As a teacher, it can sometimes be frustrating to have to deal with security measures–whether it’s multi-factor authentication, blocked websites, or difficulties logging in with Google. We can sometimes think that most of what we’re doing is not all that necessary to keep secure–after all, if all that’s in our Google Drive is a bunch of science lesson plans, who cares if someone gets into it? But if that’s our attitude toward security, we need to think again.
Because school districts are often large, have access to lots of funding, and are typically not very secure, they are often targets of attacks. They also have multiple points of vulnerability that come with every person that has an account on their network or in their system. As a school district, we are responsible for a huge repository of data that is the rightful protected property of students and their parents, and secured by FERPA laws. If unauthorized access to student data occurs, students and parents, as well as the entire educational community of stakeholders will suffer. Furthermore, our network allows for integration of a variety of tools across our district, from attendance records and grades to curriculum and learning management systems. If our district’s network goes down, learning will suffer.
Not convinced? Take the recent ransomware attack on the Los Angeles Public School district–the nation’s second largest school district: Everything we know so far about the ransomware attack on Los Angeles schools
Security is a very serious matter. Spending time learning, practicing good habits, and being vigilant will help learning continue. And as teachers, deliberately modeling good computer security habits is yet one more way to benefit students.
Instructional Technology Coach
Bob Harrison is the secondary Instructional Technology Coach for the Dearborn Public Schools. He has over 23 years of experience teaching science in high school and middle school, and has supported teachers, administrators, and students as the Tech Coach since 2015.
Bob is a member of ISTE and a participant in multiple online professional learning networks of instructional technology specialists. He tweets regularly from @bharrisonEDU, and co-hosts the podcast ArchiTECHs of Learning, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.