Friday, November 6, 2020

How to Keep Students Safe Online While Learning Remotely?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by GAT Labs. GAT Labs offers a good guide to using Google Workspaces in online classrooms. 

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been the year of everything remote, where our digital interactions replaced our physical ones and our traditional classrooms packed and moved with us online. 

And as we carefully prepare and lead through our virtual K-12 classrooms, our students’ online safety and security needs to stay on top of that priority list as they spend more time than ever learning online.

From profane content to cybercrime and hacking schemes, there’s a lot we need to protect them against. That’s why there are Acts like the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) — and schools need to stay compliant.

As teachers, there’s a lot you can do to help — by both educating students on cybersecurity and staying safe online, as well as blocking access to inappropriate content and risky sites.   

Here are 3 powerful ways to help keep your students safe and secure online:

1. Raise their cyber awareness using FUN!

‘Knowledge is power’ — One cool way to teach students about staying safe online is to have them complete Google’s Be Internet Awesome.

It teaches them about digital citizenship and internet safety in a gamified environment, which we all know, Kids love!

The five pillars of the curriculum are:
  • Be Internet Smart - share with care
  • Be Internet Alert - don’t fall for fake
  • Be Internet Strong - secure your secrets
  • Be Internet Kind - it’s cool to be kind
  • Be Internet Brave - when it doubt, talk it out
Remember: raising your students’ cyber awareness is their first line of defense against online danger; or the new ‘Stranger Danger’. 

2.Use Security Tools to enforce Cyber Security Rules

Now on to their second line of defense: Security and Monitoring Tools!

Powerful tools like GAT for Education, offer a layered set of security solutions to help schools stay CIPA compliant with Google Workspace for Education.

They protect students in every site, at all times, while connected to their Google Workspace school account in the Chrome browser.

Such powerful Security & Monitoring capabilities include:
Alerts about bad language
Blocking Unapproved websites
Keyword Alerts
Risky app download alerts: set up a policy to ban or trust identified apps for students.
Alerts about certain search queries
Bulk removal of phishing emails
Complete content searches of all user’s Drive, Email and Calendars.

3. Stick to EdTech tools vetted for privacy

Speaking of tools — while there is a wide spectrum of EdTech tools out there that can help boost your virtual classroom environment (and we highly recommend exploring your options), remember to ALWAYS check their privacy policies for student data.

It’s important to ensure that these policies comply with student privacy laws and understand how your student’s data will be handled.