the key benefits of adding monitoring software to your school network

In the age of the digitally innovative classroom, nearly all school districts have some kind of Internet blocking and filtering mechanism to keep kids safe from inappropriate online content. It is also likely that almost all students have figured out ways to get around these blocks and filters to get to content that they want.

This poses the question, “Is blocking the only answer?” We propose a new way of thinking: Monitoring online behavior in addition to blocking and filtering content is more beneficial to schools, teachers, and students. Here’s why.

monitoring software aids in qualifying for federal funding

In order to qualify for federal e-RATE funding for technology, school districts must comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The act states that protection measures must include blocking or filtering obscene, illegal, and harmful content.

In addition, schools subject to CIPA have two certification requirements: their Internet safety policies must include monitoring the online activities of minors; and they must educate minors about appropriate online behavior. This includes education on interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness and response to online bullying or abuse.

This is where Impero Education Pro monitoring software steps in. In addition to blocks and filters that prevent access to indecent content, the software’s comprehensive view of all student screens enables teachers to manage online behavior in real time. Our advanced monitoring software will also allow specific websites to be blocked or allowed when required, so students can be provided with access to websites, such as YouTube (which can be great for educational purposes), in a controlled environment. This all-inclusive software allows schools to easily comply with CIPA rules.

monitoring software prevents and addresses cyberbullying

Monitoring software works by using categories, such as lists of words or phrases, to capture and identify inappropriate activity on desktop and laptop computers and other digital devices. Once captured, an automatic screenshot or video recording is logged; this allows school staff to identify the context of any potential concerning activity, such as a screenshot identifying a concerning word or phrase, a logged-in user, or an IP address.

When students use certain keywords, the software alerts the teacher. This can identify cyberbullying and present a way to confront the situation. As new slang terms emerge, keyword lists can be updated on a regular basis.

In addition to keyword detection, Impero monitoring software provides students with a confidential way of reporting questionable online activities through its Confide function. Student submissions are anonymously sent to authorities, and this allows the safe exposure of a predator without fear of further harassment to the victim.

monitoring software saves time for teachers

Impero’s student monitoring software acts like a digital classroom assistant by saving teachers time and helping them manage their students online. The software’s tools allow teachers to prevent access to inappropriate websites, including the monitoring of usage patterns to identify popular sites and applications.

The software prevents unauthorized use of proxy sites, enforces acceptable usage policies, and restricts Internet, application, and hardware usage. All of this is monitored through a single interface that provides live thumbnails of all network computers.

Additionally, if a student disrupts the class, teachers can turn off screens and lock keyboards, disable Internet access, USB ports, sound and printers, and broadcast the educator’s screen to all or selected students. Talk about a time-saving powerhouse!

monitoring software teaches students responsible online behavior

According to Bloom’s Taxonomy Cognitive Domain, there are six levels of thinking. The highest level of thinking is evaluation. Student behaviors that show the Evaluation level of thinking are assessing effectiveness of whole concepts, in relation to values, outputs, efficacy, viability, critical thinking, strategic comparison and review, and judgment related to external criteria.

When Internet sites are blocked, the student is not given the opportunity to evaluate and create strategy – other than how to strategically hack through to banned sites. By monitoring students’ online activity, combined with providing procedures and communicating about problems, the teacher is providing opportunities for the highest level of thinking.

the best way to learn Internet usage

The Impero software team believes that monitoring online usage is the best way to help students learn to use the Internet safely. Research has shown that blocking measures have little impact when students are determined to access content.

Now is the time to adopt a different approach and add monitoring of online behavior instead of only blocking. This allows schools to be proactive and react appropriately in the event of protocol breaches. In addition, this affords teachers more time, promotes higher-level thinking in students, and provides schools with better tools to comply with CIPA.

Impero Education Pro software provides schools with the ability to proactively monitor the online activities of digital devices while they are being used in classrooms. To find out more about this solution, go to the product features page here. Impero offers free trial product downloads, webinars, and consultations. Call us at 877.883.4370 or email us at today for more information.