How Does a School District Choose its Web Filtering Partner?
How Does a School District Choose its Web Filtering Partner? 4/16/2019
There always comes a time during the school year where students dread going back to school. Whether it is the first day of school after summer break or the first day back after Christmas vacation, there’s at least one day when students are unmotivated to go back and learn. The same can be said about tech directors choosing new software to implement in their district.
We know the thrill of choosing yet another web filter for your 1:1 environment is long gone. Not only is it difficult to choose a new partner, but it’s also difficult to keep an open mind. When you do choose your next web filter partner, we challenge you to take a new approach.
A solution that monitors and keeps students safe 24/7 should be chosen carefully. There are many excellent companies entering the market who focus on student safety. Below are a few questions that you should consider asking as you interview your potential web filtering partners:
• Of all the solutions the company has released, and are planning to release – how much of those focus on student safety?
• Is the company also trying to please other markets outside of education?
• What does the vendor’s roadmap look like and what releases are coming next? After all, you are likely signing a multi-year agreement, so you should know what you’re signing up for.
It is important to understand the ins and outs of the company before you agree to anything. You should know about their passions and culture, why they will support you, and how they are looking to better monitor students’ devices. Their mission, sales, and support will reflect how they will value your school and the entire district.
Regardless of the next company you choose to partner with, I firmly believe that now is the time to look beyond CIPA-compliance as a focus. It is time for schools to look beyond traditional filtering and invest in innovative solutions that keep students safer, encourage digital citizenship, and build up every child’s feeling of value.
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