You are here

Articles: Security

Ty E. Howard is a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. He regularly represents educational institutions in matters involving compliance, litigation, internal investigations, Title IX issues and related matters.

School investigations pose special challenges. The risks are often high, and school leaders, even those well-versed in typical legal issues, may be inexperienced in conducting investigations. Here are best practices for avoiding a legal nightmare.

District CIOs recommend following the Cybersecurity Framework created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST. The model recommends five functions to address cybersecurity threats.

When securing edtech infrastructure, district leaders must concentrate on six layers of security—physical, network, applications, content, endpoint and cloud/data centers—to build a comprehensive defense against increasing and evolving cyberattacks.

Eileen Belastock is chief technology officer for Mount Greylock Regional School District in Massachusetts.

Voice-activated tools can create more immersive learning experiences, but school leaders need to consider the potential privacy risks and to safeguard student data.

Betsy Hanger, an instructor with the nonprofit Mindful Schools, describes what mindfulness looks like as elementary students age.

FINDING INNER PEACE—Students in summer school at McKinley-Brighton Elementary in Syracuse, New York, practice mindfulness and yoga for 30 minutes every day.

But this only works if students practice mindfulness daily, and they do during summer school at a Syracuse, New York, elementary. Schools can change a punitive culture by training teachers to practice mindfulness and meditation, too.

The recent shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has rekindled the hot debate about gun control in the United States.  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a proponent of more restrictions on firearms, argued, "This happens nowhere else, other than the United States of America. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else."2

Why is personalized learning so important?

Marcy: It leverages a student’s interests, their strengths, then tailors instruction to their specific needs and goals.

Rich: It gets into predictive analytics. Traditionally the analytics type of reporting is a look at what has been happening. Personalized learning is looking at what is going to happen.

Recent school shootings in Florida and Texas have driven interest in specialized policies that prevent costs from piling up after a crisis.

Robert Sexton has worked with school-based tech for more than 15 years, so there’s not much he hasn’t seen. “Kids are pretty ingenious; keeping up with them is a challenge,” says Sexton, currently the director of technology for Olentangy Local School District, just north of Columbus, Ohio.

That challenge is mitigated by the district’s secret weapon—AristotleInsight::K12by Sergeant Laboratories, which tracks every digital move students make and alerts the district of potential problems.

A flexible plastic box printed from a school’s 3D printer could hold the answer to keeping first responders safe from exposed needles in the midst of an opioid epidemic that has affected communities nationwide.

Over the course of four months, a group of design/modeling students at Ashland Middle School in Kentucky created the needle retriever prototype, incorporating feedback from local police chiefs, health departments and other emergency personnel. Technology educators at Shawnee State University taught students about how the box could be mass produced.

This spring, schools have experienced a profound increase in student suicides and attempts, as well as school shootings. Recognize that as bad as things have been this spring, things are likely to be worse next fall. Contention over race, origin, LGBTQ, and sexual assault/harassment will increase, along with contention over gun control in the context of a focus on school shootings. Schools must be prepared to go into the 2018-19 school year.

Daniel Venet is executive vice president of CHB Industries, which consults with schools, offices, government buildings, houses of worships and homes on security issues.

There are steps schools and districts should take to minimize damage and injuries from domestic terrorism, and eliminate the loss of lives.

Robert Runcie is superintendent of Broward County Public Schools in Florida.

Robert Runcie, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools in Florida, has enacted new districtwide safety measures. Runcie will expand mental health services and training for students, and will provide an active-assailant training curriculum for staff.

Every school will also have a single point of entry and a resource officer or armed security guard, among other protections.

A student's “hidden digital tattoo” is the information collected surreptitiously through browsers or social media profiles that may impact the ads and information they see online. (Gettyimages.com: altmodern).

As privacy concerns surge ever higher, some educators are pushing to replace the concept of “digital footprints”—the trail of data created by internet use—with “digital tattoos.”

Pages