How to Simplify Digital Communication Archiving under Remote Learning

The classroom has moved into living rooms and kitchens of families across the US and collaborative technologies are being used more than ever. As educators move to an online setting, they are experiencing a substantial unanticipated increase in data usage.

Many k-12 Systems Admins are looking to streamline and simplify their Digital Communications Archiving as efforts are needed elsewhere, and there are a few key aspects to a solution that can handle the demands of educational digital archiving while also being easy to manage and budget-friendly. 

Checklist for Simple Digital Communications Archiving

Ensure solution can handle more than just email

Federal and State laws do not discriminate against where personal information is exchanged, and any “electronic message” platform can be a large part of what is called upon in litigation and internal investigation.  Yes, many of these platforms have a “history” function but searching manually for relevant sensitive information is a painful endeavour. To keep things simple and easy in the future, institutions should be automatically archiving & indexing their most used digital communication platforms.

Purchase per Terabyte of Storage – not by user. 

With the sheer mass volume of new users in school systems now digitally communicating, purchasing archiving capabilities based on how many students and faculty you have at your school board does not make financial sense. The chances of your Superintendent using the same amount of storage as the Assistant Librarian are slim. By nature, paying per user brings with it the overpayment for user accounts that are hardly used. By only paying for what you need when you need it – you can ensure that there are no surprises in your budget. 

Go Cloud 

While some institutes may be required by state-law to have physical infrastructure on-site, those that don’t, and implement on-premise hardware because they “like to have their data on-hand” have had that piece of mind evaporate during remote learning. A notice on the FBI’s FOIA Portal states that they have limited staff in the physical locations of data, thus FOIA requests will be delayed. If your institute is going through the same problem of limited access to data during remote learning, now may be the time to switch to hosted. Also, there are many financial benefits to going with a cloud Digital Communication Archiving solution – as you only need to pay for data as you use it.

Automatically Archive and Index 

Having all records of digital communication amongst staff and students stored in a secure place is one thing, but this data also needs to be stored in such a way that it is easily accessible and organized. If a public library were to pile all books in the centre of a room; how easy would it be to find what you were looking for? The same is true for digital communications archives, and you need to ensure that your solution has the capability to index all archived data in relation to state and federal law. With an archive that is fully indexed and organized, FOIA and internal investigation requests will not be as much of a stressor to institutions, as data will already be laid out for them to be produced quickly. 

Fast, Simple and easy eDiscovery requests. 

Related to indexing, your solution needs to have the capability to quickly discover data cross all records of digital communications. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) released updates and the need for expedited request processing has arisen – with the option for government agencies to introduce a 10-day records request processing timeline. The normal records response standard of 20 days is still in effect and having the ability to quickly discover data across the new mass amount collected is critical for institutes to respond to records requests timely under remote learning. 

For institutes looking to simplify their Digital Communications Archiving initiative, the above can be used as foundational pieces on which to evaluate potential solutions.

At Data443, we have many Clients in the Education space, and are keenly aware that they may be looking for advice on how to handle Remote Learning. Because of this, we put together a short list of aspects an institute should be looking for when choosing a Digital Communications Archiving solution – if they are looking to simplify the entire initiative.

Click here to learn more about the product we built for an easy, no surprises administrative experience.