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Member Story: West Warwick K-12 Ensuring Safe Tech
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Taking Moonshots: West Warwick Public Schools Enhances the Educational Experience of K-12 Students by Ensuring Safe Technology Access for All

Today’s K-12 classrooms are a rapidly changing environment as students and teachers are constantly interfacing with learning tools in new ways. No longer is course material conducted solely on a blackboard and paper; instead, technology tools such as Google Chromebooks and high-speed fiber networks are often the new conveyances of lesson plans and homework. To help further the educational experiences of it students, all K-12 students receive a Google Chromebook from West Warwick Public Schools. The OSHEAN network has played an important role in shepherding through this technology evolution, while also keeping students safe on these new frontiers of education.

Jim Monti, director of educational reform, compliance & technology for West Warwick Public Schools, thoroughly understands how important this shift is. He witnesses its impact every day, with students that are more engaged and excited to take their education home with them. Monti is also aware of the potential for vulnerabilities, be it from malware or other nefarious tools that could interrupt the students’ experience at home. That is why he has chosen to rely on OSHEAN’s iBoss APT solution, or the Advanced Persistent Threat module, to take a proactive approach in monitoring for malware on West Warwick Public Schools’ networks and on student Chromebooks.

iBoss enables OSHEAN to deliver advanced Web security to its members with flexible and granular controls. OSHEAN’s iBoss APT solution scans traffic for suspicious activity without introducing latency, and alerts technology staff if suspected malware activity is observed.  This allows the school district to effectively identify and mitigate the spread of a malware infestation before it becomes a widespread problem.

“We want to keep the kids in a safe space that allows them to accomplish what they need to,” said Monti. “What’s great about iBoss is that the students really see it as an extension of what they use in the classroom every day. It’s a very seamless transition from school to home and back to school.”

Beyond OSHEAN’s commitment to providing resources that keep students safe and provide a productive learning environment, West Warwick’s Monti also points to the organization’s role in extending the school district’s fiber footprint. This project will include not only the schools in the district, but also feature the incorporation of laterals out to the city’s underprivileged neighborhoods, with the eventual goal of adding Wi-Fi connectivity. Monti notes that this level of commitment to the student population would be difficult to find with other service providers, and it helps ensure that learning at home isn’t stymied by a slow or non-existent internet connection.

Most importantly, Monti cites OSHEAN’s ability to tackle the district’s day-to-day IT affairs as essential to having the ability to focus on loftier, more far-reaching goals like the expanded fiber footprint.

“You can never have moonshot thinking if you’re always caught up in the weeds,” he said. “And OSHEAN takes care of the weeds for us.”

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