How do schools balance data privacy with online safety? We spoke with lawyer Dr. Maria Pozza, who specialises in IT and cyber security.
Interface Xpo 2018, New Zealand's premiere EdTech event, provides a great opportunity to get up to speed with the latest in connected learning tools. Showcasing technology and eLearning innovation across three locations, it's also an opportunity to join the conversation about the digital curriculum and understand some of the challenges schools nationally are facing.
Cyber safety is a hot topic, and while schools do their best to keep students safe online they only have students in their care for 11% of the time. In our hyperconnected world, and with increasingly younger children having access to a range of internet-connected devices, that's a lot of time left over.
A new report has just been released by the AI Forum on Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand. This is interesting for us on two levels. Firstly , as an organisation that utilises machine learning (a branch of AI) to keep students safe online. And secondly, as a provider to the education sector which is undergoing significant change.
Many social media platforms hire 'attention engineers', who use gambling principles to try and make these platforms as addictive as possible, with the goal of maximising the profit that can be extracted from your attention and data. Manipulative design tactics snatch your attention in small bites throughout the day, with dopamine driving that addiction by delivering a small "high" for each notification, message or like. Our society is effectively putting highly addictive "drugs" into the hands of increasingly younger children, and schools are picking up the pieces.
The impact on young people in particular, who are saturated with this technology, is significant for several reasons. This continual stimulation is all new for our brains from an evolutionary perspective, with potentially wide ranging cognitive consequences. Extensive device use can have a negative impact on our ability to think, remember, pay attention and regulate emotion.
It was great to speak with Kathryn Ryan from Radio New Zealand on the problem of smartphones in schools. Many of the schools we talk with are concerned about the rise of smartphone use in schools, and say that the majority of secondary school students now own a smartphone.
The main concerns involve students bypassing default internet filtering systems, and this generally occurs in one of two ways:
- By downloading a VPN (Virtual Private Network) from the app store, and connecting to school wifi but able to create a private 'tunnel' to bypass school internet filtering
- By turning up to school with 3G/4G data, and bypassing school internet filtering altogether. This data can also be used to hotspot other devices.
A new report released on the digital economy and society examines the impact of technology in schools as the new digital curriculum rollout gathers momentum.
The annual Future Schools conference provides an opportunity to showcase the very best in education, with plenty of discussion around the 'future of work' and how to equip today's students with computational and critical thinking skills. With technology, automation, and the advancing of artificial intelligence (AI) it is estimated that 85% of jobs in 2030 haven't been invented yet. One of the exciting things about emerging technologies is that teachers have to change their pedagogy and do things differently.