How Morris Public School Leveraged Data Analytics to Track ROI, Engagement, and Opportunity Gaps

Best practices in the Use of Data Analytics

Lightspeed Systems® and Digital Promise have joined forces to provide participating Digital Promise League of Innovative School Districts a better way to track and monitor student-level digital engagement: the use of CatchOn® [Lightspeed Analytics™]. This award-winning data analytics tool enables schools to analyze the efficacy of their technology investments and identify those students at risk of falling through the cracks—all in real time.

Seven districts varying in size participated in the project, including New Jersey’s Morris Public School (MPS). This profile outlines the Morris team’s initial objectives at the beginning of the program and the insights they gleaned after seeing and reviewing their application usage and engagement data.

Using Data to Assess ROI

Like many school districts across the country, determining the cost per user of edtech investments is critical to informing MPS’ renewal and purchasing strategies. It has been difficult to calculate this amount without knowing the extent to which their paid applications and digital programs were being used by their students, especially this past year. At the onset of the project, the MPS team immediately began using Lightspeed Analytics to track application usage data across the district and identify which applications were being used and how often. Leveraging this data, they quickly learned which investments have been paying off for the district

We have a learning management system that costs us a lot of money, but I can see it is being used a lot. I’m also really proud that all of our trending applications are approved by our Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

Erica Hartman, Director of Instructional Technology, Morris Public School

Identifying Professional Development Best Practices

The team is also using the actionable data generated to identify professional development best practices and opportunities. For example, this past year the district rolled out a program called Gizmos to its science teachers because they needed a way to conduct online labs for their virtual students. Much to the Morris team’s delight, they saw that the program was in their Top 20 Trending Applications list within the platform. Lightspeed Analytics helped to validate their technology investments.

“From a curricular lens, we are making decisions based on need and support both for teachers and students,” said Brian Young, our Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “For us, it’s not just a monetary investment in the platform itself. With Gizmos, for example, we hosted and paid for several professional development sessions. Looking at the usage data reaffirms that we are making effective decisions, and it shows me how valuable our teachers find that particular program for online science, investigation, and inquiry.”

Lightspeed Analytics’ application usage data also prompted Young and Hartman to closely examine what made the Gizmos deployment so successful and strategize how they can replicate its success. “It is very reassuring to see that we are getting our return on investment on not only the technology itself but also the trainings we do to enable our teachers,” said Hartman.

Tracking, Measuring and Analyzing Student Engagement

Tracking and gaining a better understanding of student engagement in a digital learning environment has been another priority for MPS. Throughout the project, the MPS team reviewed their student engagement data to identify how often students were engaging with their digital tools, the time of day and days of the week students were engaging with their digital tools, and the duration of each engagement.

Having insight into their application usage and engagement data also enabled Morris’s team to identify apps with higher-than-expected engagements and then pinpoint professional development needs.

When we see excitement around a platform in the form of usage data, we should build upon that. Let’s improve the learning process even more by leveraging an asset-driven professional development approach.

Mackey Pendergrast, Superintendent, Morris Public School
morris school district logo



Morris, New Jersey

Customer Since:






Devices Used:


Share On

Digital Promise logo

Digital Promise works at the intersection of education leaders, researchers, and technology developers to improve learning opportunities for all and close the Digital Learning Gap. Because when all learners have equitable access to technology, when everyone participates, and when everyone learns, we all benefit from a more engaged, informed and just society.

About Lightspeed Systems

Lightspeed Systems, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a leading online safety and effectiveness platform for K–12 schools. A proven partner for student safety and engagement, Lightspeed uses advanced AI to view and analyze student activity across the web. Lightspeed serves over 20 million students in 38 countries and 28,000 schools globally.

Further Reading

screenshots on desktop and mobile devices for distance learning software

Here's a demo, on us

Still doing your research?
Let us help! Schedule a free demo with one of our product experts to get all of your questions answered quickly.

man sitting at desk on laptop looking at Lightspeed Filter dashboard

Welcome back!

Looking for pricing information for our solutions?
Let us know about your district’s requirements and we’ll be happy to build a custom quote.

Reimagine the inspired and interactive classroom for remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. Lightspeed Classroom Management™ gives teachers real-time visibility and control of their students’ digital workspaces and online activity.

  • Ensure all students interact with only the right online curriculum — precisely when they’re supposed to use it.
  • Push out vetted curriculum links to all students at the same time.
  • Block inappropriate or distracting web sites and apps.

Ensure scalable & efficient learning device management. The Lightspeed Mobile Device Management™ system ensures safe and secure management of student learning resources with real-time visibility and reporting essential for effective distance learning.

  • A centralized, cloud-based solution for infinitely scalable device, application, and policy controls
  • Self-Service App Library, where teachers and students
    can access and install approved curriculum and learning tools
  • Remotely deploy, change, and revoke hundreds of policies and educational applications, while reducing typical downtime and costs

Prevent suicides, cyberbullying, and schoolviolence. Lightspeed Alert™ supports district administrators and selected personnel with advanced AI to detect and report potential threats before it’s too late.

  • Human review
  • Real-time alerts that flag signs of a potential threat
  • Intervene quickly before an incident occurs.
  • Activity logs provide visibility into online activity before and after a flagged event

Protect students from harmful online content. Lightspeed Filter™ is the best-in-class solution that acts as a solid barrier to inappropriate or illicit online content to ensure students’ online safety 24/7.

  • Powered by the most comprehensive database in the industry built through 20 years of web indexing and machine learning.
  • Ensure CIPA compliance
  • Block millions of inappropriate, harmful, and unknown sites, images, and video including YouTube
  • Keep parents informed with the Lightspeed Parent Portal™

Gain complete visibility into students’ online learning. Lightspeed Analytics™ gives districts robust data on the effectiveness of any tools they implement so they can take a strategic approach to their technology stack and streamline reporting.

  • Track education technology adoption and usage trends, eliminate redundancy, and drive ROI
  • Monitor app and content consumption to facilitate early adoption and effective utilization
  • Assess risk with visibility into student data privacy and security compliance