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Keeping Students Safe Online

by Harold Reaves

eSchool News

Article excerpt

How every school can promote safety in a digital world

K-12 schools were expected to spend approximately $4.7 billion on technology this past year, according to IDC, with no sign of a plateau. But as rapid technology adoption continues unabated, the safety of the students who are meant to benefit from these advances is frequently overlooked.

Our take

Communicating Online: What They Don’t Know Could Hurt Them

Technology is ubiquitous in today’s schools from K-12 through higher ed. Its use is only likely to continue to grow. Students, in turn, increasingly have access to their own technology and bring their own devices into the classroom. All of this can represent a number of benefits—but also some risks, especially related to data and personal security. What steps should you be taking to ensure the safety of your students both within and outside of the classroom?

Many school districts are, of course, taking steps to secure their devices and to ensure secure interactions between parents, students and the school system. However, there is also a role for school systems and instructors to play in helping students navigate the more social-interaction safety and security issues they are likely to face in online environments. Importantly, teachers shouldn’t assume that even “digital natives” know everything they need to know about how to safeguard their privacy, how to interact appropriately with others online, or how to navigate sensitive areas such as cyberbullying.