Ensuring Excellence: How FilteredNet Provides the Highest Quality in IT Solutions for Education

Ensuring Excellence: How FilteredNet Provides the Highest Quality in IT Solutions for Education

Let’s face it, technology and education are forever intertwined. As such, the role of robust IT solutions in K-12 schools has never been more critical. FilteredNet, a leader in web filtering and IT security solutions for K12 schools, exemplifies this necessity through their meticulous approach to vendor and solution evaluation. This blog delves into the comprehensive process FilteredNet employs to ensure that each product added to their offerings meets the highest standards of quality and efficacy.

Understanding the Educational Landscape

Before diving into the specifics of vendor evaluation, it’s crucial to acknowledge the unique challenges and needs of K-12 educational environments. Schools require IT solutions that not only facilitate learning and access to information but also ensure the safety and security of their students online. FilteredNet, with its long-standing experience in this sector, understands these needs intimately.

Rigorous Vendor Evaluation: A Multi-Step Process

FilteredNet’s vendor evaluation process is both thorough and multifaceted, involving several key steps:

In-depth Market Research: The journey begins with comprehensive market research. FilteredNet’s team actively seeks out emerging and established vendors specializing in web filters and related IT security products. This research is pivotal in understanding the current trends, advancements, and user requirements in the educational technology sphere.

Technical Assessment: Once potential vendors are identified, their products undergo a rigorous technical assessment. This step involves evaluating the technical specifications, compatibility with existing school infrastructures, ease of use, and overall performance of the solutions. It ensures that the products not only meet the current technological standards but are also future-proof.

Security and Compliance Checks: In an era where data security and privacy are paramount, especially in educational settings, FilteredNet rigorously checks for compliance with relevant laws and regulations. This includes adherence to student data privacy laws, cybersecurity standards, and other pertinent legal requirements.

User Experience and Feedback: Understanding the user perspective is crucial. FilteredNet seeks feedback from actual users — educators, administrators, and IT professionals in schools. This step provides real-world insights into the usability, effectiveness, and impact of the solutions in an educational setting.

Vendor Reputation and Stability: Beyond the product, the vendor’s market reputation, financial stability, and customer support capabilities are also evaluated. A stable and reputable vendor is more likely to provide consistent, reliable support and updates for their products.

Trial and Testing in Real Environments: Perhaps the most critical step, FilteredNet conducts extensive trials of the products in actual school environments. This hands-on testing is pivotal in understanding how the solutions perform in real-world scenarios, how they integrate with other systems, and their overall impact on the educational process.

Commitment to Quality and Education

At its core, FilteredNet’s rigorous evaluation process is fueled by a commitment to quality and the educational mission. They understand that the right IT solutions can significantly enhance the learning experience while ensuring safety and compliance. This dedication to excellence is evident in the careful selection of products that not only meet technical standards but also align with the educational goals and values of K-12 institutions.

Conclusion: A Trusted Partner in Education Technology

Through this meticulous evaluation process, FilteredNet has positioned itself as a trusted partner in the realm of educational technology. Their approach ensures that schools are equipped with high-quality, reliable, and effective IT solutions, tailored to the unique demands of the educational sector. As technology continues to evolve and become an integral part of the educational landscape, FilteredNet’s commitment to quality and excellence remains steadfast, making them an invaluable ally for schools navigating the digital age.

FilteredNet has been selling webfilters and I.T. security solutions to K12 schools since 1995.

We work with I.T. security vendors covering a range of internet security services including webfilters, classroom managers and student-online monitoring/alerting tools by vendors such as Linewize by FamilyZoneContentKeeper and Blocksi.

To learn more about our services, or schedule a demo contact us today.

The Concerns and Importance of Monitoring Student Activity on School-Owned Devices

The Concerns and Importance of Monitoring Student Activity on School-Owned Devices

Introduction

The increasing integration of technology in K12 education has led to a crucial conversation about the importance of monitoring student activity on school-owned devices. As students navigate the digital world, schools face a dual challenge: protecting students from harmful content and behaviors, and mitigating potential liabilities arising from unmonitored use of these devices.

The Need for Monitoring

Schools across the U.S. are increasingly using monitoring technologies to track students’ online activity. While these tools offer potential benefits, such as protecting students from inappropriate content, preventing self-harm or harm to others, etc. they also raise concerns about privacy and responsible use​​. Incidents where students’ research for school assignments was flagged as inappropriate highlight the delicate balance between safety and educational freedom​​.

