This article is for school leadership and well-being staff with Reporting / Pastoral Care Administrator user access.
Your school’s IT Support must enable inspection to see Trending content in School Manager. If you do not see any trending information, please contact your school’s IT Support.
As a student health and wellbeing advocate and guide, you want to stay on top of what’s happening in your school’s online community. That’s why School Manager has several features designed to help you quickly identify trending and viral internet activity: Dashboard, Statistics, Cyber Safety and Advanced Search tools. These combine to provide you with a comprehensive view of what’s going on in your school’s online environment, enabling you to take appropriate action to keep your students safe and their learning on track.
Trending Videos, Searches and Apps
The Trending section on your School Manager Dashboard (Statistics > Dashboard) shows which Apps, Videos, and Search terms have been trending over the last seven days. If you want to view a different time period, choose between the Apps, Videos, and Searches view, then click View All.
Img 1: The Trending section of the Statistics Dashboard in School Manager
Trending Apps showcases the websites and applications that were most popular among users over the last seven days. Typically these popular apps or websites align with what students use to do schoolwork. Technical information, like Windows or macOS updates, may occasionally appear in the Trending Apps list.
You can select View All on the Trending Apps section or go to Statistics > Apps and Websites to see a comprehensive list of all applications and websites accessed by your users during a chosen time period. You can use the date selector in the top navigation bar to view different periods to find usage patterns within your school. You can sort your results in ascending or descending order based on Category, Application, Website, or data transferred.
Trending Videos displays your users' most popular YouTube videos for the last seven days. You can use this view to check if students watch educational and curriculum-focused videos or other, less relevant content.
Select View All or go to Cyber Safety > Videos to go to the Videos page.
Img 3: Apps and Websites dashboard inside School Manager
The Videos page in School Manager provides an overview of all the YouTube videos users have accessed over your chosen time period. The videos can be sorted based on the Views and Users columns, with options to display the results in ascending or descending order. You can change the time period in the data selector to compare current and past trending videos.
Sort by View
This shows the total number of times the video was viewed by users at your school during your selected time period. Sorting by View is the best way to spot your school's most popular videos and stay current on current trends.
Sort by User
This shows the total number of unique users at your school who watched the video during your selected time period. Sorting by User is a good way to identify videos that have gone viral, especially in that have gone viral among their peers. Look for videos that have a close ratio of users to views.
Investigating videos with many views and users is always a good idea. You can use the Video Details page to check for any offensive or inappropriate material that may have been spliced into the video.
Alternatively, the Videos page can highlight positive student behavior and the effective use of learning platforms that your school may have invested in.
Trending Searches displays the most frequently searched keywords or phrases over the last seven days. Your IT support can configure School Manager to show users’ searches across multiple search engines and websites, including Google, Bing, and YouTube.
Select View All or go to Cyber Safety > Searches to see more about your users' searches during your chosen time.
Img 4: Searches page in School Manager
The Searches page is a graphical representation using a “Word Cloud” or "Tag Cloud” of all user search queries. You can use filter tags to show searches relevant to school or not. You can observe the most common searches by comparing the frequency of search queries. By examining changes in search queries over different time periods, you can identify new and trending content that is being searched for within your school.
How does School Manager know what’s trending?
To determine what is trending, School Manager compares how much each piece of content was accessed in the selected time period to how much it was accessed during the past 7 days. The content that shows the most significant percentage increase in access between the two periods will be trending.
If your school uses School Manager in 24/7 mode, the trending reports will include use outside of school hours. School-managed devices report all device usage. Remember that the usage during home hours may not necessarily have been generated by the user or student. A sibling, parent, or other household member may have created the activity.
Finding Trending Policy Violations
School Manager blocked reports (Cyber Safety > Blocked) lets you see a record of blocked access attempts and attempts to avoid filtering policies at your school. You can switch between viewing Users, Apps, and Policies for a date range you select using the date selector in the top navigation bar.
The Blocked Users (Cyber Safety > Blocked > Users) page lists users who have made unsuccessful attempts to connect to applications and websites that School Manager blocks. The list is arranged in descending order based on the number of blocked attempts. By examining this list, you can identify users with many blocked attempts, indicating their potential interest in accessing new viral content that is blocked at your school.
Promote Device Hygiene - Encourage students to close any open internet browser tabs before connecting to your school network. This can help prevent School Manager from registering blocked access attempts for content the student had access outside of school. Monitor the online behavior of top users to detect any installed software or malware that could generate a high number of “hits”, indicating potential risks.
The Blocked Apps page (Cyber Safety > Blocked > Apps) lets you view the applications or websites that School Manager has stopped users from accessing. The list is organized in descending order, showing the most frequently blocked apps or sites based on the number of hits. Regularly inspecting this list can help you identify users attempting to access new viral applications or websites at your school.
You can also use the Blocked Apps tool to check if an educational resource is being blocked by mistake.
The Policies page (Cyber Safety > Blocked > Policies) overviews the specific applications or websites blocked by your School Manager policy set. The list is organized in descending order, based on the number of hits, indicating how frequently access to certain content has been blocked. Regularly reviewing this list can help identify instances where groups of users are attempting to access popular or trending content at your school.
Selecting a Policy allows you to access a detailed list of users who have attempted to access the blocked content under that particular policy.
Identify frequent VPN and hot-spotting users and compare with the Statistics > Active Users list to locate users with low network activity. There is usually a strong connection between high VPN/ hot-spotting use and low network usage.
Using Advanced Search to Monitor Trends
Access to Advanced Search is restricted to users with Owner / Global Administrator or Filtering/Reporting Administrator permissions. This tool enables comprehensive analysis of viral activity that School Manager has previously identified. Contact your School IT Support to help you configure and schedule Advanced Search reports to your email.