News

Lightspeed Systems Solution Makes 40 Million Safe YouTube Videos Available for Schools

January 21, 2018

Lightspeed Systems Smart Play opens access to an education-friendly database of video content while blocking inappropriate videos.

AUSTIN, TX. —Lightspeed Systems Smart Play — an innovative new tool to ease YouTube video streaming in K-12 schools — achieved a milestone today when its database grew to 40 million educational videos. Launched in summer 2017, Smart Play is a proprietary technology from education technology company Lightspeed Systems that opens educationally valuable YouTube videos to students while protecting them from explicit, inappropriate content.

Founded in 1999, Lightspeed Systems has been trusted by thousands of schools around the world to make student devices safe, filtered and easily managed. Recognizing that YouTube presents many educational opportunities for students as well as many unsafe videos that violate Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) standards, Lightspeed Systems developed Smart Play as a feature to the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter and Lightspeed Systems Relay.

Smart Play utilizes machine-learning technology and artificial intelligence to analyze video content and make an unrivaled selection of educational videos available to students. Graphic and inappropriate videos — as well as thumbnails of those videos— are blocked by the solution. Best of all, IT administrators using Web Filter or Relay can enable this revolutionary new tool with just one click in the solution’s interface.

At the time of launch in June 2017, Smart Play’s database included 26 million videos. Its database has expanded to 40 million videos — a growth of almost 54 percent in seven months — thanks to Lightspeed’s innovative proprietary technology. Each day, Smart Play’s database will continue to grow by hundreds of thousands of new videos that are appropriate for student consumption.

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Smart Play, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com/smart-play.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Relay, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Solution Lets School IT Departments Share Student Device Activity With Parents

January 10, 2018

A new feature in Lightspeed Systems Relay gives parents crucial information on how and when their kids are spending time online.

AUSTIN, TX. — Education technology company Lightspeed Systems announced the release of Parent Report Generator, new to Lightspeed Systems Relay. This new feature gives K-12 school IT personnel the power to customize and automate the delivery of student web activity reports to students’ parents.

A sample report from new Parent Report Generator in Lightspeed Systems Relay

Due to the increasing presence of one-to-one and BYOD device initiatives in schools, students are online more than ever. Relay’s Parent Report Generator allows parents to engage in students’ digital learning and ensure they’re using devices appropriately before, during and after school.

With a simple and secure CSV upload of email addresses to Lightspeed Systems Relay, Parent Report Generator lets school IT departments automate the delivery of student activity reports to their parents’ email inboxes. Parent Reports give a snapshot of crucial metrics on each student’s internet activity, including:

• Most frequent search queries
• Most frequently visited websites (including blocked sites), and how much time they spent on each site
• Device usage by time of day (e.g., before school, during school, after school, and late night)
• Device usage by day of week
• Device usage compared to average peer’s usage

Relay by Lightspeed Systems is a comprehensive solution designed to make school use of mobile devices safe and easily managed. The all-in-one, cloud-based solution maximizes return on investment of school Chromebooks with simple tools for filtering, protecting, geolocating and reporting on the devices.

To learn more about Relay by Lightspeed Systems, visit lightspeedsystems.com/relay.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Relay, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Honored With Two Awards of Excellence From Tech & Learning Magazine

December 13, 2017

The top K-12 ed-tech solution provider takes prizes in each of the two award categories for its K-12 device filtering and monitoring solutions.

AUSTIN, TX. — The leading news authority on K-12 technology, Tech & Learning magazine, has again recognized ed-tech company Lightspeed Systems in its annual Awards of Excellence. Lightspeed was awarded a prize in each of the categories, including Best New Product for its Chromebook filtering and monitoring solution, Relay for Chrome; and Best Upgraded Product for Web Filter 3: Longhorn, a device-agnostic K-12 filtering solution.

Tech & Learning’s Awards of Excellence are a 35-year tradition recognizing the best in education technology, including devices, applications, software, hardware, and AV tools. A panel of Tech & Learning advisors tested hundreds of entries to select the elite group of winners, which were divided into the categories of Best New Product and Best Upgraded Product. Lightspeed Systems has been recognized with Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence for several consecutive years.

Lightspeed Systems Relay for Chrome is a comprehensive solution designed for Chrome OS devices in education. The all-in-one, cloud-based solution maximizes return on investment of school Chromebooks with simple tools for filtering, protecting, geolocating and reporting on the devices.

The Lightspeed Systems Web Filter has been the content filter of choice for schools around the world since 1999. Web Filter 3: Longhorn offers new features to ease user identification, activity reporting and safe web browsing as well as hundreds of other enhancements.

