In the last few months, many things have changed. Countries around the world have gone into total lockdown to do their bit to contain the virus. Many businesses have changed the way they work, as employees transition into an environment of working from home. With remote connectivity becoming popular, it seems that the only industry to have been slow on the uptake is education.
However, in the past few weeks, we’ve seen schools, colleges and universities resume teaching through online classes. Much to parents’ relief, we’ve seen teachers and students connect themselves onto popular platforms like Zoom, Skype and Canvas to continue with the curriculum. However, it has been the high usage of these platforms that have highlighted some serious concerns towards our privacy. With Zoombombing being the latest security breach activity reported by the media, these popular digital platforms pose as a major security risk.
With personal information such as students’ names, identity numbers, login credentials and bank details potentially at risk of being exposed or stolen, there is a shared responsibility. Although responsibility lies in the hands of the platform providers, it should also be shared between the teachers and parents who use these services to ensure that children remain safe online.
We understand that it is a difficult time as many of us are trying to juggle team meetings, work and children. That’s why we’ve got some simple tips to help you as teachers and parents keep the kids safe digitally.
Tips for Parents:
Here are some tips that parents can be practicing before and whilst their kids start E-learning.
1. Make your kids aware of online safety talk. To your kids about the dangers that they could face online, and teach them what to look out for so they too can become cyber-savvy.
2. Watch and browse together with your kids. Co-Viewing the internet with kids allow parents to know what their kids are up to and can guide them towards internet safety.
3. Use parental controls and enable safety to browse options. Activate parental controls, and restrict access. This can help your kids access specific websites and apps which is meant for them.
4. Don’t allow kids to browse alone don’t. Let kids browse alone in their room or make them sit in an area where parents can see them. Make sure you designate a common living room for them to browse and you can always glance over them.
5. Teach kids to never share any personal information. Teach kids not to share personal information like their name, parent’s name, Address, siblings’ name, phone number etc without the permission of parents.
6. Make sure you enable privacy settings on social media accounts. Social media platforms have made their privacy policies very stringent, make sure you enable the privacy setting and also let kids know about the same.
7. Tell them not to interact with strangers kids. Kids are attracted to requests from strangers to be more social, so make sure your kids are aware of the dangers of interacting with strangers. Hackers are ready to use kids to steal information.
8. Limit Internet Browsing time. Set a time limit on how much time they spend on the internet. A time limit on how long your kids can browse on the internet.
What teachers can do to keep the students safe?
Students often look up to their teachers for guidance, which is why here are a couple of things you could be doing to help your students stay safe online wherever they are. Whatever you decide it’s always good to get participation from parents and students.
1. Stick to private online apps Make sure you use an application that is focused on giving you privacy and security when teaching kids online. Talk to your kids about the dangers that they could face online, and teach them what to look out for so they too can become cyber-savvy.
2. Watch and procreate a School Policy, and have students sign it together with your kids create a policy about internet usage, and include what you expect students to use the internet for and what they need to avoid. Make sure they are well aware and ask them and their parents to sign the agreement. This will increase the seriousness.
3. Create an effective Cyberbullying reporting system if one likes a bully, especially a Cyberbully. Unfortunately with social media now at the centre of almost every kid’s life, cyberbullying is on the rise. That’s why it’s important for teachers to make students aware of the support systems that are in place to help combat this issue. Enforce an attitude that reporting cyberbullying is helping to combat this issue.
4. Providing resources sometimes talking can be an overload of information. Keep your advice in digestible sizes. Sometimes a simple video or infographic works.