On this past Thursday, I attended a webinar (I hate that word, but can’t think of one better) co-hosted by Tech & Learning magazine and Lightspeed Systems entitled “Ensuring Safety, Security, and Success with Mobile Learning.” It featured a testimonial from the chief technology officer from a school district in Texas, as well as a brief presentation from an engineer at Lightspeed Systems. Apparently, Lightspeed manufactures “web managers” and “e-mail managers” that act as filters (and by extension, probably proxies) for school and presumably industry networks. The interesting thing about Lightspeed’s system is that it also protects mobile devices while off the network. Obviously, this only applies to school-owned devices, so districts still need to be cautious about allowing personal devices onto the school network.
The system can protect laptops while away from campus, both in virus and malware protection as well as Internet filtering. It provides a pretty robust reporting system that the CTO’s can review for most common “violations” as well as the top ten users of the system, etc. They also have a mobile app for iPhones and iPod Touches (iPods Touch? iPod Touchs?) that belong to the district that in essence replaces the device’s default mobile Safari browser.
In the end, I don’t know that I “learned” much, but I did get exposed to what seems to be a very useful tool for schools and districts as we slowly begin to transition away from hardwired desktops to more mobile computing.