Why Are Schools Blocking Discord?
If you follow all things education, you may have seen recently that Discord is being blocked from being accessed within schools due to students being able to access bad content.
Discord is a communicative platform designed for gaming enthusiasts and online communities, where users can create servers, which are essentially virtual meeting spaces. You can chat via video, voice, or text, as well as share files and play games. Discord is particularly popular among gamers because it seamlessly offers a reliable channel to communicate and collaborate with fellow gamers whilst engaging in games together. It has however, been adopted by various other communities such as hobbyists, study groups and social clubs.
Available on multiple platforms, Discord can be used via Windows, Mac, iOS and Android and it has both a free and paid version available. Although it is designed to be a useful tool for communication and collaboration, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with any online platform. Harassment, cyberbullying, and exposure to inappropriate content being the main risks.
Online Safety & Distractions
Schools have had concerns including online safety, cyberbullying, and students being distracted during class. In addition to this, there may be concerns that students will use Discord during class, which is not only distracting, but interferes with their ability to learn. By ensuring access to Discord is blocked on the school networks, students are likely to be more focused on their studies and not engaging in non-academic activities during class time. And whilst we would all be naive to think that they won’t be distracted by other things, at least by shutting down as many distractions as possible, schools can do their best to minimise them.
Distractions aside, schools blocking Discord is a broader effort to promote online safety and ensure that students are able to learn in a safe and supportive environment. Discord, much like many other online platforms, has the potential to allow students to access inappropriate or harmful content if they are not properly supervised or if they engage with others who may share unsolicited harmful content.
Discord does however have policies in place to prohibit the sharing of explicit or graphic content, and it does also provide tools for parents and educators to help manage their children’s online experiences. But sometimes there are instances that slip the net.
So, it’s important to note that there is no guarantee that students will not be exposed to harmful content during their participation in Discord or any other online platform. Parents and educators can take proactive steps to monitor and manage children’s online activity, including setting age-appropriate boundaries, using content filters and parental controls, and openly talking with children about online safety and responsible digital behaviour.
Senso Supporting Online Safety
Senso offers an unrivalled overview and reports of all violations made across a single or multi-site setup. Our online safety software delivers a detailed insight into a student’s actions and behaviours by working alongside advanced AI driven visual threat analysis. With Senso, schools can improve their safeguarding efforts and abilities with keyword libraries which have been produced in partnership with expert organisations.
Keeping track of user activity will never be easier than it is with Senso. Filter and sort violations by severity, phrase, user, keyword, and visual threat. Reviewing violations are flexible allowing you to pinpoint those that require support quickly, as well as providing full browsing history to understand online activity in a wider context. You can log and block these violations accordingly.
Senso also offer content filtering. A cloud-based, category-based web content filter that appropriately filters and blocks students from accessing harmful or inappropriate content. Providing devices to students to use at home as well as in the classroom, gives them the freedom to access whatever they want, however not with Senso. Student devices are protected by our Senso Cloud filter with the same protective measure put in place for them whilst they are on the school network. They are protected wherever they are, whenever they use that device.
In summary you can protect users using school–owned devices by proactively monitoring and indicating to relevant staff any users who may be vulnerable, at risk or may pose a risk to themselves or others. Track inappropriate, off-task or harmful behaviour with easy access to data, trend analysis and reports, enabling you to run a focused, proactive, and relevant safeguarding strategy within your school.
Ready to Explore Safeguarding?
If you would like more information on what Senso can do for you and your school or business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!