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How schools can keep students safe, and on Facebook

By Sanjay Ramnath
April 22nd, 2015

In a BYOD world, managing access to popular social media sites has become critical

facebook-mdmToday, educators are implementing exciting technological advances in teaching and learning. e-learning and a broadening acceptance of social media, online collaboration, and other forms of technological engagement are shaping how we view education, and what it will look like going forward. However, this paradigm shift also opens a Pandora’s Box of threats that require administrators to rethink IT strategies and solutions.

In addition to complying with regulations such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), K-12 administrators have to deal with concerns like cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and students accessing inappropriate video content on a host of devices—a problem made more challenging by the increasing adoption of mobile devices on school networks through one-to-one initiatives and BYOD policies. K-12 administrators have to consider ways to extend their network security policies to these devices as well.

As K-12 organizations embrace a more mobile environment, security necessarily becomes a top priority in keeping students and networks safe, while providing access to educational tools and resources online.

A comprehensive web security solution combined with a Mobile Device Management service can help address some of these concerns.

Allow, but monitor
Social-networking sites have become integral assets for providing a diverse, collaborative e-learning experience, and schools should be able to allow classroom access on their networks, while keeping an eye activity. Facebook can be a great tool for collaboration amongst students. However, it can also become a place to bully other classmates with rude posts, comments, pictures. Similarly, online videos can be a powerful educational tool in the classroom if regulated properly. YouTube, for example, has its education arm, YouTube for Schools, which can be a great way to provide students with access to content that is educational, without allowing them to search for inappropriate content.

Next page: Smart filtering of social media