With a little help from us, London Grid for Learning has exposed over 1 million students in the UK to everything the Internet has to offer. Well… maybe not ‘everything’.
Back in the day, if kids had a question about, say, the ‘birds and the bees’, their best chances of getting an answer would be to ask other kids on the school playground. And let’s be honest, their sources would be questionable at best. Now, children of any age can type virtually anything into a search engine, which can leave them exposed to online bullying, fraud, phishing, hacking, adult images and extremism.
SO HOW DO WE PROTECT STUDENTS FROM THE UNMENTIONABLES THAT LURK ON THE WEB?
One solution would be to revert to the dark ages of education, circa 1990, and stick to chalk and board. But we’re all agreed that’s a slight over-reaction.
Enter London Grid for Learning (LGfL). It’s a non-profit organisation and charitable trust that was established in 2001 to offer cost-effective ICT to schools across the capital.
Keeping children safe when they’re online has always been the number one priority for LGfL. So in 2011, when Virgin Media Business took over the contract to provide broadband to the 2,500 schools under LGfL’s purview, security was baked into
Our solution was a high-speed, dedicated and secure PSN-compliant network, currently connecting up to 3,000 unique locations, over a million students and all 33 London
There’s also virus and spam blocking, education-aware web-filtering, integrated authentication and confidentiality. That means teachers have the ability to not only regulate
what students search online, but what they can log into, who they interact with, and how much of their personal information is shared.
CENSORSHIP IT ISN’T. A SAFE ENVIRONMENT WHERE STUDENTS WON’T WANDER TOO FAR FROM THE CURRICULUM – IT IS.
LGfL now has the freedom and flexibility to offer schools the latest educational innovations, enabling full use of interactive whiteboards, VoIP conferencing and homework via the Cloud.
It’s enough to get even the most jaded teenager inspired and excited. The service also includes email for staff and students, file sharing, podcasting, secure cloud storage, web hosting and more.
Brian Durrant, Chief Executive at LGfL, states that there are “over 100 resource libraries available to pupils, such as the History of Computing and a searchable collection of over
60,000 professionally recorded music tracks – all of which can be accessed at the click of a button.”
BUT ALL THIS STATE OF THE ART TECH COMES WITH A PROHIBITIVE PRICE TAG, RIGHT?
All evidence to the contrary. LGfL is saving millions of pounds each year by combining the purchasing power of 2,500 schools. A classic case of ‘more for less’ in a time of austerity.
The expectations of everyone are being exceeded. “There’s never been a more important time to use London schools’ collective buying power to secure the best value services,” says Brian.
All of this has led to a natural development. LGfL and Virgin Media Business have created and refined a comprehensive solution for schools, which is now available to schools nationwide. Under the banner of TRUSTnet – a service also delivered in partnership with Atomwide – LGfL has recently reached its 100th out of London school and has no plans of
“TRUSTnet,” adds Brian, “creates the potential for the impact of LGfL’s services to be felt in classrooms across the nation, not only in the services it delivers now, but by supporting innovation in schools’ ICT and attainment for learners for years to come.”
The fact is 97% of London schools are happy with the service provided by LGfL and supported by Virgin Media Business, so why stop there? If more schools want to join, all we can say is: “welcome aboard”.