Impact on Students

Monitoring can significantly impact students, particularly when they feel restricted in expressing themselves online due to being monitored. Nearly 60% of students have reported feeling “held back” from saying what they wanted online due to monitoring. Such incidents can lead to feelings of frustration, humiliation, and a fear of engaging online​​.

School Response and Trust

The response of schools to flagged activities can sometimes be disproportionate, leading to stressful situations for students and parents, especially when students unknowingly interact with flagged content​​. Furthermore, students’ perception of a lack of privacy can erode trust in their educators, affecting their sense of belonging in school​​.

Privacy Concerns

The handling of incidents related to monitoring often lacks confidentiality, leading to embarrassment for students. In some cases, the exposure of a student’s behavior using a school-issued device has occurred without their consent​​. Incidents like connecting personal devices to school laptops, leading to unintended content sharing, also raise privacy concerns​​.

Risks of Not Monitoring

The absence of monitoring on school-owned devices can expose students and schools to various risks.

Safety Concerns of Not Monitoring

Without monitoring, students may inadvertently access harmful or inappropriate content, or become targets of cyberbullying, which can lead to serious emotional and psychological impact​​​​.

Liability Issues of Not Monitoring

Schools may face legal consequences for failing to protect students from online dangers, especially considering laws like the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) that mandate some level of monitoring​​.

Threats to Mental Health of Not Monitoring

In recent times, there’s been an increased reliance on technology for learning. Monitoring technologies have played a critical role in identifying risks to student mental health, such as self-harm or suicidal ideation​​​​.

Recommendations for Administrators considering monitoring student’s online activity

To address the challenges of balancing the concerns mentioned above with the safety of their students, administrators who elect to deploy tools that monitor and report on the student’s online activity should follow certain best practices for developing monitoring policies, such as listed below, but not limited to…

Develop Effective Policies: Developing effective monitoring policies involves several key steps:

Define the Scope: Clearly outline what will be monitored – whether it’s internet browsing, email communication, or app usage on school devices​​​​​​​​

Choose Appropriate Tools: Select monitoring tools that align with the school’s needs. Tools like Linewize Monitor offer real-time assessment and alerting of online behavior and risks​​​​.

Ensure Compliance with Laws: Be aware of legal requirements, such as CIPA, and ensure policies comply with them​​.

Involve Stakeholders: Engage parents, teachers, and students in the policy development process to ensure transparency and acceptance​​.

Educate and Communicate: Clearly communicate the purpose and extent of monitoring to students and parents. Transparency is key to maintaining trust and understanding​​.

Implement Monitoring Tools: Implementation of monitoring solutions should be straightforward and non-intrusive:

Deployment: Solutions like Linewize Monitor can be implemented with minimal technical effort, sometimes as easily as flipping a switch or downloading a client​​.

Data Analysis and Response: The monitoring system should be capable of assessing risks and alerting staff in real-time for serious concerns​​. The most effective systems should utilize live human moderators who review activity 24×7 in real-time, and can place direct phone calls to assigned staff or safety personnel, should an issue be detected which is determined to rise to a level where immediate intervention may be necessary. 

Communicate Policies: Effective communication of monitoring policies is crucial:

Transparency: Provide detailed information to students and parents about what is being monitored, why, and how data is used.

Consent and Agreement: Obtain consent from parents and agreement from students, especially when personal data is involved.

Regular Updates: Keep the school community informed about any changes or updates in the monitoring policies or tools.

Conclusion

Monitoring students on school-owned devices is a complex yet necessary aspect of modern education that requires careful consideration and a balanced approach. It ensures student safety, fulfills legal obligations, and supports a healthy learning environment. Schools must balance the need for safety with respect for privacy, making transparency, communication, and stakeholder involvement key in developing and implementing effective monitoring policies. Effective policies and practices should aim to protect students from online risks while fostering an environment of openness and educational freedom.

For more detailed insights and resources, we recommend visiting

 https://districtadministration.com/chilling-effects-when-k12-schools-monitor-students-using-a-school-issued-device/

https://districtadministration.com/5-ways-schools-can-more-fairly-and-safely-monitor-students-online-activities/

https://studentprivacycompass.org/resource/understanding-student-monitoring/

https://www.linewize.com/linewize-monitor

 

FilteredNet has been selling webfilters and I.T. security solutions to K12 schools since 1995.

We work with I.T. security vendors covering a range of internet security services including webfilters, classroom managers and student-online monitoring/alerting tools by vendors such as Linewize by FamilyZoneContentKeeper and Blocksi.

To learn more about our services, or schedule a demo contact us today.

