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What Is The Place Of Technology In The Boarding House?

Vincent Paget

June 18, 2019

With the rise of technology and its role in everyday aspects of our lives, it's become important for schools to decide how they're going to manage the use of technology. There's no doubt it has significant benefits for teaching and learning, and also helps boarding students maintain close relationships with family and friends elsewhere.But what do boarding house staff need to consider when it comes to how students use technology outside of the classroom?

How Technology Can Benefit The Boarding House Environment

It allows students to manage their own attendance, and take responsibility for checking important details.

  • Student communication: Technology makes a huge difference to how boarding house staff are able to communicate with their students. With applications like the Boardingware event manager, staff can send a notification to all students at once, and manage their attendance and details from one place. It also allows students to manage their own attendance, and take responsibility for checking important details about the events they're attending.
  • Contact with family: One of the revolutions we've seen over the last few years is the ability to speak to friends and family at any time, no matter where they are in the world. Allowing technology like iPads in the boarding house provides students freedom around when and how they communicate with their loved ones at home.
  • Research and learning: Today's technology provides ample room for self-directed learning, beyond what's in the curriculum textbook. If something excites a student, they can do more research and develop their knowledge. Self-motivation and research skills are critical for your students as they move onto the university environment.
  • Setting boundaries: Banning technology doesn't necessarily mean it isn't used, but may impact how it's used. In fact, allowing students to manage their use of technology means they learn how to use it appropriately, and how to ascertain when it is okay to rely on internet-based knowledge.

What should you consider before implementing a policy?

For staff, there's no point considering a boarding house without technology, or how it can be banned. It's about learning to get the balance right, so that pupils use technology healthily and understand appropriate boundaries.Acceptable use policies need to look at how much time is appropriate to spend with technology and, how can staff monitor and guide its use. Rather than providing hard and fast rules, consider using your policy to create guidelines about how you expect students to use their devices, and create training sessions that help them understand why it's important.

Teaching students about how to use technology in the boarding house is crucial.
With boarding house technology, it's about teaching pupils what counts as acceptable use and what's healthy.

Technology and wellbeing

Pupils should understand the effect technology has on their ability to focus on the task at hand, and the detriment of continuous multi-tasking. It's important to cover topics like healthy sleep habits, so that pupils understand how using devices at night may affect their ability in the classroom the next day.You should also set expectations and standards around manners and acceptable use behaviours. Your students should be clear that using their devices at the table is not appropriate, nor is scrolling through their phone while talking to a member of staff. These types of behaviours are unacceptable beyond the school environment, and your boarding house policy should help pupils to learn these boundaries.

Building skills with technology

Your policy can also play a part in ensuring that pupils learn the skills they need to use the internet for academia and sourcing. They should learn what's a reliable source of information, as well as how to find the type of data they need. You can also develop methods to improve their skill set - such as running sessions around maintaining websites or developing mobile apps, so that they can take these skills with them into the world of work.

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Vincent Paget

Vincent Paget is an Operations Manager at Orah based in Auckland, New Zealand. He loves technology, organisation, nature and adventure sports, not necessarily in that order.

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