Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do we avoid inequality in access to devices?

The school first needs to determine the level of access to devices by pupils. This can be done by reviewing existing resources (laptops, netbooks and mobile devices) and undertaking a survey of pupils created by the school themselves or use the following survey tool already available: http://www.yots.org.uk/ The Your Own Technology Survey is an initiative to help schools better understand the technology available to their pupils, so that the school can have information to help planning how best to develop the use of available resources to maximise educational outcomes. This online survey provides a means to gather information about not only devices but also about other Internet access of pupils, and about the readiness and willingness of parents and carers to permit personally-owned devices to be brought to school. This survey tool anonymises the responses so that each school can have a picture of responses across their school community but pupils and parents/carers completing the information can be reassured that the data does not identify them and their responses individually.

There is a national procurement framework for schools to purchase mobile devices. Prices for Tablet and Notebook devices can be found in the Scottish Government National Notebook and Tablet Framework, found here:

 https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/mobiledevices/purchasing-devices/

The use of mobile devices in the classroom is not a requirement. Lessons will not be built around an expectation that all students have mobile devices. A collaborative approach could be adopted whereby pupils work in groups allowing PCs, laptops and other devices to be shared.

How do we ensure pupil safety and protect them from harm using mobile devices?

Falkirk Council already has in place policies and guidelines to support pupils and teachers to use the Internet safely and responsibly. Access to the Internet via Falkirk Council provided Wi-Fi (which pupils would be obliged to use within school buildings under the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy) is filtered and audited. Where mobile devices are being used in a learning and teaching situation teachers should ensure that pupils are accessing only material relevant to the task. Where devices are being used inappropriately in class, in breach of the Acceptable Use Policy, then school disciplinary policies would be followed. Digital citizenship education in schools covers rights and responsibilities relating to online behaviours by pupils. This is reinforced in the Acceptable Use Policy. Cyber-bullying, as with any form of bullying behaviour, will be dealt with under the school’s behaviour policies.

 

Is there a virus risk to the school network with pupils bringing their own devices?

Pupils using their own devices would only get guest Wi-Fi access. The guest Wi-Fi provision is separate to the school network. The Internet filter has anti-virus protection built-in.

 

Are there data protection risks in Bring Your Own Device?

Pupils using their own devices are responsible for the security of their own data. Digital Citizenship education in schools covers pupil digital footprint and being aware of how to protect their digital identity. For staff Falkirk Council provides data-protection e-modules covering data protection issues.

What do we do if we suspect inappropriate content on a pupil-owned device?

If it has been brought to the attention of a member of staff that a pupil may have inappropriate material on their personally owned mobile device the school behaviour policy is still relevant. Removing the technology from the situation, it is similar to dealing with inappropriate material that is paper based or in another form.

Ask yourself the following question:

How would you treat an incident that involved a magazine, considered to be inappropriate, reported to be in a pupil’s bag or pocket?

Using professional judgement, appropriate to the age and stage of the pupil, and in line with the school’s existing behaviour policy, the parent or carer may require be informed.

How do staff members deal with the issue of pupils taking photographs and sharing them?

Guidelines and policies will be in place by each school and local authority about how to educate pupils about taking and sharing photographs. For one high school teacher’s view about how to deal with this click here.

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