Mobile devices at school: the key issues

Aside from the obvious distractions that mobile phones provide students in class, schools are now reporting even more alarming student behaviour associated with student’s personal devices.

A Perth school has recently had to place a school wide ban on students placing meal delivery orders from suppliers like UberEATS and Deliveroo. Many issues like this are frequently being reported to our Education Team, including;

- Students circumventing school filtering using VPN software

- Constant cyberbullying situations

- Sexting 

- Hot-spotting or tethering from their personal 3G/4G devices to school laptops, bypassing school filtering

- Using social media during class time 

- Grades slipping from the constant distraction of their own or other students’ device use 

These issues are a constant problem for principals and teachers, who are left with no choice but to attempt to ban mobile devices during school hours. These out-of-sight type policies are extremely difficult to enforce and often trigger a backlash from parents who want to be able to contact their kids at all times.

Family Zone’s Mobile Zone solution offers the most effective work-around for the above issues, without having to confiscate devices. Installing Mobile Zone on all devices that students take to school, including tablets, smart phones, Macbooks, and laptops, means they can no longer access blocked content, social media, or any other distractions during school hours. This ensures the school’s duty of care is fulfilled. It also means that teachers are then able to incorporate the student’s devices into the lesson plan by enabling access to educational apps and content while blocking everything else.

Vice President of Education, Rob Smyth, explains: ‘Mobile Zone gives parents and educators visibility and control over the risks posed by smart devices during school hours. All inappropriate apps and content are blocked from 9am until 3pm, giving schools total peace of mind that students are no longer able to engage in any of the problematic behaviour that’s being reported on a daily basis.’

There are many benefits to implementing controls on students’ devices and these aren’t limited to the removal of common distractions like social media. A reduction in cases of cyberbullying and sexting behaviour means that students no longer have those all-consuming distractions taking over their focus. These types of issues pose the greatest concern to schools and parents as they place students at a much greater risk of harm. ‘These issues are rife within schools and principals are desperate for a solution,’ explains Rob, ‘Mobile Zone offers schools a solution during school hours and parents are able to continue to protect their kids once the school bell rings at the end of the day.’

Optimising learning opportunities for students whilst also managing parent expectations is a challenge that most schools are facing in today’s digital world. Family Zone Education Solutions are designed to solve these issues by providing the education industry with an effective and easy to implement solution.

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Topics: Mobile Apps, Cyber Safety, Education, mobile devices, schools

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