School Tech Policies: Pros & Cons
Schools are implementing more technology into their education programs to keep up with modern technology. Technology makes teaching more efficient since students can learn and do more than they ever could without technology. Even though schools rely on technology, it is not perfect. The advantages that come with technology also comes with some downsides. VPLS talks about the pros and cons of school tech and the policies behind it.
A student’s phone is their connection to the world, requiring them to carry it around with them to accomplish their everyday tasks. Even if a student’s school phone policy is strict, students will always find a way to use it. However, students don’t always use their phone for unproductive things. Students can use their phones for a variety of academic reasons. Students have apps on their phone, like Quizlet, to help them study. Apps like Google Drive and Office 365 let students access their documents straight from their phone. Students can use their phone to accomplish simple tasks like using a calculator or timer on their phone.
On the other hand, students can be easily distracted by their phones. Students will go on social media or play games while in class. The disadvantage of cell phone use in class is that it is hard to monitor their students’ phone use. Even if schools ban cell phones on campus, students will always sneakily use their phone while in class.
Schools are adding more laptops, tablets, and computers for students to use. These devices allow teachers to expand their teaching material. Students can now access online sources and have devices to work on projects while in class. Teachers can take advantage of school devices by using online applications to teach students. Teachers can also post assignments online, eliminating the need for physical copies of assignments.
Unlike cell phones, it is easier to monitor student use on school devices. There are features school administration and teachers have access to that allow them to see what website their students are using. This is important for teachers who give online tests, preventing students from going onto other websites to look up answers and any other form of online cheating. Even though this feature is available to teachers, it is a hassle to teach while monitoring their student’s laptop use. Students can still browse distracting websites when teachers are busy and not monitoring student laptop use.
Devices that are connected to the school’s wi-fi have certain websites blocked with a firewall. This prevents students from using social media and other distracting websites. However, there are Virtual Private Networks (VPN) that allow students to bypass their school’s firewall and enable blocked websites. Students can access these blocked websites from their phone or school device. Even if that specific VPN gets shut down, students can always find another one to replace it. Students can also find ways to get around a firewall that does not include a VPN. Firewalls prevent most students from using restricted websites. However, there are students out there who can find a way around it.
With so much more technology being implemented into schools, it is important to learn how it is monitored for student use. VPLS hopes you have a better understanding of how technology is implemented in school and the rules behind it.
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