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Relay for Chrome, Mobile Manager, and Management Bundle for Windows. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Tech & Learning
For over 37 years, Tech & Learning has been — and continues to be — the leading resource for K-12 leaders. Its publications, Web sites, and events provide factual and evaluative information on trends, products, and strategies to educators who purchase technology products in their districts and schools. Tech & Learning, published by NewBay Media, LLC, delivers the highest quality content and essential resources to manage, train, and teach with technology. For more information, visit www.techlearning.com.


CIOReview Selects Lightspeed Systems as Most Promising K-12 Technology Solution Provider

November 15, 2017

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems is featured as the November cover story for CIOReview Magazine’s Top 20 Most Promising K-12 Technology Solution Providers this year.

The latest issue of CIOReview K-12 highlights the innovations Lightspeed Systems has brought to 1:1 device management and web filtering in K-12.

Sharing their stories of success, Lightspeed Systems customers Wilson County Public Schools and Glenns Ferry School District reveal how their mobile learning programs have been transformed through the tools and resources available to support K-12 from Lightspeed Systems.

Lightspeed Systems has changed the way schools are able to manage their Chrome deployments with Relay — combining granular filtering controls, powerful reports, real-time alerts, device geolocation plus classroom management tools.

Going beyond Chromebooks, Lightspeed powers learning with solutions to manage and filter iPads, Macbooks and Windows devices. Lightspeed Systems is solving the unique problems of K12 schools with innovative solutions like Filter Bypass Controls andSmart Play, the easiest way to allow education-appropriate YouTube access for K-12. Backed by decades of expertise and the most comprehensive K-12 machine-learning web categorization database, these innovations set Lightspeed Systems ahead of the pack for K-12 filtering and mobile device management.

New releases and updates are on the horizon, making Lightspeed Systems the #1 choice for the most advanced technology solutions now and in the years to come for K-12.

“We will soon be rolling out the next version of Relay which will take everything we’ve done and multiply it: more powerful filtering and reporting anytime, anywhere, on any device; better features that empower educators to take learning to new heights; and new reporting models that let everyone make smarter student-focused decisions,” said Lightspeed Systems President & CEO Brian Thomas.

To read the cover page story, head to CIOReview: https://magazine.cioreview.com/magazines/November2017/K12/


Lightspeed Systems Releases Survey Results on Cyberbullying in K-12 Schools

October 12, 2017

K-12 IT professionals and parents reveal trends in technology affecting today’s youth

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems has released a new report on cyberbullying to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month in October.

The study, which surveyed American parents and K-12 school IT professionals, was conducted by Lightspeed Systems to raise awareness of the issue of cyberbullying in schools and how access to technology affects today’s youth.

Lightspeed Systems has built a reputation for providing the solutions and features that 21st-century schools need. Lightspeed’s device management, monitoring and filtering solutions are designed to help K-12 school IT teams track and report student device activity, wherever those devices travel.

In the survey, Lightspeed Systems uncovered trends that indicate a rise in school cyberbullying incidents in schools. 35.3% of IT professionals surveyed say they believe cyberbullying incidents will increase in the 2017-2018 school year as compared to the 2016-2017 school year. More than half (55.9%) of those surveyed say that bullying is happening more frequently at their schools than it did just five years ago.

According to survey results, the majority of parents and IT professionals agree that the ultimate responsibility to stop cyberbullying in schools falls upon parents. However, 59.5% of parents said school administration, teachers and school IT staff are responsible for halting incidents of cyberbullying. Many IT professionals (26.5%) said stopping cyberbullying requires a group effort by parents, teachers, other school staff and students. 77% of parents said they have talked with their children about cyberbullying.

Additionally, more than a quarter of the K-12 IT professionals surveyed say cyberbullying happens frequently in their schools.

“Helping school IT departments keep children safe in their digital learning journeys is a goal of every solution that Lightspeed Systems develops,” said Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “Every school has challenges related to cyberbullying and it’s our objective to provide smart products that keep children safe and on-track while they learn.”

To view the trends in cyberbullying report in full, please visit http://community.lightspeedsystems.com/cyberbullying-report/.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with more than 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Mobile Manager, Management Bundle for Windows, and Relay for Chrome. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Reveals Tips and Tricks for Safe Chromebook Initiatives in New Webinar

October 9, 2017

“Chromebooks & Web Filtering: Everything You Need to Know” is a free webinar open to all K-12 school IT employees.

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems will be sharing its tips and tricks for filtering school Chromebook deployments in a webinar on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Registration for the free webinar “Chromebooks & Web Filtering: Everything You Need to Know” is open to all K-12 school IT personnel now until the webinar’s start time of 10 AM CDT.

