Smart technology boom in students requires parental intervention

Jan 14, 2014 by Nic White
Smart technology boom in students requires parental intervention
Mr Tryhorn says the school encourages students to connect their devices to the school’s network and promotes it as being faster and more reliable, rather than using force. Credit: Brad Flickinger

The increasing availability of mobile phones and tablets to school children is forcing schools to reconsider their approach to web filtering as students abandon controlled campus networks for public wireless.

Schools have spent more than a decade locking down under their control, blocking inappropriate content, games, and to keep on task and out of harms way.

However the task is becoming increasingly difficult with smartphones now ubiquitous and many bringing tablets and laptops equipped with 3G and 4G connections to school.

WA Catholic Education Office ICT coordinator Brett Clarke says because will only become simpler, cheaper and faster and continue to democratise access, schools should be focusing more on educating students to become responsible users.

"A lot of this is a knee-jerk reaction, I think blocking things just drives the behaviour underground, superficially you think you're doing the right thing but really you're ignoring it and aren't in a position to help them," he says.

Tim Tryhorn, IT systems manager at a WA independent school says his school filters the internet on campus and school-owned laptops,

It is more of a safety for when they (the students) make a bad decision or stumble upon something, and to protect the network from malware, he says.

"The internet is not a nice place for the inexperienced so we want them to be in a safe, monitored and filtered environment, whether they realise they need it or not," he says.

"Ultimately we're still dealing with kids with limited life experience."

Mr Tryhorn says the school encourages students to connect their devices to the school's network and promotes it as being faster and more reliable, rather than using force.

Mr Clarke says that kids accessing content that they shouldn't be is more of a student management issue than a technology issue.

"It's the same as them smoking behind the shed or looking at dirty magazines – the technology is just the vehicle," he says.

Mr Tryhorn says the solution starts at home and parents must step up and not leave everything to the school.

"Parent involvement seems to be reducing at a time when they need to be taking more responsibility for what they're kids are doing on the internet," he says

"While we can filter and educate them here, most of the problems happen from home based computers because parents aren't aware of what their kids are doing or aware of the dangers."

Explore further: Electronic Christmas gifts bear more responsibility for parents and kids

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

School drug tests don't work, but 'positive climate' might

Jan 13, 2014

School drug testing does not deter teenagers from smoking marijuana, but creating a "positive school climate" just might, according to research reported in the January issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

What are the risks of student cyberbullying?

Sep 05, 2013

Details of a survey of middle and high school student attitudes to cyberbullying and online safety will be published in the International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments. The analysis of the ...

Broadband in schools gets boost from tech gurus

Dec 04, 2013

The effort to get high-speed broadband in every school is getting a boost from the philanthropy of two technology gurus—Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates.

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

4 hours ago

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

4 hours ago

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

How to teach all students to think critically

5 hours ago

All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them some numerical thinking skills. ...

Consumer loyalty driven by aesthetics over functionality

21 hours ago

When designing a new car, manufacturers might try to attract consumers with more horsepower, increased fuel efficiency or a lower price point. But new research from San Francisco State University shows consumers' loyalty ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.