Zoom, Google Meet, New Tools -- Oh MY!
Teachers everywhere have taken incredible leaps with technology use during these past few weeks of school closure/remote learning -- and this is one effect from an otherwise tragic situation that is making my heart go pitter patter in the good way. #silverlining
As we transition our practice and adopt new tools, let's think about something that isn't always as prominent on our radar -- student privacy. To be clear, student privacy should be on all of our radars regularly, remote or in-person. However, transitioning so quickly to remote learning has opened up a whole slew of novel situations and increased the use of technology applications such that student privacy becomes an immediate, at-large issue that begs careful consideration.
Small adjustments can create a safer and more private experience for our class community. For example, it is safer to have students use first names only (or a pseudonym) rather than first and last name in any digital platform. It's safer to have them use an avatar rather than a photo as a profile pic. It's a good idea to explicitly and firmly ask students and parents to refrain from taking screenshots or photos of the class videoconference session and sharing them in online public spaces.
I created this "DO THIS, NOT THAT" infographic with a handful of simple practices that are easy to put in place and make a big difference when it comes to protect our students' identity and privacy. I've made this available as a PDF. Please feel free to use and share! Thank you to the incredibly talented and #digcit nerdy, Nancy Watson, for making this infographic an infographic for me. :)
I care deeply about helping educators cultivate healthy environments where every student and teacher can learn, grow, and thrive in this digital world!