There are affordable tools out there that can let schools and teachers have more control.
There are various ways to deal with controlling what students can access on hard wired Internet-enabled computers in classrooms.
One way is to provide strict limits using content filtering tools, but these can occasionally lead to difficulties accessing legitimate sites. Another approach is to leave it to the instructor to deal with – encouraging them to walk around, teach from the back of the classroom, and try to pay attention to what the students are doing on the computers and address any disruptive use. Another technique is to turn the computers off at times. Each of these solutions has it's drawbacks.
Another way to help address this is with technology. There are applications and systems that can allow instructors to turn off Internet access quickly and easily while still allowing access to the school's network. We've selected one of these types of applications, NetSupport School, to trial in our school this quarter.
I'll likely be sharing some of our story here as we work through the pilot and hopefully then move forward with implementation. Are any of you using similar tools in your schools? I'd love to hear whatever you can share about your experiences if you care to comment.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
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5 Reasons Why Educators Need To Embrace Internet Technologies
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