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Blocksi: Empowering today’s teachers with powerful tools for content filtering and digital classroom management

About Blocksi

Blocksi, a Google for Education partner, provides a classroom management system complete with teacher dashboards, content filtering tools, and cyberbullying detection to safely unlock the power of the digital classroom.

Industries: Education
Location: United States

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Blocksi uses Google Cloud to power its content-filtering and anti-cyberbullying technologies, and partners with Google for Education to deliver its tools natively through Chrome platform.

Google Cloud results

  • Enables team of 45 employees to support 1,000,000 students and educators thanks to highly scalable solution
  • Incorporates advanced ML/AI technologies to help schools combat cyberbullying
  • Improves visibility into student performance and needs through reliable, compliant monitoring solutions

Reduces content filtering OpEx 20-fold

Advances in education technology continue to transform classrooms worldwide, offering students, teachers, administrators, and parents a universe of tools to improve learning. The sheer volume of tools for educators comes with countless challenges, including identifying the best learning devices and equipping those devices with trusted tools for management and monitoring.

Blocksi, launched in 2011 with a Chrome-native app that provided internet filtering services to a wide-range of customers. It quickly saw that large numbers of families and schools were downloading its app, inspiring the company to further design its tools for education.

“Before Blocksi, schools couldn’t filter content and enforce security policies on their Chromebooks when the devices were off campus,” says Fuad Bahou, Chief Executive Officer at Blocksi. “We provide cloud-based [content] filtering that allows schools to control their devices anywhere students are, and we built out our educational offerings from there.”

To expand its reach in education and power its business, Blocksi chose to build its environment on Google Cloud and partner with Google for Education.

“Google Cloud gives us the peace of mind and agility to scale up and down at a moment’s notice to handle high-traffic times when all of our users are connected to our applications.”

Fuad Bahou, Chief Executive Officer, Blocksi

Helping students be safe, confident explorers of the online world

Even with its initial release, Blocksi was well received by schools, thanks to the need to have a content filtering solution that can flexibly govern how students can and cannot use their Chromebooks. “Blocksi enables schools to turn an off-the-shelf Chromebook into a fully functioning school device, removing distractions and fulfilling compliance obligations regarding proper use of those devices,” says Fuad.

Schools can use Blocksi to block games and websites that do not fit into a school’s curriculum. And more recently, Blocksi further expanded capabilities to provide even more controls to both Chromebooks and Google Workspace for Education to give educators more awareness of the most pressing digital learning challenges facing students.

A few years ago, Blocksi also began offering a teacher dashboard to enable safe monitoring of student activities on Chromebooks and then followed up soon after that with tools to detect threats and cyberbullying. Because Google for Education is increasingly used in schools across the U.S., the company’s tools have become increasingly popular with teachers and administrators.

“Using MongoDB Atlas [on Google Cloud] allows us to very easily manage our database, scaling it up automatically when we need more power and monitoring things like latency and utilization in real time.”

Fuad Bahou, Chief Executive Officer, Blocksi

Improving student safety with cloud-native tools

Blocksi relies on Google Cloud solutions to power its business and provide people with seamless, reliable experiences. “Our success is built on Google Cloud,” says Fuad. “Google Cloud gives us the peace of mind and agility to scale up and down at a moment’s notice to handle high-traffic times when all of our users are connected to our application.”

Blocksi uses a combination of Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, and Cloud Load Balancing to efficiently scale up and down its compute power, containers, and virtual machines (VMs). This allows a relatively small company of 42 employees to keep its overhead down while serving more students and educators.

Blocksi also uses Google Cloud’s Vision AI to power its cyberbullying detection by automating image detection and labeling with innovative and ready-made AI solutions. Further, its platform is capable of detecting hate speech and other harmful behaviors across devices and apps used within the classroom setting.

Additionally, the company deploys MongoDB Atlas as its cloud-native database on Google Cloud to effectively manage large volumes of data.

“Using MongoDB Atlas allows us to easily manage our database, scaling it up automatically when we need more power and monitoring things like latency and utilization in real time,” says Fuad. “Hosting MongoDB Atlas in Google Cloud allows us to understand the health of the service and maintain a highly integrated experience within our own IT.”

Combining Google Cloud and MongoDB Atlas has enabled Blocksi to reduce operational costs, while accelerating Blocksi’s time to deliver new services to schools.

“We strive to be a leader in digital learning. Our partnership with Google for Education and use of Google Cloud solutions support us in achieving our goals.”

Fuad Bahou, Chief Executive Officer, Blocksi

Partnering to build the future of education

Partnering with Google for Education has given Blocksi and its customers more confidence, as the company’s solutions work with some of the world’s most popular learning tools. Today, Blocksi continues to deliver more capabilities to reach more educators across the U.S.

“We want management and monitoring tools for digital learning to be standard in any school,” says Fuad. “Blocksi tools can open the door to access other new learning technologies as well, especially those that rely heavily on visual content—which is increasingly popular.”

When teachers want to offer new apps or capabilities to students through Chromebooks, they can use Blocksi to do so in a way that remains governed and visible, no matter where students are.

“We strive to be a leader in digital learning,” says Fuad. “Our partnership with Google for Education and use of Google Cloud solutions support us in achieving our goals.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Blocksi

Blocksi, a Google for Education partner, provides a classroom management system complete with teacher dashboards, content filtering tools, and cyberbullying detection to safely unlock the power of the digital classroom.

Industries: Education
Location: United States