Dealing with bad digital behaviours post lockdown

September 16, 2020

Research by the Gonski Institute for Education published in early 2020 suggested that the amount of time students are spending on digital technology inside and outside school is having a significant impact on both their classroom learning and wellbeing. And this was before the pandemic!

The data shows 84 per cent of teachers & principals believe devices are an increasing distraction in classrooms, while 78 per cent reported students’ ability to focus on educational tasks had decreased. Alarmingly, almost four out of five (81 per cent) said they had seen an increase in online harassment and cyberbullying, 78 per cent reported decreases in student empathy and 60 per cent noted decreases in physical activity.

Related Blog: Responding to cyberbullying: The top 10 tips for schools

Since then, lockdowns and remote learning have resulted in greater use of digital technology by students; raising questions about how schools can address the digital habits arising from this increased usage. 

Prevent bad habits from becoming bigger problems

It is vitally important for schools to swiftly address any poor digital behaviour brought back to school, to prevent from becoming ongoing problems and further contributing to the issues already being reported; such as the impact on learning and cyberbullying.

One such behaviour is the inappropriate use of personal devices during school time. Sure, phones are meant to be in bags or lockers, or not brought to school at all. Learning devices should only be connected to the school network. But no matter what your policy may be, the reality is, students going a full school day without seeking out social media - or a few Tik Tok videos - is a school pipe dream. 

Related Blog: The case against a blanket phone ban

A gateway to distraction 

Armed with these personal devices, the most common digital disobedience students employ at school is probably hotspotting. Not only does hotspotting allow access to limitless amounts of  distraction, it also opens a door to all the risky sites and apps your filters have been set to block - even on school devices. Gaming. Pornography. Social media. Literally nothing is off-limits. The impact of hotspotting cannot be overstated. It threatens the school’s ability to maintain duty of care. It undermines learning outcomes. And of course it multiplies distractions.

If educators overwhelmingly believed devices were a distraction in classrooms before remote learning, you can only imagine the impact since students have become even more ‘connected’.

Help guide positive digital behaviour

Linewize’s SpotShield is a game changer for managing hotspotting at school, reducing distractions and transforming student behaviour. SpotShield allows schools to control every device students may use during school hours, school-mandated or personal, and with no need for parents to install any software. 

With Linewize, every device becomes fully compliant with your acceptable-use policy - whether on or off the school network. The result is less distractions, better learning outcomes, and the ability to maintain your duty of care. 

To find out how Linewize can help control hotspotting in your school and keep students focussed and on-task, book a conversation with one of our experts here

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Topics: distraction, remote learning, smartphones, wellbeing, hotspotting

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