Turns out the problem with issuing iPads to high school students, as LA is doing in a $1 billion program for its public schools, is…they actually want to use them for stuff other than school work. So finds the LA Times, which notes that it only took about a week for students to figure out how to remove the school restrictions on the tablets so they could use them for things they wanted to do, such as social networking or streaming Pandora.
As a result, the school has halted its tablet roll-out program, at least insofar as letting students take the devices home, until it can figure out a way to protect the tablets better from unauthorized non-academic use.
Yeah, good luck with that. If you’re going to give the kids access to the tablets at all, they’re going to be able to find ways around whatever security you put on them. When you have physical access to the hardware, you can hack it. That’s just how it is. And besides, they’re high school students. They’ve got the time and interest and drive to learn (but, ironically, to learn the things their school doesn’t want them to) that will inspire them to break the locks faster than the adults can put them on.
Besides, these are kids of the current generation. They know what these tablets are capable of doing—they’ve grown up around that kind of tech. If they’re given the tablet to take away from the school, they’re going to feel entitled to do out-of-school things with it. And as the music, movie, and video game industries could tell you, there’s little that’s more dangerous, or capable, than an entitled-feeling teenager.
And seriously, guys, what’s the problem here? Any students with their own computers or smartphones will be doing those things on their personal hardware anyway. Why penalize the kids who aren’t well-off enough to have their own? “[S]tudent safety is of paramount concern,” school administrators say. Yeah, right. More like legal liability is a concern.
(Hat tip to The Digital Reader for the link.)