The Consortium for School Networking (COSN) recently released its 2016 K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report (pdf). This report provides insight about the use of technology in K-12 institutions from the perspective of K12 technology managers. According to survey results, the top three priorities of IT leaders are 1) Broadband & Network capacity, 2) Wireless Access, and 3) Mobile Learning. In short, the use of online solutions is prevalent, and leaders need to find new ways to manage users and IT infrastructure.Eighty percent of the survey respondents indicated they are using cloud services for some IT functionClick To Tweet
If you are a K-12 IT manager, you’re responsible for providing a safe and productive online learning experience. The Barracuda Web Security Gateway (formerly Barracuda Web Filter) 9.1 provides new features that directly benefit our K-12 customers:
Google Apps for Education: You can now create permissions to allow users to access school-sponsored Google applications, while blocking access to personal Google accounts. This means that students will be able to access school Gmail and use school Google Docs, but not access personal Gmail or upload school data to personal Google Drive. This gives schools more control and visibility into what documents are transferred between the user and the Google Docs services.
Web Categorization Service (WCS): We’ve improved upon the older category database significantly with this latest release. Now, the Web Categorization Service is on by default. WCS locally caches the top two million sites requested on that day and categorizes sites that in the past went uncategorized. This saves your system administrators time, and improves the safety of your network.
The survey also shows that cloud-based services are becoming increasingly important to K-12 schools, both in terms of school management and student learning. Eighty percent of the survey respondents indicated they are using cloud services for some IT function. Of these functions, productivity tools and learning management systems are the clear favorites, with both categories increasing by double digits in the past year. With so many mission critical applications in the cloud, it’s important to have the ability to regulate traffic and manage bandwidth utilization. Schools are becoming increasingly dependent on SaaS applications for curriculum, online assessment, grading, and more. Internet connectivity and bandwidth management are critical for these institutions.
Barracuda offers award-winning solutions that can help K-12 organizations overcome these obstacles. The Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series is purpose-built to help your organization adopt cloud-based business applications and improve user productivity across highly-distributed networks. The Barracuda Web Security Gateway filters content, malware, social media, and rogue app threats. You can learn more about these solutions in action by downloading this case study (pdf) and viewing this free webinar.