Plenty of technology coordinators start a new job reviewing the products and solutions they inherited from their predecessors. Kaycie Sullivan was no different when she arrived at Junction Independent School District (ISD), a small Texas school system that was preparing to move from the Gaggle Safe Learning Management System (LMS) to G Suite for Education.
“Gaggle was so helpful transferring everything over to Google,” she recalled. “After working with Gaggle’s engineers and customer service, I knew right away that I wanted to implement both Google and Gaggle.”
Soon after transitioning student email accounts, Kaycie attended the TCEA Convention & Exposition where she learned that Junction ISD could apply the same safety controls in Gmail to students’ Google Drive accounts. “We had caught so much that happens in student email whether it was bullying, horrible images or other content. Similar notifications now come for student activity in Google Drive.”
Junction ISD uses Gaggle Safety Management on the G Suite for Education accounts of all students. Kaycie serves as the district’s primary Emergency Contact and stays in close communication with building principals and her superintendent.
One specific incident Gaggle helped uncover involved a student who wrote about “cutting” in a journal. After receiving a notification from a Gaggle Safety Representative, a counselor was able to provide the student with the help she needed. Kaycie also recalled an incident that involved a high school student who was sending pornography to another student. By combining machine learning technology with trained safety experts, Gaggle analyzes and reviews content, including images found in online file storage, email, attachments and links to websites.
The school district is now rolling out Chromebooks for all students. Kaycie believes that Gaggle fits perfectly into Junction ISD’s 1:1 initiative. “We use other products, like GoGuardian and Securly, to help keep our students safe and secure,” she said. “Those products can’t touch what Gaggle does when it comes to what’s on the Chromebooks and in email and Google Drive.”
Lastly, while G Suite provides administrators with built-in compliance rules, including the ability to quarantine messages that give administrators an option to receive notifications hourly for content using problematic keywords, Kaycie knows that isn’t enough to ensure her students’ safety. “These incidents with our students can happen so fast,” she said. “Gaggle has taken that responsibility away from us, gave me that time back, and I know that trained professionals are helping protect our students online.”