The M86 VuSafe Website, announced today at FETC, will be offered as a free service to the K-12 education market in April 2011 and is currently taking a limited number of additional beta users.
Every day, educators struggle between making use of the rich content and cost-effectiveness of online videos found on sites such as YouTube, while shielding students from distracting and potentially inappropriate content such as negative comments, related links and banner ads. M86 VuSafe provides a means to show pre-approved streaming media content without the peripherals (i.e. banner ads, comments, etc.) found on the source sites. It also limits exposure to Internet threats often found in links, banner ads and other content that accompany videos on 3rd party sites.
Additionally, the service simplifies regulatory and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) compliance through built-in policies for video submission, approval and viewing. Reporting capabilities help with proof of CIPA compliance for E-rate discounts.
"Our teachers are increasingly using more online videos on YouTube as tools in their classrooms, but there is apprehension because of possible inappropriate comments that may pop-up as the videos are being viewed by students," said Ralph Osmolinski, Technology Director, Conemaugh Township Area School District. "M86 Security's VuSafe allows teachers to preview YouTube videos, organize, and store those videos for their classes for safe viewing. It is the perfect solution for schools to safely integrate videos into the classroom for teaching purposes."
Industry and Legal Compliance
Through the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order that all eligible schools and libraries have affordable access to modern telecommunications and information services. The E-rate program was set up to provide discounts for such services. Schools that plan on receiving E-rate discounts on Internet access need to be in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
CIPA-compliant schools must filter their Internet services and implement formal Internet Safety Policies, also known as Acceptable Use Policies. Schools and districts struggle to manage and balance the use of streaming media content on the Internet for educational purposes and to remain CIPA compliant.
M86 VuSafe allows teachers and administrators to give students safe access to pre-approved videos while stripping away the potentially dangerous and inappropriate peripheral content.
Budget and Total Cost of Ownership
With increasing budget constraints and growing classroom sizes, the total cost of a solution, as well as the time and resources it takes to manage it, are of pressing concern to schools and districts. The VuSafe offering is not only free of charge to all K-12 institutions in the U.S., but also facilitates management and sharing of content libraries. Organization and search features also mean repositories can be created, categorized and accessed in numerous ways (i.e. by student age, grade-level, subject, teacher, key words, etc.). Additionally, VuSafe supports virtually any streaming media content.
"Our education customers tell us that with the continuous growth of Internet threats, the biggest struggle they face on a daily basis is whether to block valuable video resources to be security compliant or allow access to educational videos to enhance the learning experience," said William Kilmer, chief marketing officer, M86 Security. "They want to be able to securely share video content within their environments and manage that experience for their users, particularly in the education market,"