The utility of digital learning devices in the landscape of education has increased manifold in recent years. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, digital devices have become a necessity rather than just another way for the students to learn. Parents who were adamant about not exposing their children to devices turned out to be the ones who bought the most-expensive devices to ensure a smooth and hassle-free learning experience. But this turned out against the idea as BYOD brought a plethora of distractions for students. Apart from using smart tablets for doing assignments and other academic-related activities, students misused the devices to watch movies, play games, and communicate with friends and family.
We need to understand that at such a tender age if students are given more liberty in terms of devices and internet usage, they will tend to get distracted. Not just this, such devices can be a potential entry gate for cybercriminals and hackers to steal sensitive information. The growing usage of social media among students is giving rise to problems regarding security and safety day by day. For example, If your child uses the internet to contact others – for example, on social media or in games – there are additional safety and security concerns.
By taking some simple internet safety steps, we can protect students and ensure a safe and healthy learning experience for them. In addition, students will be able to make the most of their online time.
This article explores the risks for students followed by possible suggestions and solutions to ensure a healthy exposure to digital learning devices for students.
Risks for Students Using the Internet and Digital Devices
Risks associated with the content
These dangers for students include things that they may find distressing, repulsive, or otherwise unsettling if they come upon them by accident. Sexual content in games, pornography, depictions of animal abuse, and actual or simulated violence are all examples of this.
Poor Behavioral conduct
Students may come into contact with strangers or adults acting as children online. They can convince students to reveal personal information to strangers, supply contact information after clicking on pop-up messages, meet in person, etc. Children acting in ways that may harm others, or being the victim of such behavior, are among the dangers. For example, a child, for example, might trash a game made by a friend or sibling. Making in-app purchases by accident is another danger of bad behavior.
Children may be exposed to these dangers by agreeing to unfair contracts, terms, or conditions that they are unaware of or do not comprehend. Children, for example, may press a button that permits a company to send them improper commercial messages or collect personal or family data. Alternatively, children may utilize a toy, software, or device with insecure internet security, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft or fraud.
Ideas to Ensure a Healthy Exposure to Digital Learning Devices for Students
You can implement a range of different strategies to help students stay safe online. Here are some ideas:
- Create a Media Plan
Students will benefit from creating a media plan in a variety of ways. Parents can involve their children in the planning process at home. Screen-free zones in the house, internet safety guidelines such as not disclosing personal information, and programs and apps that are appropriate for your child to use could all be part of the strategy. Making use of child-friendly search engines, and so on. It’s important to make sure that the content they receive is age-appropriate.
- Monitoring students’ online activity
Use the internet with your child or make sure you’re close by and aware of what your child is doing online. This way, if your child is scared or disturbed about something they’ve seen online, you may intervene swiftly and reassure them. Utilize parental controls, check privacy settings and location services, and use safe search settings on browsers, applications, search engines, and YouTube. Limit your child’s access to camera and video functionalities to prevent them from mistakenly photographing themselves or others. On your devices, turn off in-app purchases and one-click payment alternatives.
- Teaching safe and responsible online behavior
Students should be encouraged and taught to use digital devices safely and responsibly so that they may enjoy the privileges associated with them. If students are taught to manage internet safety risks and worrying experiences, they will be able to deal with and respond positively to any risks they encounter online. Teachers should teach students how to stay safe online, how to navigate safely online, and how to avoid dangerous pop-ups and unwanted links. Educators and parents can explain to pupils that pop-up advertising can direct them to sites with disturbing images or sites that steal personal or financial information. Most devices have parental controls, safe browsing settings, and internet filters in place to keep youngsters secure.
Though there are parental controls, safe browsing settings and internet filters set up on most devices to protect children from inappropriate content, these are not a guarantee and students could still come across inappropriate content. So it’s also a good idea to encourage your child to talk to you or another trusted adult if they see something that worries them.
- Ensuring safety through an efficient MDM for education
With the rapid advancements in education technology, the use of smart tablets, laptops and mobile phones has proliferated. Students are using technology more than ever and the need to secure the educational infrastructure has increased more than ever.
The best way to secure the learning devices, and educational infrastructure and limit unhealthy exposure to digital devices is to secure the mobile devices with an efficient mobile device management solution. MDM solutions simplify the e-learning experience for students by removing distractions. This way, MDM helps students to focus on learning.
Mobile device management solutions come with kiosk lockdown capabilities through which any mobile device can be converted into a purpose-built kiosk. Kiosk lockdown ensures that students cannot access anything else other than learning-related applications and websites. This creates a secure learning environment for the students as well as the educators.
Gone are the days when only conventional methods were considered appropriate for education. Today, the dynamic educational landscape demands dynamic ways of learning. We cannot imagine our world today without digital devices and technology. Though these devices carry along with certain risks such as data breaches, security incidents and distractions; it doesn’t imply that these digital devices cannot be used for education. The need of the hour is to manage, monitor and secure these digital devices with an efficient MDM for students.