The FCC still holds schools accountable for protecting students using classroom and media center computers and devices. Before unlocking access district-wide, school officials might want to consider a phase-in or permission-based approach once students, teachers, and even parents have completed face-to-face or online training modules in appropriate use.
School officials also will have to figure out who pays for content and access that defies geographic boundaries. Most elected officials and taxpayers are going to want some assurance that their hard-earned dollars are helping students in their local communities, while companies that have invested millions in developing digital content aren’t going to give it away for free.
Despite these concerns, accessing digital content across multiple platforms, operating systems, and mobile devices is part of daily life for most American adults. It’s time we stop asking students to check their technology at the door and open access in our classrooms, media centers, and schools as well
Award-winning eSchool News columnist Nora Carr is the chief of staff for North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools.