A question came up on one of my mailing lists about what some school districts do to manage students’ personal devices connecting to district networks. The inquirer’s administration wanted to shut down all guest wifi access as a way to curb social media bullying and other antics, with the assumption that giving students the alternative of having to use their plan minutes would be sufficient as a deterrent.
This seems like an overreaction instead, as well as relying on external forces to manage internal forces. This is a behavior management issue, as the technology is a tool being misused. While reducing or eliminating access to those tools would address the issue, how does that impact the rest of the population?
If a handful of students are misbehaving and misusing the technology made available to all students, and that technology is taken away from all students, what are the consequences? If guest-access wifi is removed, not only does that impact the entire student body, but also any guest speaker, parents, business contacts, and even visitors from neighboring schools.
Drunk driving could easily be resolved by banning all vehicles and alcohol. Is that the right solution, though?
If there are flies buzzing around from something that’s spoiled in the kitchen, do we remove the entire kitchen? Or do we hunt around for the rotten meat that fell behind the stove, which is where the flies have congregated? Yes, it more work to trace the source and to clean up the meat, but it doesn’t go overboard by demolishing the whole kitchen.