Towards appropriate use of mobile devices, at school and at home
The boundaries between bullying and cyberbullying are blurred: very often physical and psychological violence is filmed and spread through social networks and messaging apps, dramatically amplifying the suffering of those who are its victims. In the same way, explicit, violent messages or inappropriate can make the experience of the Net traumatic and disturbing. This is how the devices in the hands of our students and our children – right in the most delicate moment of their personality formation – are transformed from precious instruments of communication and knowledge, into vehicles of toxic contents. What can we do, as educators and as parents?
As professionals in the education sector, we have been engaged for years in qualified consultancy work for schools on the subject of new technologies applied to teaching. One of the most felt needs of the school world today involves the appropriate use of student devices in the didactic field, with particular attention to smartphones.
If their use has been encouraged in recent times both by the MIUR and by the Council of the European Union in the guidelines for the new key competences for lifelong learning, it is necessary to underline how, conversely, the operative tools in the hands of the teachers be few or none at all. Wild” and unguided use of these tools paves the way for incorrect and counterproductive use of resources and bullying and cyberbullying against not only students, but also teachers.”
None of these forms of violence should be underestimated: if ‘classic’ bullying stops in front of the domestic environment, cyberbullism takes on more disturbing forms, going to hit its victims in a virtual space and, therefore, always available to the intrusions. The Network and, in particular, the social networks thus become a constantly open door, through which any type of violent, inappropriate or disturbing content can pass without any type of filter, at school or at home.
A question of responsibility
If the commission appointed by the former Minister Fedeli has indicated an openness to the possibility of using mobile phones in school dress ( the prohibition of personal use of mobile phones at school remains, we are regulating their educational use, under the supervision of the teacher ” ), such openness has brought with it an inevitable trail of controversy on the part of teachers, school administrators and families: beyond the theoretical statements, certainly acceptable, the responsibility for the use of these tools is always of the schools and, specifically, of the Headmaster regarding the general organization and the teachers for the application of the directives.”
The law 71/2017, the first in Europe to typify cyberbullying behavior, involves the management, by each school, of a series of activities, including the appointment of a contact with the responsibility of coordinating prevention activities and contrast, also with the support of the police forces, we recall that the school is called upon to respond civilly in the event of cyber-bullying based on article 28 of the Constitution and article 61/2 of law 312/80. has long considered the dissemination of inappropriate or illegal videos as an activity to some extent predictable in pre-adolescent children, equipped with mobile phones enabled for video footage and generally using social networks” (Court of Brescia judgment number 1955, published on 22 June 2017).”
To give a concrete response to schools and families we have launched an experimental project that has as its focal point the use of Chimpa, a professional-level MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution that can manage, manage and control mobile devices (tablet and, above all, smartphones) of the boys both at school and at home.It is, for instance, an approach similar to those already adopted for a long time by airlines and large companies to prevent employees from misusing work tools. offers schools, educators and families a series of tools capable of guaranteeing an always appropriate and controlled use of mobile technology, both in terms of schedules and spaces of use and the modalities such as, for example, the Apps that can or they cannot be used by students, even based on the scheduling of activities Chimpa is a 100% developed solution in Italy, all the information required They are accessible in the cloud and are hosted on servers owned by Chimpa, resident in Italy in compliance with the most stringent IT security criteria.
The school can decide how, when and with which modality the mobile devices of the students, whether they are smartphones or tablets (indifferently iOS and Android), can be used by the students. It will be possible, for example, to prevent access to certain web pages , to apps that are not related to teaching or certain functions such as the camera on an hourly basis and on certain days of the week, or if the devices are near the school WiFi network (forcing them to connect to it), and these are just a few examples!
In the classroom
In the classroom, the teacher can use the Chimpa Teach App for a ‘real-time’ monitoring of the activities, for example by fixing an app in the foreground, applying or modifying the Institute’s whitelist of accessible sites or completely blocking the class devices , of groups or individual students. Chimpa offers a double benefit: it blocks upstream inappropriate or illicit use of devices in the school environment, and at the same time creates the context suitable for a conscious, profitable and safe use of these tools.
When it is time for the ‘handover’ from school to the family, Chimpa continues to be a safety net against the improper use of personal devices: the control and management tools pass into the hands of the family, which can operate the choices that considers it more appropriate for their children, for example by preventing access to messaging apps or games during study or rest hours, monitoring the use of individual applications and the time spent on the smartphone.
With Chimpa24, cyberspace becomes a safe space:
- It represents a deterrent against bullying and cyber-bullying, building a “safety net” against the indiscriminate use of student devices.
- It provides the school with a simple and effective system for administering, controlling and deciding in detail what students can and cannot do with the devices during teaching time and within the school space
- it is available to parents to define how and when their children can have their mobile devices in the home
- It involves teachers, parents and students in a ‘virtuous circle’ capable of stimulating a critical reflection on the use of technology at school and at home, appreciating its potential and warning against the potential risks of an unaware use of the tools.