In the last decade, schools have seen a rise in digital monitoring tools as technology plays a significant role in all our lives. The impact of the pandemic saw a further increase in the need for devices as 1:1 learning became the new normal. A recent survey reported that 90% of US high schools and middle schools are going to be one-to-one. The world is changing, and schools are catching up. Digital monitoring is here to stay, and it is important to understand how it can help educators as they navigate their student’s educational experience.  

Reasons Why Schools are Implementing More Digital Monitoring 

Digital monitoring is becoming more common in schools, but not every school has implemented it. There are many reasons why this technology is being used and has become more popular in an educational setting. Here’s a look at some common reasons why schools are implementing more digital monitoring: 

Student Safety 

Schools are implementing more digital monitoring because it helps protect students’ safety. Digital monitoring can help prevent bullying, harassment, suicide, drug use and violence. 

  • Bullying: Cyberbullying has become a major concern for schools over the past few years. Some parents have even blamed social media sites and chat rooms for their children’s depression after being bullied online by peers or classmates. While traditional forms of bullying still exist and need to be addressed by schools, digital monitoring can help track incidents of cyberbullying that might otherwise go unnoticed or unreported.  
  • Harassment: Sexual harassment is another issue that requires constant vigilance on behalf of educators so they can take immediate action if they suspect an incident has occurred in their school. Digital monitoring can help schools quickly identify potential problems before they escalate into something serious, and deal with them accordingly before they get out of hand.  
  • Suicide and Self-harm: Preventing suicide has become an important focus area for schools due to the rising rates among teens globally, especially in countries where guns are easily accessible. By monitoring student behaviors regularly, teachers may be able to spot warning signs sooner rather than later, allowing them enough time to intervene and provide the appropriate support channels.  

Social Media & Online Distractions 

A school’s main concern it to help students learn and improve their lives. School administrators have a responsibility to make sure their students are learning the right things and that they are doing so in a safe environment. This can be exceedingly difficult, especially when there are so many distractions out there, like social media, streaming platforms, and online games. While blocking social media sites all together may be the answer to keeping students’ distraction free, there may be reasons to let kids have selective access to specific sites and platforms. Digital monitoring can give students a chance to use these sites, by giving teachers and administrators the ability to track online activity for inappropriate behavior or usage.  

Remote Learning 

Remote learning is another reason students are being given more access to digital platforms. With the rise of mobile technologies, students can now learn from anywhere and at any time. They can take advantage of their own devices at their own pace while they are on the go. Schools that offer remote learning options typically lecture via video conferencing software that connects teachers and learners together remotely.  

Student Accountability  

One of the biggest benefits of digital monitoring is that it allows students to be more accountable for their actions. Students are held responsible for their own behaviors now more than ever before. Instead of having a school administrator or teacher handle issues, they are expected to make sure they behave appropriately on social media platforms and show digital responsibility. Devices are often school provided resources and students are taught how to use the technology ethically as digital citizens. Monitoring online activity helps support students are they learn to navigate their own experience with technology. 

Implementing Digital Monitoring in Schools  

Digital monitoring is becoming more popular in schools because it has many benefits for both teachers and students that can be used to improve the learning environment. Teachers can use this technology as a tool that allows them to monitor their students’ progress and provide feedback more efficiently, while students are able to access resources from anywhere at any time without having to wait for the next class period. 

For more information on the impact of technology in schools and student safety, check out these blogs: