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What’s Wrong With Mobility in the Classroom?

Gil Cattelain

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November 21, 2014 10:15 am

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The bring your own device (BYOD) movement is quickly spreading from the business world into school districts throughout the U.S. Research shows that BYOD in school districts has increased from 22 percent in 2013 to 56 percent in 2014.

Fueling this growth rate are forward-thinking educators who believe that mobile skills need to be taught to students to provide them with relevant and useful technological training before entering the workforce. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are also fantastic and affordable learning resources.

But not everyone agrees that there is room for mobility in elementary and secondary classroom settings. As of last year, 32 percent of school districts had policies prohibiting the use of student-owned mobile devices. While this number appears to be slowly shrinking, many concerned parents and educators still believe that mobility devices should be banned in schools where they can contribute to the following problems.

Bullying: Children do not always possess the moral judgment necessary for conducting themselves appropriately over an unrestricted Internet. There have been several instances reported across the U.S. of children using mobile devices for bullying and revenge via photos, videos and text. While these problems do still arise without mobile devices, smartphones and tablets can increase the speed and intensity with which they occur. Problems that would otherwise be isolated to a classroom or schoolwide setting could go public very quickly and be seen by millions of people.

Cheating: Students can use mobile devices to transmit electronic information back and forth without the consent of a teacher. This encourages cheating, and it is not always detectable. It’s difficult for administrators to ensure a fair classroom setting when it can be so easily and unknowingly compromised.

Safety: Mobile devices present several safety challenges ranging from communicating with strangers to using devices to hack into a building’s operational components, like a fire alarm or security system.

Here at Novell, we believe that despite these challenges, mobility has a firm place in the modern classroom. With a reliable mobile endpoint management system that can control students’ mobile activity from a central location, administrators can reap the benefits of electronic devices without having to worry about any unwanted repercussions arising from unrestricted use.

The ZENworks Mobile Management solution from Novell is one solution that provides features like app control, file sharing oversight and security monitoring. Click here for more information about how it can benefit your academic institution.

Thanks for reading!

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