Safety First: Championing Digital Safety in K-12 Education with FilteredNet

Safety First: Championing Digital Safety in K-12 Education with FilteredNet

Safety First: Championing Digital Safety in K-12 Education with FilteredNet

In the digital age, ensuring the online safety of students in K-12 schools has never been more critical. With the rise of internet usage in educational settings, the risk of exposure to harmful online content and cyber threats is a significant concern for educators and parents alike. This is where FilteredNet steps in, playing a crucial role in safeguarding the digital landscape of K-12 education.

A Legacy of Trust and Excellence

Since 1995, FilteredNet has established itself as a leader in providing specialized digital safety solutions tailored for K-12 schools. Recognized nationally, FilteredNet focuses exclusively on equipping educational institutions with effective web filters, classroom management tools, and online monitoring systems designed to protect students from online harm​​.

More Than Just Technology

FilteredNet’s approach to digital safety goes beyond just supplying technology. It’s about creating a secure environment conducive to learning. Every solution offered by FilteredNet is directed toward ensuring that schools can focus on education without the worry of digital threats. This commitment to security encompasses a broad spectrum of services, including internet content filtering, student device monitoring, bandwidth management, intrusion prevention, mobile device management, malware detection, and more​​.

Building Relationships for Better Safety

FilteredNet’s journey with K-12 institutions has fostered deep insights into the everyday challenges that schools face in maintaining a secure online environment. By working closely with the most respected vendors in the industry, FilteredNet aligns its services with the latest and most effective internet security requirements. This collaborative approach ensures that schools receive not just a product, but a comprehensive safety strategy tailored to their specific needs​​.

The FilteredNet Difference

What sets FilteredNet apart is its dedication to making digital safety in K-12 education a top priority. FilteredNet’s solutions empower schools to protect their students from the vast array of online risks, ensuring a safe and productive educational experience. With FilteredNet, schools can rest assured that their digital environments are fortified against potential cyber threats, allowing students to learn and explore the digital world safely.

A Call to Action

As we navigate an increasingly digital world, the importance of digital safety in education cannot be overstated. FilteredNet stands at the forefront of this mission, providing reliable, effective solutions for K-12 schools. It’s time for educational institutions to prioritize digital safety and embrace the expertise of FilteredNet in their cybersecurity strategies.

Together, we can create a safer digital future for our students. Let’s champion digital safety in K-12 education with FilteredNet.

This blog aims to convey the importance of digital safety in K-12 schools and how FilteredNet plays a vital role in protecting students from online threats and creating a secure learning environment​​​​​​​​.

FilteredNet has been selling webfilters and I.T. security solutions to K12 schools since 1995.

We work with I.T. security vendors covering a range of internet security services including webfilters, classroom managers and student-online monitoring/alerting tools by vendors such as Linewize by FamilyZoneContentKeeper and Blocksi.

To learn more about our services, or schedule a demo contact us today.

Student Well-Being: 3 Topics that K12 is focused on today.

Student Well-Being: 3 Topics that K12 is focused on today.

Based on recent trends and discussions in education, here are 3 topics that schools are most focused on today based on their concerns about student well-being:

Mental Health and Emotional Wellness: Schools are increasingly concerned about the mental health and emotional wellness of their students, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students have experienced significant disruptions to their daily routines and social connections, and may be struggling with feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation. Schools are looking for ways to support students’ mental health and well-being, such as by providing access to counseling services, offering mindfulness and meditation practices, and implementing social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula.

Schools are working to support their students’ mental health and emotional wellness in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:

  1. Counseling Services: Many schools are providing access to mental health professionals, such as school counselors or social workers, to help students who may be struggling with mental health issues. These professionals can provide individual or group counseling sessions, crisis intervention, and referrals to outside resources if necessary.
  2. SEL Curricula: Social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula are becoming increasingly popular in schools to promote students’ mental health and emotional wellness. These curricula focus on teaching students skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. By helping students develop these skills, schools hope to promote their mental health and well-being and improve their overall academic performance.
  3. Mindfulness Practices: Many schools are implementing mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, as a way to help students reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, and promote overall well-being. These practices can be incorporated into the classroom or offered as separate activities during the school day.
  4. Parent Education: Schools are also working to educate parents about how they can support their children’s mental health and emotional wellness. This may include providing resources on how to recognize signs of mental health issues, how to communicate effectively with their children, and how to access community resources if necessary.
  5. School Culture: Creating a positive and supportive school culture can also play a role in promoting students’ mental health and emotional wellness. Schools are working to foster a sense of community, belonging, and inclusion among students, as well as providing opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities and build positive relationships with their peers and teachers.

