It’s no secret that with the power of the internet in our classrooms today, also comes great responsibility. Educators want our K-12 students to have access to the most plentiful educational resource on the planet while staying focused, on task and safe. This isn’t any easy feat.
In most scenarios internet filtering for students in K-12 schools is handled by some kind of appliance or software that is ultimately controlled by the back office and the IT department. While that may seem logical to most, it’s actually a pretty dumb place to leave that kind of control. Most K-12 IT professionals are great at what they do, after all they have the most challenging of all IT professions. But they’re typically not educators and they’re not on the frontlines of our classrooms.
Teachers should have more control of internet filtering for many reasons. For starters, YouTube is a very common site that K-12 IT professionals ban in their internet filtering settings. There are millions of videos on YouTube that may be inappropriate for students, especially in the classroom. At the same time, YouTube is also a plethora of great resources for students. For instance, science teachers may have wanted to show this video of the Challenger explosion in the wake of the 32nd anniversary. That video also lives on YouTube.
NetRef a robust internet filtering tool designed to give administrators, IT staff and teachers access to internet controls. This means that teachers can control access or block access to sites based on material, content, grade level and even students individually. With NetRef teachers control access to what their students see, so if there was content that supported their lesson on YouTube or even Facebook they could let the students watch it.
NetRef built their platform to be easy to operate. In just a few clicks the teacher or administrator can let content through or decide to block it.
In 2018 the Internet looks a lot different than it did just five years ago. Students are using technology and the net in a lot more ways as well. George Dotterer, a parent, educator and CEO of Verite Educational Systems, knew all the challenges students and teachers face with access to the Internet, from the position of all four stake holders (parent, teacher, student, company). Verite also knew that to be fully effective it had to be easy to use and simple to install. That’s why NetRef offers seamless integration and implementation.
Outside of safety, good digital citizenship and making sure the web complimented the curriculum, teachers are faced with another obstacle from the internet and that is distraction. Because NetRef can be controlled classroom side, if there’s a video or content that is causing an uproar or distraction in class, teachers can quickly shut it down. NetRef’s powerful student device management system can be deployed on your schools 1:1 devices and even in BYOD devices. When students enter your school’s network teachers and administrators can make sure they aren’t distracted by that Snap or Facebook post.
We got a chance to talk with Dotterer at FETC 2018 in Florida last week. Check out our video above and for more information visit net-ref.com and see them at TCEA 2018 in Austin, February 5-9th, booth #1418