FREE WIFI IN SCHOOLS: PROS AND CONS
With the latest technologies giving teachers and learners the access to a limitless supply of information, the need to use free Wifi in schools has become an integral part of modern teaching- learning setting, having access to the internet on tablets, mobile phones, or laptops let learners utilize all of the gadgets available to them via the internet. They can now research school assignments, connect to their classmates using group chats on messenger for easy collaboration on group tasks , and maximize the use of social media such as facebook and instagram for raw information on social issues, youtube for self tutorials and tweeter for school related campaigns and concerns.
On the other hand, full access to the Internet in school also provides learners the opportunity to be distracted, divide their attentions, lose their interest in classroom discussions and limit their social interactions.
This easy access of information concerning just about any topic may lead learners to materials that are not age-appropriate such as fake news and issues and the increasing presence of commercial sites and links with little content that would be deemed educational for learners. Not to no mention the controversial materials that many parents prefer not to be available to children on the net for various reasons like sites depicting pornography and the numerous interactive game apps that are greatly appealing to our learners.
Another prevailing issue is Cyber bulling .Allowing our learners to be exposed to digital world could potentially lead them to more of it which may cause potential danger to them because even if we are implementing strict policies on BYOD ( bring your own device), I bet they can still look and sneak off some time to use them in school without our permission especially when we are not on the watch.
Now that teachers are faced with digital natives in their classrooms, and the use of free wifi provided by the school is now being implemented, any school adopting this modern trend in education should set strict guidelines and rules , Learners should be taught online safety and the use of judgment in getting good quality of information, and restrain from personal use in the school. Otherwise the use of free wifi in schools is a good avenue for alternative source of information aside from what they are getting from their teachers. — oOo—
The author is Teacher III at Cristo Rey High School