Protecting Kids at School With Free On-line Software

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Recently we told you how difficult it is for many law enforcement agencies to focus attention on on-line predators. Now, one company is trying to help you and schools keep your kids safe.

Educators say, now-a-days, kids are very computer savvy and parents need to know what they are doing and who they are talking to on-line.

Ken Shallcross, Director of Media and Public Relations with Pandora Corporation says "parents are the first and last line of defense but right behind them and standing next to them is our teachers."

Kids in schools like Chippewa Falls High School have easy access to computers and Principal Jim Sauter says educators need to keep tabs on the kids.

"It’s very, very important that we have the ability to monitor activity on computers here" Jim says.

And a company called Pandora Corporation is hoping its program PC Pandora will help educators do just that.

Shallcross says "it works like a TiVo or D.V.R. for your computer. It basically records everything."

And knowing schools are on tight budgets, the company is offering the program to school districts for free.

"And we basically give as much as the school needs or wants up to $100,000.00 worth of software" says Shallcross.

The program records all on screen activity from the web pages the kids go to, emails they send and even captures instant messaging. The program saves thumbnail images for parents and administrators to look back on at a later time.

Shallcross says "knowing that it's there really kind of gives them good peace of mind."

Sauter says Chi-Hi already uses a similar system to monitor and prevent inappropriate on-line activity, saving librarians a lot of time.

"Before we had our filtering we had to go around. We spent half of our day watching what was going on on all the computers" says Chippewa Falls High School Librarian Debra Peterson.
But, with software in place, Sauter says students now know what to expect. "I think that it's more of a, the educational aspect as far as having students gain a better understanding of what some of the dangers or pitfalls are out there."

Pandora Corporation has helped two Wisconsin school districts get computer monitoring software and hopes to help even more districts nation wide. For more information follow this link to the PC Pandora website.

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