School Security

Lightspeed Extends Web Filtering System

Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, forums, news feeds, and collaborative platforms, have opened up an entire world to educators and students pursuing project-based learning (PBL). But how do educators allow their students access to all the benefits of these tools while ensuring that they are't exposed to materials that might be considered unacceptable for a school's network? One way is through the use of "smart" filtering.

Lightspeed Systems has introduced My Big Campus (MBC) as a new subcomponent of its Total Traffic Control network security and management suite. Explained a spokesperson, "Our Smarter filtering solution integrates online resource management and collaboration into the network security suite to minimize IT administration and maximize the educational potential of the Web."

The filtering process entails the monitoring and reporting of all user activity, restricting submissions via MBC to those that are CIPA-compliant and allowing users to flag for review or removal content they deem inappropriate. Additionally, MBC offers automated profanity interception and allows IT staff and administrators access to full user activity reports in order to weed out rule violators.

MBC is the newest addition to the Total Traffic Control component Web Access Manager, which offers such filtering tools as granular policy control, "safe" Web 2.0 access, and mobile filtering. The new subcomponent adds customizable Web 2.0 tools geared to students and teachers, including blogs, events calendaring, online assignments and submissions, and messaging that can function as student e-mail.

Axtell Independent School District in Axtell, TX has deployed MBC. "It automatically integrates with the active directory and filtering policies already in place to save time and administrative hassles, and our teachers have been looking for a safe online area to communicate with students and share resources," said Janice Hornsby, technology coordinator for AISD. "Our business teacher is already planning to use the blogging and messaging features to teach communications skills and etiquette."

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.