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Protect Students & Save Money with Filters at Home
Written by: Kajeet
A 1-to-1 program comes with a set of challenges. One of those challenges is having visibility into how kids are using their mobile devices at home. Are they chatting with their friends on Facebook, uploading pictures to Instagram, watching the latest video on YouTube…for the 12th time, or illegally downloading movies? The concept behind a one-to-one program is that the devices should be used at school and at home for school work – and school work, only.
We believe every student should have an equal opportunity to access the Internet at home. However, the Web is a big place, and many websites are not appropriate for kids - especially the younger kids.
Districts providing unfiltered Wi-Fi hotspots for students to take home are quickly learning an expensive, and sometimes an embarrassing lesson, on why school-issued broadband should be filtered. It’s not uncommon for us to hear about districts where students (and parents) have been able to access porn on school-issued iPads or where students have been contacted by strangers via unsafe apps or through social media.
Besides the obvious reasons a district (and parents) would want filtering on student’s devices, there are other motivations for filters.
Reduce Non-Educational Streaming (and Save Money)
Technology directors are always looking for ways to save district dollars, wherever possible. We know that students - or their family members - will be tempted to use school-issued devices for entertainment-purposes such as Netflix®, YouTube®, Hulu®, and Pandora®. These entertainment sites eat up broadband data, consume heavy bandwidth, and can cost schools and districts hundreds and thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.
In DeKalb, Texas, the technology team quickly discovered that students were using their Internet connectivity for activities other than for educational purposes - including social media. When the proper filters were put into place, DeKalb decreased their overall MB usage by 77 percent, which added up to big savings for this small Texas town.
Allow Students to Get Sleep
Teenagers need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best, but only 15 percent report sleeping 8 ½ hours on school nights, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Students who are new to the world of Wi-Fi may be tempted to stay logged on beyond their bedtime. While teachers are likely to encourage their students to explore the Internet to a certain extent, they still want well-rested students in the classroom. Kajeet’s filters provide educators an option to shut off connectivity at night and turn them back on in the morning so that both kids and parents can have a peaceful night.
Create a Path to Digital Citizenship
When a school laptop goes home, it should be used for learning. We understand learning isn't always just Blackboard or MyOn. There are hundreds of thousands of websites that ultimately help students learn and there are just as many that do not. Kids will find content that is distracting, harmful or may be even illegal.
With Kajeet’s filters, schools have visibility into what kids are doing with their devices. If a device reports higher usage, a student’s usage history may be reviewed and teachers can use the opportunity to coach them on how to properly use school property and become better digital citizens.
When one district in Michigan transferred its Wi-Fi hotspot lines from a previous carrier to Kajeet, for the first time they had visibility where students were going online using school-issued hotspots. What they found was students attempted to access websites to download/upload content, illegally.
Bringing Web Filters Home from School
As more schools send laptops and tablets home with kids, more districts will need to address filters at home with school-issued devices and school-funded broadband. Kajeet analyzes and categorizes millions of new URL's every day and provides customizable filtered Internet access to keep students focused on school work and provide educational connectivity.
Our filtering controls allow schools and districts to:
1) Fully customize and filter websites that students can - or cannot - visit
2) Set times of day or night appropriate for student use and manage access hours
3) Filter out both inappropriate AND non-educational content
- Adult Images/Nudity/Profanity/Pornography
- Alcohol/Drugs/Substance Abuse/Tobacco/etc.
- Criminal Skills/Hate Speech/Weapons/etc.
- Social Networking/Chat (Facebook,Twitter,Instagram)
- Sex Education
- Entertainment/Games/Streaming Media/Netflix/Hulu/Pandora
- Adware/Infected Hosts/Phising/Malformed URL/Web Proxy/Viruses
- File Sharing
- Instant Messaging/VOIP/File transfer
4) Receive reports with learning analytics to help improve student achievement
5) Reduce unnecessary use of bandwidth and drive down costs for the entire program
6) Monitor all device usage and generate useful reports and analytics to understand web traffic activity
Every School District is Different
While working with more than 100 school districts, we’ve found that each one has different ideas on how to overcome their 1-to-1 challenges. Whether to allow YouTube, include social media access, or how restrictive the overall filtering can be are questions every district must answer before sending mobile devices home.
Kajeet filters can mirror already created school filters to provide the same digital experience outside the classroom as the one provided inside. This flexibility provides school districts of all shapes, sizes, and ideas to implement comprehensive, filtered Internet access that help protect any 1-to-1 solution.
Tag(s): Mobile Broadband , 1 to 1 , WiFi for Students