Jeffrey HatcherTechnical DirectorMiller County, Colquitt, Georgiahttp://www.miller.k12.ga.us/
The Miller County School District consists of three schools on two campuses with grades from pre-school to K12. The district has 93 full time teachers and over 1,197 students, who access the internet via a high speed network. Miller County Board of Education (MCBOE) is committed to providing students with an exemplary education within a safe, caring environment - Technology Director Jeffrey Hatcher is responsible for the district's network infrastucture.
Jeffrey was finding the County's existing filtering solution difficult to use and maintain. Reports were taking an average of 4 hours to prepare with minimal support available (normal working hours only). With his time stretched, Jeffrey needed an alternative, easy to use solution that would allow him to quickly access and interpret the reports he needed. Cost was also a critical factor, since the County relies heavily on funding for its technology needs.
Evaluating Guardian, Jeffrey was pleased to discover that it's intelligent, feature-rich functionality could provide much more flexible content filtering and dramatically better reporting, ensuring full compliance with CIPA and other Federal and State e-safety laws. Installing and configuring the new solution also proved to be a quick and painless process, and a cost effective price sealed the deal.
Jeffrey says Guardian's reporting and real-time monitoring functionality has allowed Miller County's technology team to respond much faster to incidents, and use their limited resources more effectively. The ability to fine-tune filtering policies has also helped to reduce administration, (saving valuable time) and aid teaching, by blocking inappropriate content, without restricting access to legitimate, learning-based online resources.
Due to the current economic climate, all departments are reducing costs. It was essential that we continue to provide the best available safety for our web users while continuing to reduce expenditures
In working with students, my department has to be vigilant in order to ensure compliance with various Federal and State requirements. Smoothwall provided the best functionality for the limited funds that we have. For much less money, we were able to replace our previous vendor while gaining some additional features
By using the Smoothwall package, I have been able to quickly respond to filtering issues, checking performance in real time and adjusting policies accordingly. Guardian has helped us to determine what resources are being used and how often. It also helps to identify sites that are particularly useful as well as identifying potential time-wasters. This allows us to use our limited resources in a way that best promotes instruction in the classroom.
Implementation has been very easy. Most functions were as simple as click and save to enable.
Tech support has also been excellent - both Smoothwall and BorderLAN have been very responsive and available during the hours I needed, not just 8-5. Often, a company is excited to talk to you before the sale but becomes difficult to talk to after a PO has been issued. This has definitely not been the case for us. I am proud to say that Deena and Tommy have both been available, even on weekends
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