My wife, Sara and I are blessed to live in a nice neighborhood, full of children the same age as our two kids. One night, after all the youngsters were tucked in and asleep, 3 couples started a discussion on technology in the classroom and specifically the ability of a school district to implement Mobile Device Management software as part of their technology infrastructure.
For current and future residents of York County, SC technology is a hot topic. Voters recently approved a $54 Million referendum to put towards a new elementary school, expansion of Fort Mill High School and provide funding for additional technology across district classrooms that will help support things like BYOD.
One of the parents involved in this discussion is an executive for a company that publishes educational material for math classes. She explained how she recently observed a teacher in a North Carolina classroom give a lesson plan while many of her students were logged into the school network using, in this case, school-provided laptops.
Sure, the students were logged on, but not to the teacher’s lesson plan. Instead, they were logging on to a popular social media website (just take a guess which one, I’ll give you a one-word clue: Zuckerberg).
So, if you are a parent and/or teacher in a community with similar referendums upcoming in your community, here is a question you might want to ask:
“Will some of the funds allocated to the ‘technology’ portion of this referendum be used to prevent my child (or anyone else’s) from going to any site that doesn’t constitute true learning while they are in the classroom?”
Clearly, the classroom in this particular discussion could have used some additional security measures that are currently available as part of any wireless network infrastructure. Chances are this particular school district didn’t see Mobile Device Management as a ‘need’ while developing their technology plan.
Mobile Device Management can help secure and manage multiple mobile devices on a school wireless network, giving specific users certain privileges and access to applications, data and configurations based on a set of rules written by IT management.
Now, in many cases, our 4-year-old son is quicker with navigating the iPad than we are and would probably try anything possible to crack the factory provided parental settings so he could watch YouTube ad nausea. All he would need to know is the 4-digit pin number in the iPad settings. Mobile Device Management on an enterprise-level network can prevent students from even navigating to that area of a device.
There’s no doubt children are learning technology faster than we did because they’re being born into this environment. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the first generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. That’s a full 17 months before our son came into the World. And 5 years ago, who would have thought Columbia, SC would host a hackathon?
The fact of the matter is that we need to stay one step ahead of our smart kids, just the standard wireless device, without proper management can now create a whole host of legal issues for parents and school districts.
Each K-12 education facility should seriously consider the right tools currently available to them when building additional infrastructure to support iPads in the classroom or any wireless device that would be gaining access to the internet via the school network. Administrators do have the option of adding mobile device management to their technology game plan.
We now know 2 additional couples will be making calls to our local administrators to see to it that mobile device management is a part of our local school district’s technology expansion.
If your school is interested in implementing any technology in the classroom initiative please consider mobile device management. It should be a critical part of any school wireless network. If you have any questions about wireless technology in the classroom or mobile device management for your school wireless network you may contact us here. We have helped schools all over the country and would love to be a resource for you.