Teachers: Don't Forget About Internet Privacy Concerns When Heading Back to School
These days, the internet is a part of nearly every facet of life, and as a teacher, you probably know how significant its role is in education. It is important to take privacy and safety concerns into consideration when using online resources for education - both for the children as well as yourself. Most schools teach students about the importance of online safety, but it can be easy to forget that teachers need to protect themselves as well.
Whether you interact with your students via email or social networking sites, you should protect your personal privacy. Ask your students to use specific email subjects so you can tell them apart from potential scams in case their email addresses get hacked. Using Facebook or Twitter to stay in touch with students can greatly benefit the teacher-student relationship. But, it may be best to set up a professional account. This way you can keep your private life separate from the prying eyes of your students, as they will likely want to go through all of your photos and statuses when you become 'friends.' In fact, teachers in New York are required to use this outlet in such a manner to protect them as well as their students, according to The New York Times.
It is also important to take precautions when it comes to your mobile privacy. If you need to call parents or even if you'd like to be accessible to your class for after-hours help, a second mobile number could be an ideal way to do this safely. Plus, you can set it up to only work during certain hours. This way, you can have a set time period when they can contact you for homework help or other questions. While most of your students are probably great kids, there can sometimes be a "bad apple" in the bunch who may try to abuse access to your phone number. A second number is not connected to any of your personal information, so curious kids won't get very far.
When you take steps to avoid internet privacy issues, it's even easier to use this vast network of information to enhance the learning experience for your students. When you don't have to worry about accidentally downloading a virus or getting calls from students at 2 a.m., you can focus on your work and find new ways to improve your classroom both on and offline.