Gaggle Speaks

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

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Written by Paget Hetherington
on April 8, 2019

Following a switch to a 1:1 technology initiative, Huntley Community School District 158 in Algonquin, IL needed a solution to monitor students’ activity. The district implemented Gaggle to gain full visibility over students’ email and Google Drive activity, allowing them to react quickly and seamlessly to any situations that put students at risk.

The district, which encompasses nearly 10,000 students, has been using Gaggle since the 2016–17 school year. “Gaggle really helps with the 1:1 device usage management,” says Chief Technology Officer Dr. Chris Budzynski, “and especially in light of the fact that we’re sending devices home with such young students.”

Knowing students could communicate 24/7 on school-issued devices, the district wanted to ensure it wasn’t putting them in harm’s way. “These devices are capable of doing so much more than what we're even using them for,” says Budzynski. “We just were uncomfortable with what could be potentially happening.”

Huntley has yet to find itself in the position of having to intervene in a serious case involving a student email. However, there have been instances where students have plugged their personal phones into their Chromebooks, only to have that device download and store the phone’s content. “It’s usually a lot of selfies, but we’re alerted if Gaggle flags them as inappropriate,” says Budzynski.

To manage these alerts, Huntley routes minor infractions to the appropriate administrator. Situations that would be considered potentially dangerous are distributed to a team of both district and building staff members. “If we can put a speed bump in the way of a student who is doing something inappropriate online,” said Budzynski, “then that puts our students in a much better, safer position overall.”

Read our full case study to learn more about how the district uses Gaggle to keep its student safe.

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