In our last blog post we covered the transformation that the ‘Back to School’ experience undergoes each year and the planning that comes with the new student-device ratio. After a week (give or take) back in the classroom, schools must decipher if the support mechanisms in place are sufficient for the new types and levels of devices landing after the summer break – but also to identify if they have scope in the infrastructure for further growth.
Prepare, prevent, secure
There is no escaping the fact that the digital age we live in presents fresh new concerns, and where children and young people are concerned the privacy and security risks are ten-fold, and the cyber criminals are more than aware of this.
Chris from LapCabby chatted to the team at Tech & Learning UK, talking about this issue stating, “Before letting technology into the network, schools should impose a number of application controls. Preventing unapproved files from executing and downloading; whitelisting and blacklisting applications to prevent cyber criminals from entering the school network and implementing a cloud based web filtering system, will all help in deterring would be hackers. With these protections, even students that bring their own tablet or laptop do not present a serious security red flag.”
If you’d like an in-depth look at the issues surrounding security, filtering and device protection, among other device management issues, check out our 7 Steps to effective device deployment in the Digital Classroom.
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To BYOD or not to BYOD
As Chris highlights above, no matter if the device is school, or student owned, the cyber and physical protection must be paramount. And he goes on to emphasise that the Back to School period is an ideal time to reflect and reinforce policies and processes with students and staff. “Schools should take the back to school period as a time to educate students on how best to use technology, as well as its associated risks. Acceptable usage policies are a good starting point for this, and allow schools to set out and define expectations. This, plus training and guidance, will form the cornerstone of dealing with the back-to-school device rush.”
Powered up and physically protected
As essential as cybersecurity is – and unfortunately as we can see, there is no denying this – the protection and monitoring of devices becomes irrelevant if the technology itself has a flat battery and cannot be used.
“In order to avoid battery drain wreaking havoc in classrooms and disrupting learning, schools can simply ensure that their infrastructure is capable of charging multiple laptops and tablets, of different brands and models. Similarly, just like how a dead battery can disrupt education, so too can the issue of syncing” Chris told Independent Education in another discussion, read the full article here.