Along with the rise of technology in education, so is the rise of bullying.
Bullying comes In various forms:
Physical Bullying, Verbal Bullying, Emotional Intimidation, Racist Bullying, Sexual Bullying, Cyber-bullying
Cyber-bullying is on the rise and allows the bully to remain anonymous. A 2016 study conducted by Dr. Justin Patchin and Dr. Sameer Hinduja surveyed a nationally-representative sample of 5,700 middle and high school students ages 12-17 from July through October. The results showed that the percentage of students who have experienced cyber bullying at some point in their lifetime has nearly doubled from 18 percent in 2007 to almost 34 percent in 2016.
Cyber-bullying can be done from anywhere and at any time. This makes it even more threatening.
Bullying oftentimes starts at home; it’s a behavior they have witnessed and experienced. A positive aspect of this is that it can be unlearned. Schools can help. Many schools have awareness-raising resources, lesson plans and activities showing how the hurtful bullying, hatred, bias and bigotry can affect someone.
We are all responsible to practice the skill of literally and figuratively walking away from threatening situations. But to avoid these events from happening we need to keep communication open in schools and at home.
We are all vulnerable to cyber attacks but for varying reasons but education, specifically K-12, is at the bottom rung when compared to private and public sectors in managing their cyber security. Due to the sensitive nature of student enrollment forms and personal information shared in the student records, it is critical to have a plan and work that plan to avoid being vulnerable to such attacks.
Here are few suggestions to get your district on its way to a safer cyber environment:
• Make sure to provide your staff and volunteers with the tools to stay diligent to suspicious emails to avoid Phishing scams
• Update your anti-virus and anti-malware software
• Incorporate a network redundancy and backup recovery plans
Cyber-security is not something to “get to” in the future, it’s an immediate risk and needs to be made a necessity to building a secure future for our students and districts.
There is no doubt that today’s world is data-driven, no matter what industry you’re in. As more and more academic institutions use data to reveal behavioral and academic trends among student bodies, the importance of high-quality data management within the education industry is more important than ever. Data management software allows educational institutions to use, store, share and protect growing volumes of data easily and economically. Storing important information online, such as student records, means educators can have access to them at the click of a button and in real time.
Data management in education goes much further than just storing a student’s report card. Data management systems allow institutions to collect quantitative and qualitative data on their student bodies, like demographics, attendance, course enrollment history, special education information, grades and standardized test scores, teacher qualifications, professional development, and program participation.
Being able to access this data in real-time leads to better teach-to-parent and teacher-to-teacher communication, better standardized test score analysis, and instruction review.
“If school leaders want to lead the charge in improving student performance, they must be fluent in the use of data as a leadership tool. The assumption is that when school leaders are knowledgeable about data use, they can more effectively review their existing capacities, identify weaknesses and better chart plans for improvement” (Illuminate Blog).
Data management systems go beyond just giving educators an easier way to analyze data, these systems can help ensure institutions are “reigning in data growth, managing compliance, privacy and security, and increasing visibility in order to better understand data” (Data Gravity). Regulatory requirements are continuously changing, being proactive in your data management efforts means you’ll have to spend less time “catching up” or “cleaning up”. Today’s world is rapidly moving away from the days of keeping paperwork in filing cabinets. Not only does it take up unnecessary space and resources, it is a serious privacy and security concern. When you store records manually in filing cabinets, there is a heightened risk of losing them or mishandling them.
Using a data management system allows school districts to have better control over data governance. It provides the ability to control which user groups (teachers, admins, parents) have access to specific student data and apply user group security settings to limit what can be done with each data set. Take, for instance, a student’s health records. Those should not be stored in the filing cabinet with their general records, otherwise admins and teachers will have access to the HIPPA protected information. With a data management system, security settings can be utilized so that only the districts medical personnel can view that sensitive information.
The bottom line – data management systems are the future of providing a world-class education to our youth. Not will it alleviate the burden on resources across your district, but it will eliminate administrative bottlenecks, increase and ease communication between the district, teachers, parents and students, and allow teachers the opportunity to build lesson plans based on data analysis of the student body’s knowledge gaps.