September Focus: Supporting Educators Personally and Professionally with Digital Citizenship/Cyber-security and Data Privacy

Protecting our students and our own digital privacy and personal information is extremely important. Developing a better awareness of how data is managed in the digital world and how our browsing habits and knowledge of common email practices can  help prevent cyber-security risks. A focus on a few basics of cyber-security can help develop an awareness that can help protect personal information while using digital resources.

Why should educators become better informed around the data processing cycle and cyber-security?

Educators are at the heart of the process of instructing with digital resources and tools. Students and teachers traverse sites and communicate electronically in ways that are designed to build healthy and productive habits as digital citizens. It is important that educators are aware of key terms and practices to continue to stay safe online and also to model effective positive practices for their students. A few potential focus areas to consider:

  • Encourage educators to discuss their email management and have a well rounded vision for how the district protects students and teachers from vulnerabilities on the school network.
  • Provide educators with ways to report suspicious activity on their school networks and data systems and have a plan for response to issues as they arise.
  • Provide professional development around all aspects of personal and district information and data and share with students the best practices around collaborating and sharing documents and resources.

This year I plan on making a concerted effort to inform, educate and share resources in this area to develop a broader area of understanding of the value of these topics in both educational and personal settings. Building capacity for educators in this area can provide more sets of eyes on the different types of web and data traffic cycles in the ecosystem of educational data. Reducing risks and vulnerabilities requires awareness, communication and a plan for response to cyber security needs. I have included a few resources that I have used to get started with my idea development and concentration areas below.

Some areas of focus that can be considered in this area are:

  • Basic Cyber Hygiene for personal and educational technology use.
  • Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Best practices for managing internet browsing 
  • Common types of email phishing and hacking awareness
  • What to consider with online purchases and financial information
  • What is Data Management and why is it an important part of a cyber-security plan?
  • What should be considered for enhancing security in the settings on your smart/AI device?

What are some other considerations do you think could be added to this list?

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