Schools aim to create a safe learning environment supporting the use of digital technology, and Netsafe in New Zealand has produced this guide for the safe and responsible use of digital technology in schools. However, a recent analysis Linewize conducted showed an increasing number of students using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to bypass school internet filtering. We decided to investigate further, and we asked a few teenagers about their experiences.
We live in a knowledge economy, and our children are digital natives. Our students use digital devices to navigate an increasingly complex online world. The knowledge, skills and behaviour required in this environment is continually evolving. Cybersafety and digital citizenship are hot topics globally, and there’s an increasing trend towards a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture in both New Zealand and Australia. Educators spend a great deal of time on school internet policies to help students become knowledgeable digital consumers, while at the same time providing a safe learning environment.
Here are seven considerations that can be overlooked as districts and schools concentrate on readying the infrastructure and making decisions about types of device and ways and means of funding the program.
- Who’s responsible for what?
Clarify the school, teacher, parent and student roles and ready the supporting documentation. What happens in the event of theft, breakages, lost chargers, devices not working? Avoid your teachers becoming IT Techies by proxy and ensure that everyone is clear on what they need to do to make the BYOD programme work.
Safer Internet Day exploded around the world demonstrating the interest in the issues of digital citizenship and cyberbullying, particularly in countries where 1:1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs are proliferating.
Companies got involved, including Microsoft, who released a Digital Civility Index comparing online behaviour in 14 countries. They encouraged young people to take up their Digital Civility Challenge.