Safe and responsible use of mobile technology in schools

19 Nov

The Behaviour in Scottish Schools research 2012 highlighted issues around responsible use amongst school-age children of smart phones, the ownership of which has seen a huge increase in recent years.

As a result of the findings, a working group was established by the Scottish Government to consider guiding principles for local authorities and schools on how to develop local policies on this issue.

Voice formed part of the working group considering this guidance on mobile technology in schools. The group explored the embedding of responsible mobile use in digital citizenship, rather than trying to ban the use of mobile technology in schools.

Guidance

Guidance on Developing Policies to Promote the Safe and Responsible use of Mobile Technology in Schools has now been launched.

“The purpose of this guidance is to provide schools and local authorities with advice on how to develop local policies that encourage safe and responsible use of personal mobile technology in school, and beyond. These policies should also be designed to protect staff, children and young people from harassment and abuse which can arise from the misuse of such technology.”

It aims to:

  • provide a set of guiding principles for schools and local authorities to consider when developing their own policies on safe and responsible use;
  • emphasise that these principles could be mapped on to existing health and wellbeing experiences and outcomes;
  • emphasise schools’ responsibility for the health and wellbeing and safety of their staff and children and young people;
  • provide advice on how to develop local policies in partnership with the whole school community; and
  • provide advice on relevant legal aspects.

Copies of the guidance will be issued to all schools in Scotland within the next couple of weeks along with information on the 360 Degree Safe e-safety self-review tool.

The guidance is available to download here (pdf) or from the Scottish Government website.

Your views

Do let us know your views on mobile technology in schools…

Tag: Mobile phones

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3 Responses to “Safe and responsible use of mobile technology in schools”

  1. Alison Taylor 19. Nov, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    This guidance is about the use of all mobile technology not just mobile phones. We, the working group, spent lots of care to try and get this message across to the reader of this document. Please let us know your views on mobile technology in schools NOT phones.

    The guidance is meant to empower staff and Children & Young People as well as protect them.

    Kind regards
    Alison

  2. Alison Taylor 19. Nov, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    As an Access to the Curriculum teacher I specialise in IT solutions to support pupils with additional support needs or disabilities. I look forward to the opportunity of pupils and staff benefitting from Bring Your Own Device To School (BYODTS). The advance in technology is exciting and will continue to empower teachers and learners alike. Digital citizenship is all about learning that digital space is still a place and we have to behave as we would in any other place or we face consequences of sanctions or the law.

    As educators we must rise to this challenge and move with it and resist joining the 21 century Luddites.

  3. Michael Bevington 20. Jan, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    A downside of wireless IT

    As a teacher with 36 years’ experience, I welcome the benefits of computers and the internet in classrooms, but only if they are wired and do not rely on radiation. This is because I am one of those rare people for whom radiation can cause medical problems and annoying ill health, ranging from pain and nausea to memory loss and muscle failure. I suffer particularly from the school’s WiFi, perhaps because it first triggered these symptoms when it was installed in my classroom in 2006.

    The condition is not a fear of electronic devices, since symptoms can occur when a colleague uses one in a room nearby, without me knowing, and I discover this only later. It’s easy to use a meter to prove when a device is transmitting and thus check that a symptom is caused by the radiation: the symptoms usually disappear when the signal ends, although some can be delayed. The condition was discovered in the 1930s and became more common with radar and its pulsed microwaves, also used by WiFi and mobiles. Since it involves the autonomic nervous system it is hard to delineate, although brain blood perfusion and other clinical markers increasingly help diagnosis. A cure has not yet been found and the leading international doctors currently advise avoidance of this radiation as the key in preventing the condition from worsening.

    My school and its Health and Safety officer have helpfully tried to provide me with a safe environment but it is becoming more difficult. Smart phones are a particular menace, if pupils are allowed them, since they send out location signals when a class moves between lessons. Colleagues’ iPads in the staff room can also be a nuisance. Philip Parkin at Voice was very supportive back in 2006, although at first I used to think I was almost alone. Since then, however, I have come across a growing number of teachers and children who are affected. A few teachers have lost their jobs if their school has been unable to provide them with safe places to work. Some children have been unable to access formal education where all local schools have WiFi.

    Other teachers may benefit from being aware of this unusual problem, since it can apparently strike at any time.

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