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Best practice application control, blocking doesn't conquer

We live in a world where young people and children are digital natives

Posted by Joe Lawson-West | March 28, 2017 | E-safety

We live in a world where young people and children are digital natives. They have always known connected devices to be a part of their lives. This familiarity with technology offers incredible versatility and teaching opportunities in a school environment, but it also increases the risk of students being exposed to content not meant for them. As a school, you have many digital tools at your disposal to combat this with application control in the classroom. But it’s also a good idea to define a good code of conduct and clear rules for your students to follow. Here’s what you need to know:

What is application control?
In a digitalised classroom, your students will often use tablets and other mobile devices to interact with the course materials, their teacher and each other. As their device will be connected to the internet, they can easily access other content that might distract them from school work, like YouTube or online games. On top of that, the internet is rife with unsavoury content that’s not meant for children’s eyes. Application control is the process of blocking or allowing apps, as well as monitoring how a student uses their device both in class and at home.

 Encourage good etiquette in class in support of application control

There are many resources available online to help teachers find the right apps and define best practices. On top of that, your students will learn a lot from discussing the dangers and consequences of online activity. Encourage this dialogue and the students will better understand why application control in the classroom isn’t a bad thing.

·         Teach them about the dangers of talking to strangers on the internet. Online, people often aren’t who they claim to be. Students must understand that, much like in real life, they shouldn’t just start talking to a stranger online.

 ·         Help students understand that technology holds more information than meets the eye. Your class should know about metadata, cookies and all forms of malware. Posting an innocent picture online can make private information available to people that know where to find it. And downloading a seemingly innocent app can steal personal information through with Trojan malware.

·         Children must understand the consequences of being active online. Everything they write and post becomes public domain, accessible by anybody. They must learn to protect their privacy, but must also be weary of how their behaviour online can negatively affect peers. A funny online prank by one student can be experienced as bullying by another.

 With good rules in place, application control becomes an asset

Once the students understand the ground rules, you have some leeway when it comes to content blocking and device usage in the classroom. With application control software, you can temporarily change access restrictions while still monitoring your classroom’s online activity. Does a teacher need to access YouTube or an educational game? Doing so is easy with application control. And if a student is abusing their provided freedoms, the teacher can take corrective action by blocking YouTube or other apps on their phone. In short, good behaviour yields online privileges, bad behaviour removes them.

 A good digital application management suite gives you full control over how students access content. Fully comprehensive software suites like Mobile Guardian empower schools, teachers and parents to provide the best digital educational tools possible for young students while maintaining control over where they end up on the internet

If you want to learn more about Mobile Guardian MDM, sign up for a free demo today

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