Lightspeed Systems has been in the business of filtering schools since 1999, a track record that has helped establish the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter as the market-leading content filter in K-12 education. Lightspeed Systems Relay for Chrome is the company’s newest product, a Chromebook filtering/monitoring solution that has been adopted by hundreds of schools since its release this year.

In “Chromebooks & Web Filtering: Everything You Need to Know,” Lightspeed team members will be sharing their expertise gleaned from almost 20 years of filtering school networks, as well as the opportunities — and challenges — for keeping students safe and productive on their Chromebooks. The webinar will cover topics including:
• Knowing when it’s time to move filtering to the cloud
• Filtering devices on- and off-campus
• Differentiating policies based on users and groups
• Seeing secure info — like Google searches, YouTube videos and Google Docs info— without a proxy or PAC files
• Integrating with G Suite
• Reporting user activity, including risky or dangerous behavior
• Using filtering policies to keep students on-task and productive

“With more devices in students’ hands than ever, web filtering has become more of a challenge — and a more critical need,” says Lightspeed Systems Vice President of Marketing Amy Bennett. “It’s not just about blocking content; it’s also about making sure students have access to great resources, that they’re learning to use technology productively, and that they’re safe.”

To register for “Chromebooks & Web Filtering: Everything You Need to Know,” visit GoToWebinar now. To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay for Chrome, visit lightspeedsystems.com/relay.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with more than 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Mobile Manager, Management Bundle for Windows, and Relay for Chrome. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems and Pomeroy Partner With West Virginia Department of Education to Provide Content Filtering for K-12 Public Schools Statewide

September 29, 2017

The Lightspeed Systems Web Filter was selected as the exclusive content filter for the state’s 700-plus public schools.

AUSTIN, TX. — Technology solution providers Lightspeed Systems and Pomeroy have partnered with the West Virginia Department of Education to provide content filtering for the state’s public schools. After a competitive process and vigorous review of available solutions, the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter was selected by the department to be implemented across 700 school sites.

The Lightspeed Systems Web Filter dashboard

As part of the department’s efforts to bring 21st-century learning opportunities to all West Virginia schools, the WVDE selected the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter to make safe, CIPA-compliant web access available to more than 273,000 students in the state.

The Lightspeed Systems Web Filter is the K-12 market leader in content filtering and designed specifically for the education environment. With powerful mobile filtering and reporting, Web Filter also features:
• An adaptive AI database that leverages machine learning to accurately categorize the Web for education
• Continuous identity management to seamlessly identify users as they change networks and devices
• A dynamic reporting engine featuring live, drill-down reporting
• Smart Play, a proprietary technology that makes more than 35 million education-appropriate videos available to schools while blocking inappropriate content

“The West Virginia Department of Education understands the importance of giving students a safe environment for digital learning,” says Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “We’re excited to kick off this partnership with Pomeroy and the WVDE to help West Virginia schools meet their technology goals.”

To learn more about the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter, visit lightspeedsystems.com/products/web-filter/.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with more than 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Mobile Manager, Management Bundle for Windows, and Relay for Chrome. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Pomeroy
Pomeroy is a recognized industry leader in optimizing IT infrastructures with comprehensive solutions in three key areas: workplace, network, and data center services. Pomeroy helps maximize the availability, efficiency and productivity of companies’ IT infrastructures. Its experienced professionals and strategic partnerships transform IT environments to a future state centered on a pleasing end-user experience supported by advanced, cloud-based, on-demand technologies and services. Learn more at https://www.pomeroy.com.

About the West Virginia Department of Education
The West Virginia Department of Education is a government agency that oversees the public school system in West Virginia, which is responsible for the education of more than 273,000 students in more than 700 schools with 20,000 teachers. Based in Charleston, West Virginia, the department’s goal is to provide a statewide system of education that ensures all students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and/or careers. Learn more at http://wvde.state.wv.us.


Lightspeed Systems Partners With ILTPP to Provide Education Technology Solutions to Illinois Schools

September 28, 2017

The ed-tech company adds its full product line to the Illinois Technology Learning Purchase Program catalog, offering K-12 schools robust device filtering, monitoring and management solutions at affordable prices.

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems has partnered with the Illinois Technology Learning Purchase Program (ILTPP) to make its device filtering, monitoring and management solutions available to K-12 schools across the state of Illinois.

ILTPP partners with top technology providers to procure superior, cost-effective technology solutions and services. Through ILTPP, Illinois schools now have the opportunity to purchase all Lightspeed Systems solutions at affordable prices.

