mean they still have the limitation of being only open to 100 individual YouTube videos and 100 YouTube channels? Great question. The answer on that is yes. However, two things to note that it should be changed. In the interim, what I ask of you, those of you that are going to be beyond 100 YouTube videos or channels, instead of doing that manually yourself, send those to us. Our engineers, actually have the ability to go in the back end and go beyond that 100 mark. So please just let us know. We’d be happy to take those lists on your behalf and get that applied to your environment. In addition to that, if you provide those lists. We even send it to our team that does the analysis and quite often, we’re finding that a good portion of those end up being allowed long term.
Is there a Smart Agent for 32 bit devices, a great question. Yes, there is a Smart Agent for 32 bit devices. We do that based on request, so just let your sales rep know, the reason we do it based on request is we don’t want a 32 bit getting pushed out the 64 bit devices, which are the majority today. So please just let us know. We’d get that to you.
Can you remotely clear any apps students download to district owned devices? Great question. We cannot do that through the analytics program that happens at the OS level. So we don’t have a tie into that on, we can identify that it’s there, but we would not be the ones that would actually be doing the pushing or the pulling of that application.
Will there be a custom report that can be sent to a list, e-mail addresses, a great question. Yes, we do have the ability to send specific reports out via a list and have that automated. There are specific reports, and you can go in and decide which ones are going to be important and marketing can help you with that. Please do reach out to your rep, and they can walk you through how that’s done.
Yeah, great question on this is this iOS DNS filter provider or VPN, routed to local app? Great question there. So, we’re not actually VPN, so just to point that out, and I want to make sure that’s clear on this one, we’re utilizing what Apple provides in that regard. So great question there.
How do we request the Analytics via sales? Please reach out to your sales rep. For those of you that don’t have your sales reps information, I’ll ask Marissa, I don’t know if we could do this, can we send the maps out to the, the attendees. I just want to make sure everybody has their sales reps information, and actually, I’ll share my e-mail address with you. Please feel free, also, to send it to me, I can route it the right way. My e-mail address is just my first initial be my last name, email@example.com.
Great question: Does Analytics account for the state compliance laws as well? Yes, this is a very hot topic. Surprisingly, we’ve been very engaged with both the state government, as well as Washington, DC, because we’ve noticed that these are coming downhill. Not only are we staying on top of that, but we’re also ensuring that our schools are being heard. So, yes, we’re very, very familiar with the compliance laws. That’s going to be a very big part of the Analytics process. In a lot of states, now, we’re getting to the point where they’re actually requiring that there is something in regards to student data privacy. Great question.
I’m very familiar with the New York ed, so, just, as a heads up, if you have any questions about that, please do reach out to your rep, they can help with that. But yes, we have a lot of New York schools that are looking at this right now for that exact purpose.
Question was, do you have a better Active Directory sync, that works bidirectional? Good question on that. So, we have a sync tool that is basically just a service in the back at that’s a time service. If you want to change those intervals, you certainly can. It is going to pull from that, but it will make the delta changes inside of the database that have been changed in that solution, in that environment.
Yeah, great, question here. What if in a class’s viewing as done on a smart board, public session device, no user? How would that activity be weighted? Great question. So, the Relay Rocket I talked about earlier, which is a VM, instance of the Rocket, will actually collect data on all IOT, as well as BYOD devices. So those devices, you don’t have the ability to push an agent on. That reporting actually aggregate back to the same dashboard. So, it was not logged in, it would just show up, you know, in there as the local user on that device. However, if you wanted to and I do have some schools are doing this, are requiring login even on their smart boards, you could track that even though there’s not a not an agent on that device.
Good question. iOS Jamf MDM compatibility. Jamf great, Most MDM we haven’t had a problem with the only one we did have a problem with for a very short period of time was Meraki. They were not up to speed day zero on the web filter API. So, that was the only one that I know of, but that’s been about nine months now in the past.
Is this recorded and can we catch that for later viewing? All I have to ask Marissa if they’re actually recording this, if they are will make sure that you’ll have access to a copy of it.
A great question.
The question was, is the IT department still responsible for supporting these students install of the Relay extension on their personal device by logging into their Chrome browser with their district G Suite account? Great question. This has been one that’s been asked a lot of times, and of course, you can imagine legal counsel involved in this, too, where schools’ liabilities, where’s that boundary? I want to be very clear that the feedback has been that there really isn’t a judicial precedent on that. However, what is very, very interesting is that the feedback we’re getting from legal is that if they are in the school Google environment, which is the school’s domain, there is not any issues with the school, then, at that point, having restriction. The great thing about that is, the moment that that student logs out of that Google environment, that extension is no longer going to be operating on that device.
So, to your question, it’s not something that’s permanently there. It’s actually web based extension web-based push from the web when they sign in. But that removes itself when that student logs out. So, you won’t have that same issue of that long-term support, or something happens to that device. Great question.
The question was, is Lightspeed going to expand into the Linux OS? Like, move on to. Great question. So, the way that we handle Linux devices today is we actually handle Linux devices through the Relay Rocket. We do not have an agent for those devices going home, but we would be able to manage those when they are on the school environment.
Question was and this is a clarifying, and I appreciate you bring this to my attention, confused about the first question about YouTube on iOS devices. I can see the videos that have been accessed by students. To clarify on that. It’s the, the actual ability to do Smart Play on those does not work on iOS today, until we have this relief that comes out on the Really Rocket piece. The reason for that piece is that the, we actually have to circumvent that traffic at some point or get in the middle of it to make that decision. We can do that prior to leaving the interface on a non iOS device on iOS, though, the way that that Apple API works today, we cannot do that. As soon as that Relay Rocket release happens, though you will be able to use Smart Play. To your point, though, as far as just the reporting, yes, you will get the reporting data.
