Schools are finding increasing numbers of students are regularly bypassing school internet filtering by using VPN’s. Schools are also finding more students using their own 3G/4G mobile devices with completely unrestricted internet access, and BYOD management is complex.
Communication sits at the heart of society, and digital communications technology (DCT) has had rapid uptake. Our kids are connected and can communicate at an unprecendented scale. Smartphones are ubiquitous, an increasing number of schools have BYOD policies, and technology enables and empowers learning in many positive ways. The challenge is to maximize the positive aspects of connection, while managing risk.
John Parsons is one of New Zealand's leading authorities on cyber-security. Highly regarded, Parsons has significant experience dealing with cyber-security crisis management. We recently had an interesting catch-up in our office, and his services are in high demand.
Over the years he's developed a toolbox of practical strategies for children and their caregivers designed to keep kids safe online and encourage good digital citizenship. He's just released his book Keeping Your Children Safe Online: A Guide for New Zealand Parents to empower children to live in the online world both safely and ethically.
Many of the teachers we talk with are frustrated with digital distraction in the classroom
Personal mobile devices are the norm. They are also both learning devices, and potential sources of digital distraction. While technology is an enabler of education, constant connection can sometimes come at a cost and students can easily succumb to using the internet for non-class related tasks. The term "cyber-slacking" refers to the act of avoiding immediate tasks by delving into cat videos, social media, and other online entertainment, and this new digital world is highly addictive.
We're excited to announce that Linewize has been acquired by ASX-listed Family Zone following our successful partnership agreement announced earlier this year. The Linewize team is looking forward to the next step on our journey and working with Family Zone to deliver world-leading cyber safety solutions to parents and schools worldwide.
Inviting student devices onto your school's BYOD network also invites new ICT challenges.
A recent analysis Linewize conducted of a large Auckland High School found that 15% of students were using such software to bypass school internet filtering and gain access to any online content.
Distraction of the digital kind is on the rise in classrooms. How can you successfully oversee devices and online access? In the aptly named article ‘We have met the enemy and he is us’1 the authors rate self-produced distractions, such as playing games, checking emails and surfing the net, as the most common classroom distractions, with more than a third of students admitting to ‘multitasking’ in class time.
Digital Citizenship is currently a ‘hot topic’ in education circles in the United States, placed at #3 on the Tech Trends for 2017. At the core of the debate is the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) dating from 2000. This law demands that all schools that receive federal funding for Internet access install blocking software to filter materials that are ‘obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors’.
Some feel that this has been interpreted in a heavy-handed fashion at school and district level, to the extent that a ‘Banned Websites Day’ was held in September 2016. A statement issued by the American Association of School Librarians explained the reasoning behind the awareness-raising event:
In this post we look at how the U.K. is approaching 'Digital Citizenship' in schools with a particular focus on trying to prevent students from being radicalised by terrorist groups. The approach taken is particulary comprehensive with filtering and monitoring mandated in every school.
2017 is setting itself up to be a fascinating year with lots happening in the ‘Digital Citizenship’ space. Bring Your Own Device programs are building momentum globally. Educational technology research is pointing to the benefits of embracing social media and other online tools for engaging students. Children’s use of the internet is increasing year on year and calls for developing Digital Citizenship are reaching a crescendo. As a result, governments, schools and communities are acknowledging that children need to be able to participate online safely and securely. This series of 3 blogs looks at three countries who are proactively tackling these issues – some at government level and some at the ground roots.