A new way to view your school’s browsing data
N4L’s Reporting app is a simple way for schools and kura to view their browsing data, helping support online safety education and pastoral care.
How can it help my school?
We’ve worked with schools to co-design the app, ensuring we provide a valuable tool that showcases the data most important to school leaders – which can help facilitate positive conversations on digital citizenship with ākonga.
We understand there’s an ever expanding duty of care when it comes to keeping ākonga safe on and offline. Through talking with schools, we realised that lack of online visibility was a common concern.
N4L’s Reporting app allows you to:
See what websites and apps are being used in your school
Get an overview of your school’s web filtering
Request blocking and unblocking of websites and apps for your school
See what websites and categories users have tried to access but can’t due to your school’s security settings
Help support informed digital citizenship discussions.
How does it work?
The app shows traffic that runs over your school’s Managed Network internet connection. This includes showing if there have been attempts to access websites listed under any of N4L’s default categories that your school may block using our web filtering.
*Please note: The app displays information from the N4L Firewall. If your school is using an alternative, it may mean the data surfaced isn’t as rich as it could be – i.e. content that gets blocked on the alternative firewall might not appear in Reporting. Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more.
Can I see individual users in the Reporting app?
If your school has an identity aware network, then you have the capability to identify and manage individual students and staff online while they’re accessing the internet using the school’s Managed Network connection.
The journey to a safer online learning environment
Supporting good digital citizenship includes everyone agreeing with how you engage online. At a minimum, we recommend ensuring your school has online user agreements with your staff and ākonga. Netsafe has templated agreements specifically available to support schools.
While you’re there, why not take it one step further by diving into the Netsafe Schools programme for a more holistic school-wide approach to online safety.
Find out more here.
Safe and secure insights to support digital citizenship and online safety
Our aim is to provide educators (and ākonga) with actionable, advice and guidance.
We’re currently reaching out to educators, ākonga and organisations to develop educational resources that support this mission.
What information can the Reporting app access?
The Reporting app can access Managed Network traffic information, specifically the following;
- Usernames or email addresses (if your school has identity enabled)
- Device data e.g. device type, operating system
- Content data e.g. websites and apps users have accessed or attempted to access
- Security data e.g. infected devices and blocked attacks
- Web Filtering data e.g. what’s blocked or allowed on your network
What are Risk Categories?
To ensure online learning environments are as safe and secure as possible, N4L has identified default categories that we recommend blocking. In the app, we flag those as either “high risk” (red flag) or “medium risk” (orange flag). High risk categories include things that may jeopardise the safety of the individual such as Child Abuse, Discrimination and Pornography. Medium risk categories may contribute to security issues such as Phishing or Spam URLs.
We marked “Proxy Avoidance” (also known as VPN Avoidance) as a high risk category after hearing feedback from schools on the importance of highlighting students that are trying to download VPNs. This is because if someone successfully uses a VPN, they can bypass safety filters.
The categories that the school chooses to block (outside of the recommended categories) are marked as “low risk” (yellow flag).
I want to see the exact time a user tried to access blocked content or a certain website on the network.
The Reporting app gives you the ability to see information after 24 hours and provides daily summaries of usage data. We’ve released Browsing Activity as our timeline feature, which means you can now see what time (down to the minute) a user accessed, or attempted to access, a particular piece of content for up to seven days.
I want to see if students are using VPNs or personal hotspots to bypass the system.
N4L doesn’t currently have a solution that provides the ability to see if students are hotspotting. If an individual is using their own data or a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that isn’t currently blocked by the Managed Network, they will have the ability to bypass the Managed Network. This means that their online activity won’t show up in the Reporting app. The FortiGate actively blocks known VPNs (you can see this in the Proxy Avoidance category blocks) and if an individual tries to access a blocked VPN, the attempted access will show in the app.