Founded in 1999, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated device filtering, monitoring and management solutions that are developed especially for K-12 schools. Because to ILTPP’s partnership with Lightspeed, ILTPP members have the opportunity to purchase:
• Lightspeed Systems Relay for Chrome, an all-in-one Chromebook filtering/monitoring solution
• Lightspeed Systems Web Filter, the market-leading content filter for K-12 with three deployment options
• Lightspeed Systems Mobile Manager, a device-agnostic MDM with tiered administration and flexible policies
• Lightspeed Systems Management Bundle for Windows, the filtering, classroom management and MDM solution for Windows and other devices

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems solutions, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with more than 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Mobile Manager, Management Bundle for Windows, and Relay for Chrome. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program
The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) is a statewide cooperative of Illinois K-12 educational organizations that aggregate our buying power and expertise to procure technology products and services at better prices than is available to an individual organization. ILTPP was jointly developed by the Learning Technology Centers, the Regional Offices of Education, and the Intermediate Service Centers in 1998.


Lightspeed Systems Announces New Solution to Block Content Filter Bypass Tools in K-12 Schools

September 12, 2017

Filter Bypass Controls, new to Lightspeed Systems Web Filter, prevents dangerous student web behavior by detecting use of Psiphon, UltraSurf, Hotspot Shield and more.

AUSTIN, TX. — Education technology solution provider Lightspeed Systems has introduced a crucial new feature to its award-winning school content filter for protecting students online. Filter Bypass Controls, now available in Lightspeed Systems Web Filter version 3.4, gives school IT departments the power to ban and report on the use of web filtering bypass tools.

School content filters teach students how to use the internet safely and identify dangerous behavior by alerting school administrators and IT employees of misuse. Student users have turned to filter bypass clients such as Psiphon, UltraSurf, Hotspot Shield, VYPR and more in an effort to get around their school filters. Filter Bypass Controls is a proprietary, AI-powered technology that tracks traffic associated with filter bypass clients, blocks them, and adapts to changes in these dangerous technologies. This feature builds upon the Lightspeed System’s Web Filter’s Multilayered Bypass Protection, a series of features that integrate to prevent student access to security-risk sites including unknown URLs and peer-to-peer traffic.

Filter Bypass Controls lets school IT departments:
• Ban filter bypass clients with a single click in the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter interface
• Receive real-time alerts when use of bypass tools is detected
• Report on any user attempts to bypass the filter, and
• Lock out users who attempt to bypass the filter for a time period ranging from one to 60 minutes.

“Filter bypass tools have become increasingly organized and sophisticated, and they give students the ability to get around filtering to access adult content, hacking sites, and other dangerous material,” says Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “This Web Filter feature takes only a second to implement and makes the web a significantly safer place for students to learn and explore.”

This powerful technology is available today in the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter. To learn more, request a demo, or receive a quote, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com/products/web-filter.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with more than 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Mobile Manager, Management Bundle for Windows, and Relay for Chrome. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Introduces Innovative Solution for After-School Student Device Use

August 2, 2017

After-School Rules, a new feature inside the K-12 Chromebook solution Relay for Chrome, allows schools to adjust after-school and off-campus mobile filtering policies with ease.

AUSTIN, TX. — Today, ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems released After-School Rules, a major new feature inside Lightspeed’s Chromebook filtering/monitoring solution, Relay for Chrome. After-School Rules lets K-12 IT professionals customize student Chromebook access after school and off campus, giving schools complete control of student devices wherever they go.

Thanks to their portability, affordability and ease of use, Google Chromebooks are the No. 1 mobile device in K-12 schools in the United States, enabling anytime, anywhere learning. After-School Rules lets IT departments adjust Chromebook filtering and reporting policies by day of the week, time of day, external IP address and group.

After-School Rules— which can be enabled with just one click in the Relay for Chrome cloud-based interface — makes it easy to loosen or restrict student access to the Internet when students are at home and out of classes. With this innovative feature, IT admins can granularly customize the after-school, off-campus device experience for all groups of users on their networks. For instance, schools can choose to turn off mobile filtering and reporting for all district-owned devices; ease restrictions on social media, gaming and other websites that are blocked when school is in session; or close internet access for elementary school students in the district while leaving it open for middle school and high school students.

“Lightspeed Systems customers know that mobile learning doesn’t have to end when the final bell rings,” says Lightspeed Systems CEO and President Brian Thomas. “Students are more excited about learning on their devices when they have the time, space and freedom to safely explore them out of the classroom. After-School Rules gives schools the power to tailor appropriate after-school access for every student group and grade level.”

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay for Chrome and After-School Rules, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with more than 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Web Filter, Mobile Manager, Management Bundle for Windows, and Relay for Chrome. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.