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Ironically, advances in technology are one of the reasons many schools see phone-initiated electronic hall passes as not only a convenient application, but also an increasingly necessary one. Because of technology advances and decreasing prices, many students have access to a personal computer in their homes. With this access, schools are finding out, students can be enterprising little creatures, to say the least.
Today's students are increasingly proficient in PC applications, to the extent that some now show up to school with their de facto hall pass in hand. These students have realized that all that is needed to create a hall pass is a decent understanding of Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint, and a color printer. Armed with these tools (and at least one genuine hall pass from which to copy), creating a hall pass is child's play for a young teen who is computer-savvy enough to surf the web, download music files, share digital pictures and instant messages with friends.
This is the reality that schools face today—a student clientele that understands computers as much, if not better than school officials. Sometimes, this is humorous. Often, however, it can take a decidedly more serious turn. Students loitering in the halls is more of a security risk today than it was 10 or 20 years ago, and IP telephony applications are increasingly becoming tools to deal with this new reality.
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