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How is Technology Being Managed in Your Child’s School?

Submitted by on April 7, 2014 – 4:48 pmNo Comment

How is Technology Being Managed in Your Child's School?

 How Does Your Child’s School Manage Technology Access?

By Jeff Romick

There’s no denying that technology is a significant part of everyday life for children.  Many can’t even imagine a life without cell phones, laptops and tablets.  Unfortunately, with those devices comes the increased risk for cyberbullying, sexting and pornography – a challenge both parents and schools must help manage and deter.

Today, children are routinely bringing their devices to school.  The challenge for schools is using technology as a tool, rather than a distraction in classrooms.  After all, there’s no reason to bring technology into the classroom unless there’s a curriculum written around it.  Otherwise, the technology is just a disruption.

Many schools are implementing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs to help reduce the costs associated with purchasing technology.  Both Acceptable Use policies and technology controls are critical to a successful BYOD program.

Acceptable Use Policies

When implementing BYOD programs, parents and children must clearly understand and support Acceptable Use policies, which provide safeguards, outline suitable behavior and provide recourse when there’s inappropriate use of technology.  The policies typically address things such as:

  • Who is responsible for repairing broken devices?
  • When is it okay to use a phone or notebook on campus?
  • Permission requirements for recording, posting or transmitting data or photos
  • Consequences for breaking policies
  • Parent and child signature requirements to ensure policies are understood by everyone

Technology Controls

There are also many ways schools can avoid improper use of technology.  For example, they can implement a variety of controls such as:

  • URL filters to prevent children from going to inappropriate web sites
  • Software to allow teachers to see who’s connected to the school network (which is carefully safeguarded) to make sure all kids are connected and not on inappropriate sites
  • Antivirus, anti-malware and anti-phishing software that prevents access to a school’s network unless certain software is downloaded

The bottom line is that schools and parents need to work together to protect children from the improper use of technology at school.  Clear policies and controls are critical in this effort.   And, children must clearly understand the rules and the consequences for breaking those rules.

Jeff Romick is the CEO of HBR Technologies, a managed IT service provider based in Carrollton, Texas.  Since 1984, HBR has helped schools and businesses across the D/FW area with computer support, network services, IT security and technology consulting services.  For more information, visit www.hbrtech.com or call 972.380.8085.

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