Dubai universities looking at Facebook blocking device

09 Jun 2015
New technology that allows teachers to block pupils from using social media and websites on their smartphones has gone on display for the first time. American firm Avaya has created a system that allows teachers to take control using a beacon fitted near each classroom.
It was on display at the Internet of Things at Dubai World Trade Centre. Sales director Maan Al Shakarchi said it is aimed at both schools and universities. He said universities in Dubai are already looking to implement it.
He added: “When the teacher arrives, all he or she needs to do is scan their phone on the beacon placed on the outside of the classroom and that changes the policy immediately, switching the students’ phone to ‘classroom mode’.

The classroom mode blocks all intra-traffic, but enables all of the websites and portals the teacher wants the student to see and use. “Students won’t be able to use anything else on their phone except what the teacher wants them to use”.

Kim Gerber, a grade five teacher at a Dubai school, said she believes the technology would ensure pupils focus more. She said: “It would help students fight the temptation to constantly check phones. Social media is such an addiction to them because they feel like they will miss out on something their friends are posting”.

“For teachers, it assures us that our students are focusing. There have been boys in other classes that were suspended due to inappropriate usage of their phones. So, this can help us monitor them”.

This article appeared in the 7Days News on 9th June 2015.