Network for Digital Citizenship, Student Privacy and Safety for K-12 and Primary/Secondary School Districts

Digital and mobile technology have opened up innovative new styles of teaching by providing access to worldwide content sources. But this access also brings new risks related to unsafe content, bullying, and threats to privacy. State and federal governments have legislated requirements to protect student safety and privacy. Through digital citizenship curricula school districts can teach students how to navigate the Internet safely and responsibly. The ability to grant students increasing digital freedom as they demonstrate good digital citizenship is an important educational tool. School districts need to monitor network and application behavior in order to track compliance to legislative requirements. This combination of network monitoring and control enables schools to provide the ideal educational environment that maximizes student learning success.

Critical Technology Issues in Implementing Digital Citizenship, Student Privacy, and Safety


Connecting mobile and wired devices to digital learning content located within the district or on the Web is critical to the personalized student learning environment. The content ranges from text to high definition video, and the network must have the bandwidth to deliver all of it. To operate smoothly, there can be no bottlenecks from the Wi-Fi access points, back through the wired switches, and all the way to the broadband Internet connection and the data center. These connections must be highly available or fault tolerant to achieve uninterrupted learning.


As students progress through the Digital Citizenship curriculum, they gain additional access privileges. The network management system must be capable of selectively granting these rights. Typically, the range of privileges includes access to certain sites and apps like social media from designated locations and during designated times. The best way to implement this is with a defined policy as to which devices, users, and apps can access the network resources from defined locations at specified times of day. This policy needs to be implemented consistently across the network. Schools under US federal funding are required to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These regulations require schools to implement measures necessary to protect children from harmful content and to guarantee the privacy of student and parent records


To protect student safety and guard against cyberbullying, access to remote web sites and content must be carefully managed. This can be done by restricting certain web addresses and by examining the application signature or fingerprints. Web filters and firewalls are capable of providing this protection. To simplify the overall management of the access policies across devices, the filters and firewalls should be integrated with the network management system, so they can be controlled through a single pane of glass.


Visibility into student activities on the network is needed to verify that students are not exposed to risky sites nor running inappropriate applications. It is important to view traffic within the network as well as traffic to and from the Internet.


Access to a global technical access center (GTAC) on a 24×7 basis ensures that all support questions can be answered promptly to keep the network functioning at all times. Prior to installation, it is important to survey and assess the RF characteristics of the site to determine optimal placement of access points and switches. Depending on the network support resources available within the district, network training and managed services may be required.

The solution described below provides the network infrastructure to complement districts’ digital citizenship curricula. It delivers the Wi-Fi connectivity necessary for mobile devices and offers a means of monitoring application usage and web site visits. As students complete the digital citizenship curriculum, they can be permitted to visit designated sites at appropriate times during the school day.

Extreme Networks is the only company in the industry that takes an architectural approach to bringing products to market from R&D to product release. As a result, all of our network products from wireless to wired are managed by a single Extreme Control Center network management screen for easy management by constrained K-12 IT teams. Our open, standards-based, and comprehensive SDN enables simple integration with third party technology such as web filters and firewalls. Extreme Networks has over 1,400 district customers spanning more than 17,000 schools nationwide, delivering the best educationally-focused networking solutions in the industry.

To learn more visit: Extreme Networks K-12 and Primary/Secondary Education Solution Center

Required CapabilitiesRecommended SolutionHow We Do It Better
High Density, Pervasive Wi-Fi ConnectivityAP3805 802.11ac Access Points (2x2:2)
• AP Licenses, Radar Licenses
• 2x V2110 Virtualized Controller for High Availability (for up to 1050 APs)
• Highly scalable, seamless and secure mobile Wi-Fi connectivity
Wired Edge and BackhaulExtremeSwitching X460-G2• High performance wired backhaul, cross-platform stacking, embedded application controls, PoE+
Control and Monitoring of Network and All Devices, Guest AccessExtreme Control Center
Extreme Identity and Access Control
• Consistent device policy based on over 40 attributes centrally implemented, enforced end-to-end
• Simple device onboarding, 100% fidelity of all IP assets
• Internet filter and firewall integration, MDM integration
Web filtering
Palo Alto Networks
LightSpeed or iBoss
AirWatch, or MobileIron
• Can be integrated with Extreme Control Center and Extreme Identity and Access Control for single pane of glass complete network policy management
Application Usage Visibility and InsightExtreme Application Analytics• Constant visibility and reporting on applications and websites being accessed
Services and SupportMaintenance
Professional Services
• Extreme Networks’ Global Technical
• Support Center (GTAC) provides technical support
• 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; and our Networks SupportNet offerings let you choose the exact level of service ideal for your organization

Download the Solution Brief