The requirements in education are very different to other businesses and you need to ensure that school systems not only meet compliance but will fit the individual needs of your school. Schools will vary in technical equipment and staffing levels and so there is no one size fits all. Required deployment methods can vary depending on your set-up.
What are the risks of using product vendors?
A likely pitfall of using a product vendor is a lack of experience in creating an overall digital safety culture for a school. They are unlikely to be specialists in education and may advise without a full understanding of school needs. They also are unlikely to be able to advise on the crucial element of training and teaching staff and students in digital safety.
Problems may occur when creating a digital safety culture in your school as product vendors may consider isolated solutions, rather than an overall strategy. Individual products will not be designed to work together and could have an impact on your school network operation.
By buying from a product vendor, you will also run the risk of paying a higher price for the same components. By buying products separately you are unlikely to obtain the same discounts as you might be able to access by combining all elements in one solution.
You may also find that when you discover problems in your online solution, you are faced with ringing several help desks to try and ascertain which safety solution is failing or conflicting. The different help centres may not be able to give you a solution as to how to make the individual components to work together.
The benefits of using a digital safety partner to create a strong digital safety culture in schools
Building a digital safety culture in your school through a digital safety partner will ensure that your solution is comprehensive and streamlined. A digital safety partner will understand the safety compliance that needs to be met by schools and also understand how safety strategies have worked in similar schools. They will also understand the needs of all stakeholders
A digital safety partner will be able to consider a range of solutions and create the best match for your school. Some digital safety partners will use advisory boards of school experts and hold regular customer user conferences to understand and exchange best practice.
A digital safety partner will be able to support you through the implementation process and will be able to advise you on training and resources available to implement an effective digital safety education programme.
Creating a digital safety culture in schools
Planning to create a strong digital safety culture in your school may initially seem daunting but it can be made simple by using a digital safety partner. Their specialist knowledge can look at your IT infrastructure and create a combined solution that is right for you.
To discover more about how to create a strong digital safety culture in your school, see How to build a digital safety culture for the whole school community.
If you have any questions about any aspect of online safety in your school, get in touch with the Smoothwall team today. We’d be delighted to help.