Overall, schools are taking a holistic approach to supporting students’ mental health and emotional wellness, recognizing that these factors are closely tied to academic success and overall well-being. By providing access to counseling services, implementing SEL curricula, offering mindfulness practices, educating parents, and creating a positive school culture, schools hope to promote the mental health and well-being of their students.

Online Safety and Digital Citizenship: As students spend more time online for learning and socializing, schools are increasingly concerned about their online safety and digital citizenship. Cyberbullying, online harassment, and exposure to inappropriate content are all risks that students face in the digital world. Schools are looking for ways to teach students about responsible online behavior, provide guidance on how to stay safe online, and implement tools and policies to protect students from harmful content and interactions.

Schools are working to support their students’ online safety and digital citizenship in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:

  1. Education and Awareness: Schools are educating students about online safety and digital citizenship, including topics such as cyberbullying, online privacy, and responsible use of social media. By providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe online, schools hope to reduce the risk of negative online experiences and promote responsible digital citizenship.
  2. Filtering and Monitoring: Many schools are implementing filtering and monitoring tools to help keep students safe online. These tools can block access to inappropriate content, monitor online activity for signs of bullying or other negative behaviors, and alert administrators to potential risks or issues.
  3. Parent Education: Schools are also working to educate parents about how they can help keep their children safe online. This may include providing resources on how to monitor their children’s online activity, how to talk to their children about online safety, and how to set appropriate boundaries and guidelines for online use.
  4. Policy Development: Schools are developing policies and guidelines related to online safety and digital citizenship. This may include acceptable use policies for technology, guidelines for social media use, and protocols for responding to cyberbullying or other negative online behaviors.
  5. Partnership with Technology Providers: Finally, many schools are partnering with technology providers to help ensure online safety and digital citizenship. This may include working with companies that provide filtering and monitoring tools, as well as those that offer education and awareness programs or resources for parents and educators.

Overall, schools are taking a proactive approach to promoting online safety and digital citizenship, recognizing that these skills are critical for success in the digital age. By educating students and parents, implementing filtering and monitoring tools, developing policies and guidelines, and partnering with technology providers, schools hope to create a safe and positive online environment for their students.

Equity and Inclusion: Many schools are also focused on promoting equity and inclusion for all students. This includes addressing issues related to racial and social justice, promoting diversity and inclusivity in curricula and school culture, and providing support for students from underrepresented communities.

Schools are looking for ways to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, and to ensure that every student has access to the resources and support they need to succeed. Schools are working to support their students’ equity and inclusion in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:

  1. Culturally Responsive Teaching: Schools are implementing culturally responsive teaching practices, which involve recognizing and addressing the cultural and linguistic diversity of students in the classroom. This includes valuing and incorporating students’ cultural backgrounds and experiences into the curriculum and instructional practices.
  2. Professional Development: Many schools are providing professional development opportunities for teachers and staff to increase their understanding and skills related to equity and inclusion. This includes training on topics such as implicit bias, culturally responsive teaching, and creating inclusive classroom environments.
  3. Diverse Curriculum: Schools are incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences into the curriculum, including texts and materials that reflect the diversity of the student population. This includes exposing students to a variety of cultures, histories, and perspectives.
  4. Student Support: Schools are providing additional support for students who may face barriers related to equity and inclusion. This includes counseling services, mentorship programs, and resources for students from historically marginalized communities.
  5. Community Partnerships: Schools are partnering with community organizations and leaders to support equity and inclusion. This includes collaborating with local advocacy groups, cultural centers, and businesses to provide resources and opportunities for students.

Overall, schools are taking a proactive approach to promoting equity and inclusion, recognizing that all students deserve a safe and welcoming learning environment where they can thrive. By implementing culturally responsive teaching practices, providing professional development opportunities, incorporating diverse perspectives into the curriculum, providing student support, and partnering with community organizations, schools hope to create a more equitable and inclusive learning environment for all students.

FilteredNet has been selling webfilters and I.T. security solutions to K12 schools since 1995.

We work with I.T. security vendors covering a range of internet security services including webfilters, classroom managers and student-online monitoring/alerting tools by vendors such as Linewize by FamilyZoneContentKeeper and Blocksi.

To learn more about our services, or schedule a demo contact us today.

Strategies for supporting student’s social-emotional development in k12 schools.

Strategies for supporting student’s social-emotional development in k12 schools.

It is critical for educators to pay attention to children’s social and emotional development in addition to their intellectual growth. In order to help students become self-aware, control their emotions, form wholesome relationships, and make ethical judgements, social-emotional learning (SEL) is essential in K-12 classrooms. The following are some tactics that schools can use to promote student’s social and emotional growth.

