Identifying trending and viral content in School Manager

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This article is for school leadership and wellbeing staff with Reporting / Pastoral Care Administrator user access.

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:

the 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

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 a similar time frame in the past. For example, if you select:

  • “Today” as the date range, School Manager will compare the data for today to yesterday's data. If you choose
  • “Yesterday” as the date range, the data from yesterday will be compared to the day before. The past 30 days as the date range, the data for the past 30 days will be compared to the data from the previous 31 to 60 days.

The content that shows the largest percentage increase in access between the two periods will be trending.

Use the Dashboard to find what’s trending at your school

The School Manager dashboard (Statistics > Dashboard) lets you see the top currently trending content at your school. The Trending widget lets you switch between viewing trending Apps, Videos, and Searches, for a date range you select using the date selector in the top navigation bar.


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. Keep in mind that the usage during home hours may not necessarily have been generated by the user or student. It is possible that a sibling, parent or other household member may have created the activity.

Trending Apps

The Trending Apps feature showcases the websites and applications that are most popular among users within your selected time frame. Typically these popular apps or websites align with what students are using to do schoolwork. Occasionally technical information, like Windows or macOS updates, may appear in the Trending Apps list.


Stay on top of the latest developments by regularly checking the Trending Apps for new content and ensuring it aligns with your school’s policies.

Next, select View All or go to Statistics > Apps and Websites to see a comprehensive list of all applications and websites accessed by your users during your chosen time period. You can use the date selector in the top navigation bar to compare one time period with another to detect online usage patterns within your school. You can sort your results in ascending or descending order based on Category, Application or Website, or data transferred.

Trending Videos

The Trending Videos feature displays the most popular YouTube videos for a specified time period. These videos tend to align with the subjects covered in the classroom curriculum set by your teacher.

Select View All or go to Cyber Safety > Videos to see a comprehensive list of all applications and websites accessed by your users during your chosen time period.

The Videos page in School Manager provides an overview of all the YouTube videos that have been accessed by users. 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 the most popular videos at your school and stay up-to-date 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.


It’s always a good idea to investigate videos that have a large number of views and users. If a video appears to be legitimate, scroll through the video via 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

The Trending Searches feature displays the most frequently searched keywords or phrases for a given time frame. Your IT support can enable School Manager to inspect 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 the searches your users made during your chosen time period.

The Searches page is a graphical representation using a “Word Cloud” or "Tag Cloud” of all search queries made by users using the search engines monitored by School Manager (typically Google, Bing and YouTube). Every time a user performs a search through a monitored search engine, School Manager records the details of that search. By comparing the frequency of search queries, you can observe the most common searches. 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.


Select a date range and remove preselect filter tags to gauge both good and bad searches at your school.

Finding Trending Policy Violations

The School Manager blocked reports (Cyber Safety > Blocked) lets you see a record of blocked access attempts, as well as 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.

Blocked Users

The Blocked Users (Cyber Safety > Blocked > Users) page provides a list of users who have made unsuccessful attempts to connect to applications and websites that are blocked by School Manager. The list is arranged in descending order, based on the number of blocked attempts. By examining this list, you can identify new usernames and users with a high number of 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.

Blocked Apps

The Blocked Apps page (Cyber Safety > Blocked > Apps) allows you to 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.

Blocked Policies

The Policies page (Cyber Safety > Blocked > Policies) provides an overview of the specific applications or websites that have been 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. Please contact your IT Support to help create and schedule the sending of an Advanced Search report by email.

You can thoroughly examine user connection activity by using scheduled Advanced Search reports. This tool enables comprehensive analysis of popular and viral activity that School Manager has previously identified. Contact your IT Support to help you configure and schedule Advanced Search reports to your email.

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