Implementing Dynamic Location-Based Internet Content Filtering in Your District: "Depends On" Filtering Can Optimize the Student Internet Experience by Ensuring Safety and Maximum Productivity

District Administration, February 2013 | Go to article overview

Implementing Dynamic Location-Based Internet Content Filtering in Your District: "Depends On" Filtering Can Optimize the Student Internet Experience by Ensuring Safety and Maximum Productivity


A District Administration Web Seminar Digest * Originally presented on December 11, 2012

A robust network that allows students and staff to access the Internet is critical for every school district. However, to protect students and comply with CIPA and local regulations, a multi-strategy approach with reporting, monitoring, and flexibility tools is essential. In this web seminar, an administrator described how the Hardin County (Ky.) School District worked with Enterasys Networks and iboss Security to build a robust network that can detect non-directory aware and student-owned devices, and adjust an individual's level of access depending on grade level, location, time of day and more.

Jonathan Kidwell: We are going to discuss how to work the puzzle of filtering district-owned and non-district-owned devices, and non-directory devices such as iPads, in a way that promotes individualized learning and yet complies with CIPA and local regulations.

Enterasys is a provider and manufacturer of enterprise-grade switching, wireless, and routing security software, as well as a full suite of identity and access products. This allows districts to provide the highest level of networking to students, staff, and guests in the most secure yet productive fashion. We provide many things schools are looking for, including a lifetime warranty and unparalleled customer service.

Many schools are trying to get a learning device in every student's hand, which creates problems. How do you support BYOD (bring-your-own-device) in a learning environment? There is also the issue of managing non-directory devices such as iPads on a school's domain. How do you identify that user on the back end? How do we provide a level of Internet access for each student that is tied to their needs and responsibilities? In the past, districts lumped everyone together with the same, constant access levels, which is no longer possible in order to offer a personalized learning experience.

Enterasys architecture is fabric architecture that allows management of both wired and wireless from the edge of the network all the way through the data center. We have a unique ability to "digitally fingerprint" every user and device on the network, whether the device is district owned or a BYOD device, or even non-directory-aware devices such as security cameras or card swipes. With our system, students are identified as they come into the network with a device; you can collect information on the identification of that student, the device, location, and time of day.

The Enterasys system may treat the same user differently if they are using a district-owned machine or a BYOD device. Users can be denied network access with certain devices, such as gaming, or non-educational devices. Or maybe those devices can have restricted access--such as only before or after school, or in a library or cafeteria but not classrooms. Our architecture has as an identification engine for all devices that come onto the network.

We can also employ location-based application delivery. There's a lot of focus right now on social media platforms and whether they can be used in the classroom. A lot of districts are moving toward integrating social media into their curriculum. For example, a school can allow access to these platforms in certain rooms or at certain times of day. The goal is to keep the network complexity low but deliver a high-end user experience to students, faculty, and staff.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Peter Martini: Phantom Technologies is the parent company of iboss Security, which provides secure web gateways that control web filtering, application management, mobile security, bandwidth management, and comprehensive reporting, essentially securing of all aspects of your network, iboss serves thousands of schools across the country, ensuring the safety for millions of students and teachers.

We have found that previously, most filtering systems took a "yes or no" approach to websites, iboss understands that in education, a "depends on" approach is needed. …

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