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Indiana Students Quickly Outwit School iPad Security

Hundreds of teens in the 7,500-student Center Grove, Ind., school district circumvented the security devices on district-issued iPads within hours of receiving the devices, according to a report last week in the Daily Journal and republished by the Associated Press.

Between 300 and 400 students found ways to reprogram the iPads so they could download games and apps for social media sites, according to the report, which quoted Center Grove officials as attributing the problem to their security program not being able to handle the number of devices - more than 2,000 - that were distributed. 

A Center Grove spokeswoman was unable to provide an update on where the district's efforts to address the problem currently stand.

Districts are also facing increasing threats from outside hackers, as my colleague Sean Meehan reported yesterday

Keith Krueger, the CEO for the Consortium for School Networking, said such problems are increasingly common as districts deploy an increasing number of devices.

"Kids and adults find ways to hack through things, and it can spread like wildfire," he said. "It's frustrating, and it's a huge challenge for any district."

The best strategy, Krueger said, is to combine the best possible security filters and other technology measures with a comprehensive responsible or acceptable use policy that students and families must sign and a commitment to enforcement.

"It's not surprising that a school district would have some breaches," he said. "The question is how do you leverage it into a teachable moment?"

Follow @BenjaminBHerold and @EdWeekEdTech for the latest news on ed-tech policies, practices, and trends. 

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