Education Case Study
Proactive Student Protection
Protecting students from unwanted and potentially harmful Internet content is a problem that most schools face. Finding the right solution to keep students and the school's network safe can sometimes be a time-consuming and frustrating process. But for Kevin Ko, Principal of The Yorkland School, a Christian high school of 350 students in the Toronto area, the process was quick and simple.
"I was looking for a solution, and just searched the Internet and ended up finding the ContentWatch product," said Ko. "I was only considering two appliances, and I ended up going with ContentWatch," Ko added that the features of the ContentWatch ContentProtect Security Appliance were more flexible, and that he has been able to customize the appliance to suit his needs.
Ko stated that he initially wasn't looking for an Internet management solution because of problems he was experiencing on the school's network, but was rather looking at taking more proactive measures to protect his students. One of Ko's main concerns when looking for a solution was the ability to block pop ups and viruses, and to place restrictions on what his students could view.
"Kids would be searching the Internet, for a P.E. class for example, and some of the topics they're searching for can also border on the side of things you don't want them to see," said Ko. "Generally the kids are good and they don't get into things they shouldn't be, but I don't want accidents to happen."
Along with blocking pop ups and sites that may be potentially harmful to his students, Ko also wanted the ability to block sites that may be considered time wasters. "Blocking inappropriate sites was one of my main concerns, but blocking any specific sites that may be considered time wasters, so I can keep them off of ESPN let's say, when they are supposed to be working was another concern," said Ko. "Being able to block instant messaging has also been very beneficial. I saw too much of that happening."
An added benefit of the appliance that Ko wasn't expecting was bandwidth control. "What I was finding was 4 p.m. would hit and all of the sudden our bandwidth would die. The nice thing about the appliance is I was able to see what was happening on our network and I was able to figure out there were a couple of teachers connecting to peer-to-peer applications and it was killing our bandwidth," said Ko. "I've been able to control that activity, and it's been a good bandwidth control method."
For Ko, implementing the appliance was also quick and easy. "I don't have an IT guy on staff, I'm the IT guy and while I'm pretty savvy, I don't have a lot of time to spend on it. I opened the box, read over the manuals, and about a half an hour later I had it plugged in an online. It's pretty much plug and play," said Ko. "I spent some time configuring it over the next week or so, and now I'll sit down every few weeks and spend 15 to 20 minutes and tweak a few things here and there."
Ko also found the reporting and realtime monitoring a useful feature. "The reports that it includes are fairly easy to read. I was sitting and watching a class with about 30 kids in the room, and they were mainly the only ones on the network at the time and I was just trying to see what they were doing," said Ko. "I knew that some of them weren't working, so I wanted to see what they were doing, and the real-time monitoring allowed me to do that." "I've been quite happy with my decision to go with the ContentProtect Security Appliance," said Ko. "When researching which product to go with, I contacted a lot of the other schools in our area to see what they used, and surprisingly a lot of the schools didn't have anything implemented like the appliance. I've since recommended the appliance to several other schools so hopefully that will change. I would definitely go with ContentWatch again if given the choice."
About ContentWatch, Inc.
Based in Salt Lake City, ContentWatch delivers family-safe computing solutions for the home, library, education, government, and small/medium business markets. ContentWatch's mission is to be the world leader in thought and technology by creating Internet management tools and services that provide homes and businesses with a safer, more productive Internet experience through its patent-pending contextual analysis engine. ContentWatch Internet Management solutions are used in over 125 different countries.