Gaggle: A Safe LMS for the K-12 Classroom
While many learning management systems struggle to fit the needs of K-12, one company—with a 15-year history in education—continues its mission to inspire creativity and ingenuity in today’s students.
Launched as safe student email in 1999, the Gaggle Safe Classroom LMS now includes blogs, calendars, class pages, digital file storage, discussion boards, text notifications and much more.
Watch: “Reeds Springs School District: Communicate, Collaborate and Stay Organized”
Gaggle has a unique focus on student safety. Gaggle Safety Management provides real-time content and image analysis through customizable blocked words and blocked domains listsas well as a proprietary Anti-Pornography Scanner. Everything inside the Safe Classroom LMS is filtered and monitored to assure schools are compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires technology measures to protect students against visual depictions that are obscene or pornographic.
Gaggle Safety Management also includes an expert team of Student Safety Representatives who review content for violations of schools’ Internet safety policies, which is also a requirement of CIPA. More serious questionable content, such as cyberbullying, mentions of drugs or alcohol or pornography, is forwarded to school or district emergency contacts. If the pornography appears to involve a student, it also gets reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline.
Lastly, Gaggle will alert designated district or school contacts, or even law enforcement, immediately for possible student situations, including self-harm, harm to others and harmful family situations.
Watch: “A Day in the Life of a Gaggle Teacher”
With the addition of “Workspaces” and a gradebook during summer 2015, teachers can easily create, assign, collect and score digital worksheets, such as assessments, assignments, tests and quizzes while tracking student performance.
Safety Management for Google Apps or Office 365
Schools can integrate the digital file storage inside the Gaggle Safe Classroom LMS with Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. When this occurs, schools receive the same Safety Management features for content and files stored there.
Gaggle also offers Safety Management to schools that use free products, such as Google Apps for Education or Office 365, but need a way to apply consistent, district-approved policies. School districts, like Mountain Brook School System in suburban Birmingham, AL, consider Gaggle Safety Management for Google Apps an invaluable resource for everyone involved in education, from teachers and administrators to students and parents.
“Everybody who’s had dealings with Gaggle thinks it’s awesome; from teachers and student services, all the way up to our superintendent,” says Donna Williamson, the district’s technology director. “Gaggle has helped our students become better digital citizens and better learners.”
The Google Apps for Education environment at Mountain Brook Schools receives enhanced CIPA compliance by applying Gaggle’s 24/7 monitoring and filtering.
Read the Case Study: “Mountain Brook School System: Much More Than Filtering and Monitoring Students”
Similarly, in districts like Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, every student who receives a Microsoft Office 365 email address has their inbox monitored and filtered, assuring the district meets important compliance provisions and fulfills safety expectations of administrators and parents.
Watch: “Gaggle Has Your Back”
Unity Partner Program
The Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. As a unified data integration point for any technology platform, Gaggle provides safe and secure account provisioning and single sign-on, resulting in reduced costs and fewer delays to overburdened school district technology resources.
Gaggle believes in integrating with all of the solutions that school districts use and want to use. “We should be making products that work with each other,” says Jeff Patterson, Gaggle’s founder and CEO. “It’s time for vendors to stop trying control everything. I believe we should be sharing the ball.”
Want to know more about how Gaggle helps keep students safe while increasing their engagement and embracing the benefits of safe social networking, head to Philadelphia for ISTE 2015 and stop by booth 1410 or visit gaggle.net.
This blog is part of the Learning Platforms Series brought to you by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more, stay tuned in for the final published project, Getting Smart on Next-Gen Learning Platforms and check out additional posts in the series:
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