“For a long time, Huntley has been a destination district,” explains Chris Budzynski, Huntley School District 158’s Chief Technology Officer. That’s because parents moving into the district know that Huntley leaders are always looking toward the future when considering new teaching strategies and tools that benefit students. For example, the district first adopted Google Workspace for Education in 2013, and for many years had one of the state’s largest 1:1 deployment of Chromebooks across all K-12 grades.
“We let students take their Chromebooks home—even over the summer,” Budzynski says. “If we want students to be lifelong, curious learners, then they have to have the tools on hand to satisfy that curiosity.”
But with nearly 10,000 devices and accompanying Google Workspace for Education accounts to manage, Budzynski and his CTO team of nine people worried about monitoring devices and app activity in a way that would keep the school community safe and secure.
“One of our main frustrations was dealing with a patchwork of third-party auditing tools to help us stay on top of security,” says Budzynski. Those tools were slow in delivering alerts about security issues, such as inappropriate content being shared in places like Google Drive or Google Docs. It could take as long as 24 hours for alerts to pop up in these third-party tools.
“That’s too long to wait,” Budzynski says. To take action on the discovery of inappropriate content—like something as simple as a student inadvertently sending sensitive internal document to contacts outside the district—Budzynski needs to move quickly, perhaps by reaching out to students or changing a file’s access permissions. But the 24-hour delay hindered his ability to act with speed.
Budzynski’s team also faced challenges managing such a large fleet of devices. “It’s a huge task to keep up with updates and changes to all the systems, each of which has hundreds of settings,” says Budzynski. “Sometimes we don’t always keep up as quickly as we’d like.”