How to Safeguard Android Student Tablets for K-12 with SafeSearch

Android devices such as smartphones, tablets, personal digital assistants, and laptops have enormous potential for K-12 education. Students of all ages can quickly adapt to the user-friendly Android Operating System (OS) to learn remotely, connect with educators, and pursue college and careers. 

The Road Ahead for the Education Industry

Currently, experts are uncertain if schools will reopen in Fall 2020. It’s likely that distance learning will play a role in global primary education for the foreseeable future to protect against disease transmission. Representatives from the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) agree with educators that it’s important to get kids back into the classroom as soon as safely possible. But, no one wants to expose students to pandemic risks. 

Luckily, Android mobile devices have the potential to improve global access to education in both pandemic and post-pandemic conditions. Deloitte research reports that educators, students, and parents are all in agreement that mobile eLearning has huge potential to improve learner outcomes.

eLearning and 1-to-1 student device initiatives are nearly guaranteed to play an increasingly big role in schools of the future. Android student tablets are quickly becoming the ‘new normal.’ But, securing student tablets and other Android devices is necessary.

Can Android Devices Really Benefit Students?

Mobile devices in education have transformative potential for K-12 learning. Educators and technologists both believe that mobile technology can close the opportunity and achievement gap for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

edTech can help students access personalized learning pathways. Android devices are an inclusive platform for students who rely on assistive technology. Mobility can enhance traditional lecture-based instruction with options that work for many different learning styles. Also, students can use eLearning Android devices to read about current events, improve their STEM skills, and connect with peers.

Countless studies confirm that Android student tablets and other mobile devices have nearly unlimited potential to improve educational outcomes. But, data from major research bodies like the EU Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also confirms that technology alone won’t close the gap. Mobility needs to be deployed and used correctly to give students the opportunities they deserve. 

Managing Student Device Security Risks is Crucial

There are some risks associated with providing personal devices and mobile connectivity to K-12 students. Deploying unmanaged and unsecured tablets is an invitation for threat actors to prey on sensitive data. It’s also important for education technologists to consider the student experience to make sure it’s both safe and productive.

Pandemic conditions have created a global childcare crisis and forced many working parents to leave kids unsupervised during workdays. Unsupervised internet usage on school tablets can lead to accidental exposure to inappropriate web content when students misspell a search query or ask innocent questions. Internet filtering restrictions using Google SafeSearch for Android devices is necessary to protect students from adult content. 

SafeSearch is highly-configurable. School administrators gain extensive capabilities to allowlist and blocklist access to web content, apps, and activities. This can prevent students from being exposed to cyberbullying, scammers, and toxic online communities. 

How to Secure Student Devices with SafeSearch

SafeSearch is a user-friendly tool to create a secure, productive device experience for student tablets. Teachers and parents can use SafeSearch to remotely monitor user device activity and take corrective action when necessary. It’s a useful way to restrict student browser activity to a standard or custom website allowlist when learners need browser access for coursework.  

SafeSearch isn’t the only tool school administrators need to provide safe mobile learning experiences for students. Instead, it’s one important tool that can be used to customize the student’s experience with mobile browsers and Android apps. Using SafeSearch in conjunction with cloud device provisioning templates and remote management tools is the ideal solution for safe mobile learning. 

Esper believes in mobility’s potential to transform education with safe, productive learning experiences from home and classrooms. That’s why we teamed up with iTeach Schools to donate fundraising support and cloud management tools to deploy 5,000 devices to underprivileged students in Pune, India. 

School districts worldwide trust Esper to help provide safe Android mobile experiences for students to learn and grow. Esper can be used to enable Google SafeSearch and restrict student access to browse the web, download apps, or even access device settings. We can also disable browser incognito mode.

Learn how Esper enables safe browser allowlisting and blocklisting for our customers in education in my upcoming developer blog, Safe Chrome Browser.

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