The relationship between teachers and network administrators can often be described as strained. What is the root cause of this sometimes-rocky relationship? It goes without saying that both teachers and admins have their student’s best interest in mind. Teachers want to leverage technology and expanding web content to deliver more impactful learning opportunities, while network administrators need to ensure compliance and student safety.
Isn’t time for a technology solution to bridge this divide?
Historically, content filters and classroom management tools have operated in different silos. Network admins set district wide web filtering rules and teachers, lucky enough to have classroom management tools, tried to use them to take digital control of their classrooms. While content filtering tools are implemented with good intentions, the effect was disjointed and resulted in feelings of failure for both the network admin and the teacher.
Additionally, the historic approach of web filtering at the network admin level and looking for loopholes at the teacher level has resulted in frustration on both sides. Lessons are still derailed when a learning app or website is blocked by the filter and network admins are again left with support tickets to solve. This lack of synergy between platforms fails teachers, admins and most importantly, students.
When considering web filters, it's important to understand their capabilities beyond the IT department. When speaking with vendors, ask them if their content filter includes a classroom management solution. Key questions include:
- Can we still set policies that cannot be changed to ensure compliance is met?
- How easy is it for our teachers to use?
- Is it cost effective enough for us to not just acquire and implement, but to sustain the maintenance and support of the product?
Look to a technology solution that checks the boxes for network admins and provides:
- filtering support for all end point operating systems
- search term visibility
- Google and YouTube controls
- self-harm alerts
Look to a solution that can be a win-win for network admins and teachers. Instead of countless hours spent in frustraton troubleshooting and responding to endless support tickets, explore putting in a technology solution that works for both sides of the debate.
Read how Family Zone's School Manager can work for your district.