Nemo Vista School District Share Their Experience of Smoothwall Signal
The Nemo Vista School District is a public school district based in Center Ridge, Arkansas. Sammie Beene heads up District Instructional Technology. In this Q+A Sammie explains what drew her school to threat detection technology in the first place and why Smoothwall Signal in particular.
Why did you decide to implement a threat detection technology solution?
Student safety is extremely important in our District. We know the risks we can see with our eyes and ears but a student at risk in his/her digital life is far more difficult to spot. It was an area we wanted to get on top of.
We trialed a threat detection solution last year, but it didn’t really fly. I wear multiple hats and get hundreds of emails every day and this just seemed to add to the noise and significantly increase the workload rather than provide new and authentic value. But we weren’t at all sure if there was a better way of doing things.
Then I received an email from Smoothwall. I knew from the information they shared It was a different way of working. Jason demo’d the capability and I could see really quickly that it was something we had to explore further.
How did you gain the support of your colleagues for threat detection technology to be used?
Smoothwall allowed us to deploy their technology for no cost for a few months. This allowed us to properly learn about human moderated threat prevention without any financial risk.
A key factor for us was not wanting our students under constant surveillance. That didn’t feel right. But that’s not how threat detection technology works. It only becomes active if a student types something that indicates they’re in danger or at risk or becoming vulnerable.
We don’t have to spend hours trawling through endless alerts to find the serious ones. Smoothwall do that for us. They email us only for serious alerts and if it’s a very serious alert, they phone us. In a busy working day that is exactly the kind of proactive support we needed.
Within days we were notified of incidents we would never have seen without it.
Then we received some level 5 alerts. One of which was so severe I can’t disclose it but it was enough for our Principal to fully commit to having this form of technology on a permanent basis.
We don’t have to spend hours trawling through endless alerts to find the serious ones. Smoothwall do that for us.