Technology and education go hand in hand. The invasions of technology laden gadgets make it impossible for classrooms to remain detached from them. Before the issue of controlling classroom technology is addressed it is imperative that the need to do so be emphasized first.
The role of technology in the enhancement of learning is beyond any doubt. To say the least, technology giants like Apple are making substantial efforts to incorporate learning and technology together. This however, also implies that just as the steering of a car cannot be handed over to would be drivers before they get their license, similarly the juveniles cannot be left with technologically advanced equipment without any checks or restrictions.
Technology in the classroom. Courtesy: http://www.apple.com/au/education/ipad/
The current technological gadgets which students can carry into the class rooms may be laptops, notebooks, tablets, smart phones or i-pods etc. The connectivity to a network however is the key to entire issue. With all the above mentioned facilities at hand, each student inside a class may misuse his technological freedom in quite a number of ways. A few of them can be stated as follows:
• Cyber cheating and Plagiarism.
• Cyber Bullying.
• Hacking or intruding other’s privacy over the network.
• Missing lectures due to other entertaining provisions like chatting etc.
• Distribution of inappropriate materials in the class.
Much to the dismay of students practical evidences of happenings similar to those mentioned above make it essential for educational institutions to impose certain “technology controlling” measures. These may be as follows:
• MAC address based device connectivity.
• IP scanning for security breach.
• Usage of appropriate UTM (Unified Threat Management) systems.
• A class based forum like connectivity for discussion with the classmates.
• Provision of master console to the teacher/instructor in order to monitor individual activity like messaging.
• Jammers for GPRS or GSM (phone service based) connectivity.
Some schools distribute written material on responsible computing before granting permission to students to access the school’s network services. Children are often asked to pass an online quiz in order to prove that they have learnt and understood the basic criteria at which they are authorized the usage of technological devices. This is one basic effort that can be done in order to make the students responsible for any actions that they would commit otherwise.
More to come on this sensitive issue in our post tomorrow!
Twaha Ahmed Minai is associated with computer science and software development industry since early 90s. His area of specialization is development and algorithms. On his credit he has several computer based tutorials designed for different walks of life including defence sector. He has been teaching software development and algorithm analysis at undergraduate and graduate levels for the past 12 years. He has been actively involved in computer science based research which includes Bio-informatics, Physiognomy and forecasting. He is an inquisitive follower of the ongoing developments in computing era.
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