Do you see any privacy issues with a teacher using any classroom functions with students who are in their homes? At this point, it’s a little different when they’re in our school. Great question. I’m actually going to drive you to CoSN. CoSN has an awesome remote learning toolkit. They actually have an entire write up on this, I thought, it was fantastic. It talks about, how do we educate our educators on what it means to have a device that has viewing during school time at home and not on school. What does it mean for educators to get access and see a student, potentially out of the classroom. CoSN has a great write up on it. I would highly encourage that you go to that write up. That would be a great place to start, because they spend a lot of time on that write up, both with legal counsel and internal.
Yeah, great question here was, can a teacher prove a video on YouTube? Yeah, the answer is absolutely. The way that we do that is pretty unique. We actually would have that you add a channel or playlist and that would and that would actually circumvents the filter as necessary.
Great question there.
Next one will be lumped questions is great.
Great conversation. What limitations are there, and I’m not really sure if that was related to, I mentioned they cannot see as much on iOS? That was related to the iOS question. Yeah, good question. On iOS, there’s a couple of things that the present challenges on iOS, one of those is the Smart Play, which is going to be resolved this Summer. I’m very excited about that. The other one is, the ability to use, we have a function, for helping students that are in need of, or a threat of self-harm or harm to others. That’s limited on iOS today, as well. Those are the two major ones that you would see today. We’re working on both of those right now, to try to get those resolved.
Oh, Marissa, just let me know that the recordings will go out an hour after this webinar. Great question. Any issues overlying with Bark for schools? Great question. I have not run into too many issues with it, you have a lot of schools that use Spark on top of us, so I haven’t run into any issues.
Great question. This is on the sync tool. They’re wondering about updates on, there actually was an update that came out about 3 or 4 months ago. If you need access to that update, please shoot us an e-mail and I’ll make sure that you all get it.
Another thing, Marissa, thank you so much for sending this, she just sent the URL for the rep map. I’m going to send everybody the region app. I’ll put it here in the chat. Please copy that out of the chat if you’d like to find out who your rep is in your territory, really greatly appreciate everybody attending today.
Questions? I’m just going to check to make sure we’re not missing any additional questions in here.
Here’s another one real quick. Let me look real quick, can you please touch again on allowing teachers to approve YouTube videos? Yeah, absolutely. So, the way that that works that, given the educators, the ability to, to add videos, is, what we’ve done in most instances is, the schools have created a channel or a playlist that those teachers have access to, that they can add videos to on the Relay side. What we would do is actually allow that on the filtering side that would, then, anytime they add a video, allow that to actually apply the filter on that video moving forward. So, if you have, if you want some further clarification on that, please shoot myself, or you rep an e-mail, and we can actually jump on a quick call. Make sure we walk through that with you. I’d be more than happy to do that. Want to make sure your experience and your educators experience is good.
I’m going to go ahead and just have that awkward pause at the end, just to make sure we don’t miss any questions. If you have any further questions, please send those in.
Please also include the site for the CoSN write up. Give me one second that went back up. I don’t have the URL directly in the lead up right now.
Give me a second here. I’ll include that here in the chat for everyone.
So, for those of you that haven’t looked in here, they have a great toolkit. So, if you go to the main website, they actually have a covid link there that you can click on that will bring you down to resources.
It’s really, really good. Let me get to that specific article.
Marissa, would it be possible to have you send that out? I don’t want there to be a long pause on pulling up sorting through the site to make sure that the right one tool.
So, what I’ll do is I’ll ask Marissa to send that out to everybody post this, we’ll have everybody’s e-mail we’ll send that out later.
Do you know the current version number of the sync tool? You know, I can I don’t off the top of my head. Shoot me an e-mail and I can get you that information to make sure you guys have the right one.
If the channel is approved, does that include live session on that channel?
Hmm, hmm, I don’t know that answer. I haven’t been asked that before, Thomas.
Let me get back to you on that one. I don’t know that answer.
So, thank you for sending us … link, we’re all good, so I’m going to add this in for everyone, as well.
On the chat, you guys will find the toolkit link here.
I’ll pause one more second for other questions, otherwise I want to make sure everybody has an opportunity to use the rest of your day meaningfully. I know we’re butting up right against that our timeline.
I just wanna say thank you to everyone. I’m really grateful for everybody that showed up. To let everybody know, we had a little over 102 attendees. So, this call has been really great. I appreciate everybody coming out. And I hope this was insightful if any of you have specific questions that may not necessarily be related to what we do, but maybe something that we’ve heard from other schools, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, as I mentioned before. And I know this is becoming cliche, but I really believe it, we’re all in this together. So, if there’s anything that I can do, please let me know and we’ll go to work and make sure that you’re taking care of. Thank you everyone so much for coming out once again. Oh, one other question I had really quick here, can Relay Rocket be online with Cisco umbrella? That depends on how Cisco umbrella is set up. So, just give us a call and we can look at the architecture.
I do have school successfully using that with Cisco on top of the Cisco umbrella. We just need to look at the architecture individually. So, if you would do that, that’d be great. Drew, I appreciate that question.
Well, thank you everyone, again. Have yourselves, a wonderful rest of the week. Stay healthy and safe out there. Really appreciate everybody’s time today. Thank you, again.
More popular resources for K-12 leaders
Advance filtering keeps kids safe from inappropriate content as well as bullying and self-harm.