Computers and the internet are now central to quality education in the majority of schools and colleges. From personal computers in the classroom to internet-enabled smartboards, technology enhances the learning experience for most students.
There are risks that need to be managed as technology becomes more prevalent in the classroom as these recent incidents reveal:
- Inappropriate images shown to class due to computer virus
A computer virus caused inappropriate images to appear on a SMART Board in a sixth-grade classroom at a Mount Pleasant Catholic school. According to church officials, the principal of the school received information of naked women appearing on a SMART Board screen. An independent investigator found that the images were popping up on the screen because of a number of computer viruses that had made the school’s server unsecured.
- School district racks up $300,000 legal bill fighting teacher’s porn-related unfair dismissal claim
Middleton-Cross Plains School Board has spent about $300,000 in the last year fighting a grievance filed on behalf of a teacher fired after an investigation found he viewed pornography at school. A subsequent district investigation found 23 emails Harris received from his sister that the district said violated its acceptable use policy because they contained nudity, jokes or other material inappropriate for work.
These incidents demonstrate the importance of getting all three core elements of internet security right – people, process and technology.
People will succumb to temptation, or simply not know any better, and view inappropriate content online. Processes such as acceptable use policies need to be proactively communicated and enforced consistently to avoid the risk of expensive litigation. Technology needs to be kept up-to-date, patched and applied to all forms of internet-enabled devices that could be used to download or display inappropriate images and video content.
Image Analyser research indicates that the largest growth area of new internet content is images and videos. The majority of this content is harmless and may have considerable educational value. However, it is essential to have the safeguards in place covering people, process and technology to protect all users all of the time from either the temptation to view or inadvertent exposure to inappropriate video and images.
An Opinion Piece produced by Image Analyser