Promote Good Relationships: According to Melissa Schlinger, vice president of practice at the Collaboration for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, “building positive relationships between teachers and students is a crucial component of supporting kids’ social-emotional well-being” (CASEL).

Teaching self-awareness is important because it serves as the basis for social and emotional learning, according to Dr. Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Schools can instruct pupils on how to recognize their emotions and create strategies to effectively handle both the highs and the lows.

Encourage pupils to practice mindfulness since it can improve their ability to concentrate, handle stress and grow empathetically. According to Dr. Brackett, mindfulness practices like deep breathing and guided meditation can teach pupils how to control their emotions and remain composed under pressure.

Include play-based learning: Play-based learning gives kids the chance to connect with one another and learn skills like communication and problem-solving. Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, and the creator of TimberNook, asserts that play is crucial for the growth of social skills.

Encourage Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical activity can enhance mental health, lessen stress, and boost confidence. Dr. Desiree Shapiro, a pediatrician at Stanford Children’s Health, claims that exercise helps students form good habits and efficiently manage their emotions.

Establish a Secure and Encouraging Environment: According to Shlinger, a secure and encouraging environment can aid pupils in feeling safe and forming wholesome relationships. School may develop areas where kids feel free to express themselves and ask for assistance when necessary.

Teach Conflict Resolution Skills: Social interaction inevitably involves conflict. Effective conflict resolutions skills can assist students in establishing connections and controlling their emotions. Role-playing exercises and group problem-solving are effective ways to teach conflict resolution techniques, according to Shlinger.

Promote Cultural Competence: According to Dr. Adena Klem, Director of Education at the Anti-Defamation League, “Cultural competency is essential for encouraging social-emotional development in diverse communities. By encouraging variety and offering opportunity for pupils to learn about many cultures, schools may promote cultural competence.”

Promote Peer Mentorship: Peer mentoring initiatives can aid in student’s social and relational development. According to Dr. Shapiro, peer mentoring gives kids the chance to learn from one another and foster empathy and understanding.

Work Together with Families and Communities: According to Dr. Klem, collaboration between schools, families, and communities is crucial for fostering social and emotional development. To provide students with tools and support, schools can collaborate with families and community organizations.

Implement Technologies That Allow Students to Express Their Feelings: A software tool, such as Pulse by Linewize, can provide students with a 60-second weekly student wellbeing check-in. This helps schools easily keep a Pulse on student’s wellness by engaging students to find and help those who need early intervention.

These techniques can be used in K-12 institutions to foster a welcoming atmosphere that supports student’s social-emotional growth. To guarantee that students have the abilities and resilience to succeed in school and in life, it is crucial to place a high priority on their well-being.

FilteredNet has been selling webfilters and I.T. security solutions to K12 schools since 1995.

We work with I.T. security vendors covering a range of internet security services including webfilters, classroom managers and student-online monitoring/alerting tools by vendors such as Linewize by FamilyZoneContentKeeper and Blocksi.

To learn more about our services, or schedule a demo contact us today.

10 Reasons to Buy from a Value-Added-Reseller (VAR)

10 Reasons to Buy from a Value-Added-Reseller (VAR)

Here are ten reasons why buying from a value-added reseller (VAR) can be beneficial for your K12 school district:

  1. Expertise: VARs have specialized knowledge and expertise in the products and solutions they offer, which can help school districts make informed purchasing decisions.
  2. One-stop-shop: VARs offer a wide range of products and solutions from multiple vendors, making it easier for school districts to purchase everything they need from a single source.
  3. Customization: VARs can help school districts customize solutions to meet their specific needs and requirements.
  4. Cost savings: VARs often have access to special pricing and discounts, which can help school districts save money on their purchases.
  5. Support: VARs provide ongoing support and maintenance for the products and solutions they sell, which can help school districts keep their technology running smoothly.
  6. Training: VARs can provide training and education on the products and solutions they offer, helping school districts maximize their investment.
  7. Integration: VARs can help school districts integrate new technology solutions with existing systems and infrastructure.
  8. Scalability: VARs can help school districts plan for future growth and scalability, ensuring that their technology investments can grow with them.
  9. Proven track record: Many VARs have a proven track record of working with other organizations and providing high-quality solutions and support.
  10. Accountability: VARs are accountable for the products and solutions they sell, which can provide peace of mind for school districts and help ensure that they are getting the most value from their investments.

FilteredNet has been selling Internet Security solutions to K12 schools since 1995.

We work with I.T. security vendors to provide a range of internet security services to our K12 customers, including web filtering, classroom management, and student online safety monitoring.

To learn more about our services, or schedule a demo contact us today.