Based on comments from districts across the country, a web filter should offer flexibility, customizability, mobility, collaboration, and more.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – May 4, 2011 – From news articles to Twitter to school hallway discussions, it’s easy to see that IT administrators, teachers, and students across districts are frustrated by over-blocking and inflexible rules associated with many web filters. A recent Lightspeed Systems campaign sought to identify the top features districts want in a web filter, and to see how the Lightspeed Web Filter could meet those needs.

Through print advertising, social media, and emails, Lightspeed Systems asked districts to visit a blog and make a comment about what they want from a web filter. Marketing Director Amy Bennett describes the impetus for the campaign: “School districts have unique needs when it comes to web filtering. We focus only on schools, and are dedicated to meeting those needs by helping schools realize a balance between learning and safety. While we talk to customers every day, we wanted to reach a wider audience and see what they want and need from a web filter.”

Top needs identified through the blog comments include: flexible policies, mobility, collaborative opportunities, access to YouTube videos, access to other Web 2.0 and dynamic content, greater teacher controls, easy management, and affordability.

Lightspeed Systems CEO Joel Heinrichs comments on the results: “We’re pleased, but not surprised, to see that what districts want is exactly what we have been dedicating development resources to providing: a smarter web filter than lets districts customize policies and implement mobile and social learning—in a way that’s safe, easily managed, and affordable.”

The Lightspeed Web Filter provides CIPA-compliant filtering based on a comprehensive education-specific database, with granularly customizable policies to fine-tune filtering to district needs. It provides cross-platform desktop and mobile filtering, including for iOS and Android devices. The filter includes an Educational Resource Library that allows access to educational YouTube videos as well as other Web 2.0 resources that are traditionally blocked by content filters, such as wikis and blogs. In addition, My Big Campus, a feature of the filter at no additional cost, provides a digital learning environment, where teachers and students can safely connect and collaborate.

“We call it smarter filtering,” says Bennett. “And from the comments, it’s clear that that’s what today’s districts need.”

Learn more about the Lightspeed Systems Web Filter: http://www.lightspeedsystems.com/products/Web-Filter.aspx

Or visit the “I want a web filter…” blog: http://blog.lightspeedsystems.com/iwant/

About Lightspeed Systems
To us, education isn’t an industry; it’s a passion. Our solutions make it safe, secure, and easy for IT staff to give users access to resources that make learning engaging, collaborative—and real.

Since 1999, Lightspeed Systems has been partnering with, listening to, and supporting IT staff in schools—making their day-to-day tasks manageable and their educational goals reachable. Today our solutions are used in more than 2,000 school districts for more than 7 million students. Our products have won numerous awards and our company has been recognized on the Inc. 5,000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies for the last four years. But more than what we’ve done, we’re interested in what we can do, together: transform education. For more information, call 661-716-7600, or visit www.lightspeedsystems.com.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACTS:
• Amy Bennett, Lightspeed Systems, 661-431-1653, abennett@lightspeedsystems.com

About the Author:

eSchool News