Gaggle Speaks

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

Written by Paget Hetherington
on March 7, 2019

Students don’t always fully understand the impact of their digital footprint, so it’s vital that educators set boundaries—especially when dealing with school-issued devices. In a district where students are in a 1:1 environment, how can educators ensure that they are behaving appropriately online every moment of every day?

This was the challenge faced by Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) in La Quinta, CA, where all students from second through twelfth grades take their device home each night. With almost 29,000 students across the district’s schools, their setup—a team of three individuals monitoring student activity—was becoming unrealistic.

The district turned to Gaggle to implement their safety management platform, which features artificial intelligence (AI)-based screening capabilities to monitor student email and Google Drive accounts. Combined with human monitoring, the solution helps the district make quick—and sometimes lifesaving—decisions.

When students are acting inappropriately online, Gaggle sends out an email—a reminder to be more aware of what they are posting to the digital world. Gaggle also gives administrators a high-level view of districtwide activities, such as inappropriate behavior. “Gaggle gives us a very useful tool for creating the right climate and culture that we want to be able to help curb behavior,” says Chief Innovation and Information Officer Dr. Kelly May-Vollmar, Ed.D., “and not just respond to it when it happens.”

According to Dr. May-Vollmar, the Gaggle platform has also helped identify not one, but two troubled students. “We’ve had two instances where both the district administrators and the students’ families agree that two student lives have been saved. That's huge.” Read the case study to learn more about how DSUSD encourages appropriate online behavior across the district.

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