As every year passes technology becomes a bigger part of the school system for one main reason: It. Can. Help! There may still be resistance in some schools, but the truth of the matter is that technology usage will continue to increase because of the opportunity it can provide.
So how do you regulate the apps that are being utilized by teachers and staff? Some districts or schools have a policy around such, but many don’t. Either way, here’s a few boxes to check when considering digital tools for your school.
If your school is bringing students onto a new platform, ensure that it is a closed space that offers invites or secure sign-on (code) as ways to access. This way, you are ensuring that the only communication that takes place is amongst your students and staff members, not individuals outside of the school.
Many platforms have 1-to-1 messaging, and most likely these features are private to everyone besides those in the conversation. A feature to look out for in this case is to choose a platform that allows administration access to any and all conversations that happen, even if a message is deleted. This allows admin to have access to all records to ensure your platform is being used positively.
Protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
PII is any information or data that can be used to identify who someone is, such as a full name, address, or birthday. Finding an education app that doesn’t require name, email, or phone number to sign up may be impossible, so ensure your technology team reviews the Privacy and Protection Policies that the company has in place to avoid using a tool that may sell or compromise student data.
Finally, if you are going to be bringing your students into a social space we recommend one that does not allow for custom usernames. Especially if your group contains more than a handful of members, having the ability to customize a username increases the possibility of inappropriate posts or online bullying.
Covering these key safety precautions will vastly help your school avoid any community or legal issues in the future. With safety and security being some of the most important values we have at Minga, we took all of this and more into account when creating our platform. Want to talk more about app safety/security? Please contact us.