In the June 2013 Issue of THE Journal, an educational technology magazine, the authors remind us that “cloud computing and mobile technology are two of the top technologies to watch in education”, and they tailor the magazine to concerns about securities, networking, student safety, and policy design. Overall they appear to have good intentions, but I am concerned that they are missing the main point which is the students already have this technology and use it right before school starts and right after it ends.
Every day I hear of students using their iPADS, cell phones, laptops, and other mobile devices to create papers, presentations, podcasts, video productions, web sites, and other digital projects that are preparing them for their futures. They also use Google drive and Dropbox for storage on a frequent basis. School IT departments on the other hand are proposing restrictions, accessibility restraints, and infrastructure limits that inhibit that educational usage in schools and progress. There appears to be a fear of the unknown by IT departments and administrators or concern for worst case scenarios. I sure hope it is not a lack of knowledge in how to set up their networks to support limited access and correctly defined access.
In my opinion, schools need to implement policies both server based and school wide agreements that allow students to bring those devices to school, use them in a responsible manner, and grant access to education critical goals as a privilege that can be revoked. Students will make mistakes, but they also will create projects that will define the future. iPADS and other mobile devices are not the problem but a healthy solution to keeping our students moving in the right direction and competitive in the future markets of their world.
Educational Technology from Absolutely Learning – Matt Moore