IEEE Pervasive Article on Acceptable Use Policies in Schools Accepted

March 21st, 2010  |  Published in News

An excerpt from the article….

Although mobile technologies are nearly ubiquitous in the lives of teenagers in modern industrialized nations, they are rarely used in schools—places where these youth spend a significant percentage of their time. Today’s teenagers, 75% of whom own cell phones, are considered by many to be responsible for the rampant uptake of mobile social applications .Despite the increased capabilities of these systems and their arguable potential to improve learning, most public schools are far from the environments envisioned in pervasive computing. In the United States, more than 1200 hours annually are spent by the most connected generation in some of the least-connected places—schools.

Within formal school settings, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders negotiate a complex set of issues in regards to supporting the use of mobile phones and other portable networked devices. Efforts at technology integration in schools include installation of new networks, risk assessment surrounding use and abuse of networked communication, purchase and installation of new software, and more.  In addition to the technical challenges of bring new pervasive computing systems into schools, there are numerous legal and policies issues that surround the use and abuse of networked communication and applications.  These enormous challenges have meant that, to date, most learning designs for mobile phones have been developed for outside of the classroom use.

To fully explore the potential of mobile and social applications for learning, the community at large must consider use of mobile devices and networked applications in public schools to compliment our understanding of the use of these systems and services for youth and learning outside the schools. Specifically, Acceptable Use Policies in schools represent the current legal basis and historical precedents that define the climate of classroom mobile phone and social media use. Understanding these policies is an important first step to engaging with design and pedagogical practices as a joint community of teachers, researchers, and designers.  Rather than lay the responsibility of adapting teaching practices to technologies on teachers or the responsibility of adapting technologies to teaching practices on designers, in this paper, we explore how these issues can be addressed together.

Cramer, M.D. and Hayes, G.R. Acceptable Use in the Age of Connected Youth: How Risks, Policies, and Promises of the Future Impact Student Access to Mobile Phones and Social Media in Schools To Appear IEEE Pervasive Computing.

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