Day 18 – Responsibility v Restrictions
When considering a mobile device management (MDM) system it’s vital to have a clear understanding of how you want to build the foundations of your project. I have always advocated an honest approach. Aiming to educate the pupils and their parents with the realities of using the Internet so the students become educated and aware of their responsibilities online. I prefer to make the minimum amount of formal restrictions to allow the students to experience a real life scenario. Filters in school are appropriate and additional precautions on iPad will ensure a relevant degree of protection.
This comes with a huge responsibility for ensuring that the pastoral/ safe guarding aspects of the deployment are kept in the forefront and regularly visited and updated in the classroom.
Our school was the first to enrol with the new Apple device enrolment system. Now students no longer require their own Apple ID. This solves the underhand way that parents had to falsify a birthdate to allow their child to create an Apple ID if they were under the age of 13. It never sat comfortably with me. An updated acceptable use policy will need to be activated.
The consequence however if the new system is that services that require an Apple ID such as FaceTime, iMessage and iCloud are no longer made available in the classroom. This requires a robust
strategy for backing up work on iPad. Showbie and other file sharing apps will cushion this need but it does, at first glance. seem limiting to the learner. Perhaps as it is only the first wave of deployment, these glitches will be ironed out.
What was equally clear when going through the process of managing the devices, was that deployment of apps is quick and easy preventing wasted time in the classroom waiting for apps to download. Our school took the step to not download any games so that the purpose of the device was clear. Their iPad is a tool to enhance their learning. Time will tell if this decision has any adverse effects on motivation or usage.