The arrival of mobile devices in classrooms is blurring the line between school and parental responsibility when it comes to student internet use. Linewize can help you understand and manage this across all devices and browsers, writes Scott Noakes.
Keeping students cyber safe while teaching responsible internet use and good digital citizenship isn’t easy. Despite best intentions, schools often struggle to keep students safe and on task when using the internet at school.
The rapid increase in mobile device use brings with it raised student welfare concerns. Issues include: cyberbullying; exposure to adult content; and digital distraction.
School mandated devices
This increase in device use is driven by the popularity of school mandated BYOD and 1:1 programmes that ensure every student has a device. Protecting these school-mandated devices, both in and out of school hours, is a challenge. Of specific concern is that students are using VPN (Virtual Private Network) software on their BYOD devices to bypass existing school content filtering protections and access blocked content on the school network. A recent report highlighted that up to 30 per cent of high school students are using VPNs.
Personal mobile devices
Students are also increasingly bringing their own personal mobile devices to school. Unrestricted internet access on these devices can cause distraction and also put student welfare at risk.
The ‘out of sight’ policy response often taken by schools to address the mobile issue is flawed. Students simply use these devices to create mobile hotspots and tether their BYOD devices to gain unrestricted internet access via mobile data.
While these are not easy issues to address, schools have an explicit responsibility under the NAG 5 guidelines to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students. This responsibility applies equally to the school’s physical and virtual environment.
Make every device a learning device
To help schools find an effective solution to these challenges, Linewize has merged with Australian company Family Zone with a shared vision to align parents and schools with one key focus – to protect students online.
By addressing both on-network and off-network device use, Linewize can now deliver a safe and consistent online experience across every device students use at school: laptops, tablets and smartphones alike. This means that every device can become a learning device, in full compliance with your internet-use policy, on or off the school network, when the student is in your care.
By taking this approach schools can:
- Keep students safe online;
- Manage digital distractions; and
- Improve teaching and learning outcomes.
- Are students safe on your network?
To help schools understand network cyber safety issues, Linewize is now offering a network audit service. We analyse network traffic for seven days, and provide a report which highlights activity including VPN use, dangerous apps, adult content access and social media use. Benchmark your school’s results against comparative data, and use insights gained to develop your action plan.
Scott Noakes is founder and CEO of Linewize. contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIAL OFFER: Free network cyber safety audit from Linewize
Linewize is offering the opportunity to audit cyber safety on your school network for free. You’ll receive a customer report that highlights cyber safety and network issues, including social media use, dangerous app use and content filter evasion. This is a strictly limited offer. Book now at linewize.com/audit