The average student today will have their own personal cell phone before they turn 11 years old.
The average age for children to create their own social media accounts across many of the major sites is 13. Unfortunately, many children find ways around those rules. Cyberbullying and the negative impact of social media on the psyche of a child even younger than 11. Today, teachers have to be vigilant in how they manage and watch their student’s digital activity for more reasons than one.
If your school uses mandatory technology like tablets or personal computers or you’re wondering what options you have for managing devices, we’ve got 7 pro tips to help you set boundaries for your students.
Read on to learn more.
Keep It Academic
Depending on how old your students are, the likelihood is that technology use is a fact of life at this point. Today’s generation of students are what some experts refer to as “digital natives.” This means they were born into a work of technology that’s become synonymous with everyday life.
Many schools and programs are finding ways to incorporate technology into student’s daily lives. This can help teach children valuable tech skills that could become the future of the workforce for them as adults.
Teachers can manage these devices using services like Stay Mobile. Stay Mobile’s highly trained techs help teachers repair the devices they use in their classrooms so there’s never any downtime!
Considering how important and popular digital learning is today, keeping tech out of the classroom at all times may not be possible. But that doesn’t mean teachers won’t be successful at managing devices.
Encouraging academic can be a teachers first line of defense to make sure students using devices in the classroom are using them for the right reasons.
Let Students Know What To Expect
If you’re going to use digital devices for academic use in your classroom, set those rules upfront and make sure your students know exactly what to expect.
Are students going to be allowed to read books digitally on a tablet? Make sure they know that.
Are those same devices going to be disallowed during testing or group discussion times? Make sure they know that too.
Setting your classroom boundaries upfront lets students know that while you’re willing to let them use digital devices under certain circumstances, you’re might also tell them to put them away in others. This tip for managing devices will help you avoid confusion throughout the school year.
Physically Managing Devices
It may sound silly at first, but younger students can benefit from knowing how they’re allowed to used digital devices in your classroom. This includes how to position those devices on their desks to ensure you know what they’re doing at all times.
For flat devices including phones and tablets, considering enforcing a “flat of the desk” rule. This requires students to leave the display of their device upright so that you can see it as you’re passing through the classroom. This will allow their fellow students to see their screens as well, which may help discourage distracted used.
Digital Devices As Organizational Tools
Academic apps are one way to support productive use of digital devices in your classroom. But that isn’t the only way to encourage the positive use of these tools.
Students, especially those transitioning between middle school and high school ages, have a certain level of independence with their digital devices. As a teacher, you can help create habits sure to stick even after students leave the classroom for good.
When you announce an assignment, quiz, or other exams, encourage your students to add those dates to a digital calendar. This will help ensure they’re fully aware of the class schedule. It may also help them prep better by keeping those important dates front and center on their devices.
This may even provide a chance to teach students how alarms and alerts in their devices can help keep them organized.
Managing devices can all be instructional for students. fWhile digital and online activity are often criticized for promoting solitary and independent activity in young people, teachers can use these devices as a tool to develop cooperative learning too.
Applications that allow students to read together, work together, and even think out loud together are valuable tools to promote collaboration among students. While this encourages a positive use of tech as teachers work to manage devices, it can also help students learn and work together at their own pace.
Group use of technology can help improve learning outcomes in a way teachers are still in control of. Even educational video games provide many of the same benefits.
Getting the parents involved with tech is the same as with any other concern with students.
One of the easiest ways to ensure the rules in your classroom are enforced is by telling student’s parents of the rules you set on device management. If a student’s use of their personal technology breaks classroom rules, you may be able to help enlist their parents for extra support.
Concerns linked with kids and technology use (like cyberbullying) also happen outside of the classroom. Because of this, keeping parents updated can be beneficial. Parents may be unaware of how dependent their children have become on these digital devices.
The Future Of Tech Use
Technology is going to be a part of your student’s lives, perhaps now more than ever. Encouraging constructive digital citizenship in the classroom is just the first step in making sure they know how to use technology for the right reasons in their academic journeys and beyond.
No age is too early to start setting these guidelines. The sooner children are exposed to the rules of the web and their digital devices, the sooner those habits may become engrained in their everyday use.
Some experts recommend starting children on routine use as early as kindergarten. There are apps for teachers of much younger students to inspire constructive tech behaviors.
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