by Sarah Endres
Recently some schools have been trialling a ban of all phones when students are at school in order to bolster cyber security and lessen online bullying.
But cyber security expert, Jordan Foster, of ySafe has a different perspective and thought process when it comes to an all-out ban. ySafe, certified by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. is an award winning team of social media and cyber safety experts providing online safety education and consultation for students, parents, schools and organisations.
Ms Foster says the bans on students’ phones will not help in the bigger picture of controlling online dangers before, during and after school hours.
Not only does the ban seem to fail due to resistance from parents, the continued motivation of students to access their phones and also the lack of using student phone use as an opportunity to help teach students much needed digital skills.
“It is naive to think that banning mobile phones will be the panacea to issues relating to personal device use,” Ms Foster says.
Ms Foster isn’t alone in thinking that the answer is not to ban student phones but to provide students with correct training and controlled usage of their mobile devices.
As a recent Sydney Morning Herald article mentions, even school principals are pushing back against blanket bans on mobile phones in classrooms, saying students should be taught to be more responsible with their devices. Some principals also believing that the devices serve useful purposes in today’s digital classroom.
John Goh, principal at Merrylands East Public School, said children should be learning digital citizenship to address issues like cyber-bullying rather than banning devices, which could be used for research or sharing work.
At CyberHound we also believe in providing a solution that incorporates digital citizenship enablement with a range of tools and features to help support students. We’re committed to enhancing student wellbeing through better visibility and evidence to help protect students and enable timely support to those in need.
We utilise advanced web and application filter technology along with acceptable use policies and identification and monitoring of at-risk students whilst our solution also helps schools enforce the principles of student respect and support for each other. Read more about this functionality here.
Outside of school hours and when students may be roaming with their device, we recommend Circle with Disney. Circle is an innovative device that connects to your router and lets parents manage screen time and filter content for devices in the home in a unique way.
This article is a republished op-ed by Sarah Endres, head of digital at Cyberhound, an Australian cybersafety company.