New Internet Management Solution NetRef Helps Schools Maximize Technology as Teaching Tool
Home version to roll out in spring 2015 from new EdTech spin-out Verite Educational Systems
Dulles, Va., Aug. 19, 2014 — Teachers and administrators can ring in the school year with a new solution for managing Internet access with NetRef, the first-ever educational security system that safeguards all Internet access points. Offering umbrella protection across a school’s networks and on all imported devices, the intuitive, multi-platform software empowers teachers to set the boundaries kids need to teach the next generation of digital citizens.
Easy to use and integrate, NetRef adds value by helping educators reduce distractions and maximize technology as a teaching tool, with multi-tiered oversight functionality across the school, in the classroom, and by student. NetRef operates with all web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It also operates with iOS, Android, ChromeBook and Windows-tablets, along with their respective apps.
“When searching for a solution to keep my children safe online, I was dismayed to discover that schools and parents did not have access to Internet security systems anywhere near the level of quality and sophistication of those designed for my clients,” said George Dotterer, CEO and cofounder of Verite Educational Systems Inc., a spin-out of Verite Group Inc., which for over a decade has provided Subject Matter Expert (SME) services and tailored technology solutions to large corporations and government clients. “NetRef simplifies technology management for schools overwhelmed by previous market offerings that are complicated, fragmented and only play catch-up with the deluge of online risks.”
Dotterer helped design NetRef with a group of long-time colleagues who, like him, are experienced technologists and parents concerned for child Internet safety. They came together to extend their passion and know-how to schools through Verite Educational Systems, which will shepherd new and disruptive Internet management tools to the education technology market. “To design highly secure systems, we need to stay abreast of looming threats so we can fortify
against them,” explained Dotterer. “The average school administrator, teacher or parent shouldn’t need a PhD in IT to protect their children from the dangers and distractions of the Internet. We’ll have that covered.”
NetRef had a successful beta roll-out at a large high school in the Washington, D.C. metro region earlier this year. The Verite Educational Systems team collaborated closely with teachers, administrators and IT leaders to incorporate user feedback into the product to fine
tune and enhance NetRef’s functionality.
More than 2,000 teachers, school administrators and IT specialists asked to preview the new technology during a “sneak peek” presentation at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) annual conference in June. NetRef generated quite a buzz for its ability to -2- maximize the web as an educational and collaborative learning tool. Teachers were excited by NetRef’s intuitive teacher’s panel that alerts them when individual students are off task and lets them easily block students from errant web browsing and wandering to off-topic apps.
Administrators appreciated NetRef’s ability to boost the value of their school’s IT investment by seamlessly integrating all systems, hardware and devices—from 1:1 to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments—and by producing daily and monthly reports that detail how the Internet is being deployed by pupil, classroom, grade and school. IT Directors valued NetRef’s robust Internet security solution and plug-and-play design and that it is device agnostic.
NetRef plans to launch the beta home version later this fall, with a product roll-out slated for Spring 2015. The home version will extend the value of NetRef, linking school to home and allowing parents to help kids manage their time online and be safe, whether they are at home or on the go.
NetRef was developed to help schools address a variety of issues, including the rise of Internet exposure in early childhood, increased utilization of technology in K-12 education, and raising the next generation of digital citizens.