With the release of the new iOS 10 and the many new features now available, we have re-evaluated our iPad security policy and restrictions.
There are currently two types of devices in operation in our Grade 4 -7 classes:
SUPERVISED device (Gr4) – a digital device than has been setup to allow us full control of the security and restrictions. Restrictions can only be removed or altered by the school. This is the preferred method of management as the school can guarantee full security of the device and protect students from the dangers associated with access to the internet.
An UNSUPERVISED device (Gr5-7) – a digital device that is owned by a parent or student and that the school has enrolled onto our management system. The school provides restrictions and security when the device is on school premises. This management system is very successful as long as the student or parent does not reformat or make any system changes to it at home. This requires adherence to our acceptable users’ policy. Exposure of the content of certain Apps on the unsupervised devices, to peers, may become a challenge unless this is closely monitored.
Our new security update has enforced age appropriate restrictions on Apps that are rated for the age of 13 years and above. This may have resulted in an App disappearing from an unsupervised iPad. The restrictions have always been applied to supervised devices. The School is not prepared to allow devices with inappropriate content to be used in our Gr5-7 classes. State-of-the-art software now identifies inappropriate Apps on student iPads. Your child may now complain that inappropriate Apps on the unsupervised iPads in Gr5-)are no longer available.
The Digital Learning Directorate faces the challenge of merging two parallel iPad projects. The original ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) project in Grade 5-7 required the student to purchase their own iPad or use a parent’s one. The new ‘iPad One to One’ project (Grade 4) makes provision for the school to issue, manage, distribute and monitor the iPad and the content. Parents have different value systems and boundaries and this impacts the content that is available on the Gr5-7 iPads.
In 2017 we will have both Grade 4 and Grade 5 on the supervised system. Grade 6 and 7 will continue on the unsupervised system. However, from Term 4, 2016, unsupervised devices in Gr5-7 (owned by the parents) may not have a SIM card. If your child is using an iPad with a SIM card, the SIM card must be removed and left at home. Our system can detect iPads with SIM cards. A SIM card in a device means that a student can exposure fellow students to inappropriate Apps and sites because the downloaded content is not being filtered by the school software. This is one of the reason why cell phones are handed in each morning when students enter class.
The latest security update is part of our ongoing drive to ensure that digital devices are tools for effective learning in the classroom and not distractions that may expose peers to age-inappropriate content. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Mat Philips – Director: Digital Learning