Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

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Written by Lisa Railton
on February 16, 2021

Greeneville City Schools knew there wasn’t enough time in a day for an individual—or the district as a whole—to monitor how students were using their devices. Located in the Appalachian foothills of Greeneville, Tennessee, this rural district serves about 3,000 students across seven schools. With all students using district-issued Windows 10 laptops and iPads, the district had a student safety platform on its must-have list before getting funding for the initiative for the 2017–18 school year.

“I don’t feel like I have to get up every 20 minutes and look at the content filter feed,” said Larry Jones, the district’s IT network administrator. According to Jones, Gaggle allows him to review the information that students save to the OneDrive cloud storage platform and what they’re communicating about. It also contextualizes searches and pulls everything together into a format that’s easy to search and reference. “We’re a small team of five, and until we implemented Gaggle, I was the only set of eyes on the ContentKeeper feed that was coming in,” he added, “which meant that even after hours, I would very frequently check to make sure that our students weren’t searching for things that were inappropriate or dangerous.”

Beverly Miller, Greeneville City Schools’ assistant director for administration and CTO, says the student safety platform has benefitted the district in ways that simply can’t be measured from a quantitative perspective. “Most of us can’t afford to have someone on the clock 24/7, but Gaggle is putting that person on my clock 24/7 to watch the data,” she said.

Thanks to Gaggle, Greeneville City Schools has intervened in multiple suicide attempts, as well as other attacks, incidents involving self-harm, and the sharing of inappropriate content. “It’s obviously far better to find a suicide note before the student harms themselves than it is to find it in a forensic analysis of their documents after they’ve completed the action,” said Miller. “We literally have the opportunity to save a student’s life with Gaggle. How could we turn and walk away from an opportunity like that?”

Read the success story to learn more about how Gaggle provides an extra set of eyes to safeguard students in this district’s Microsoft Office 365 environment.

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