While the rapid ai advances have changed almost every aspect of our lives for the better, teaching and online learning have come with a wide range of challenges. This mode of teaching has enabled tutors to review their teaching methods and practices and come up with effective ones. However, one of the most difficult areas to control is online safety for students. In college, most aspects of technology and the internet are controlled by the administration. Privacy walls and security measures have been put in place to keep the student and tutor safe. But when it comes to home learning, tutors and the administration have little control when it comes to keeping their students safe.
According to a recent study, experts reported that the ideal age for parents and tutors to teach online safety is 7.2 years old. Therefore, it’s important as an educator to give students a safe environment when using technology to learn. Educating yourself and your students about the simple online safety protocols will pay off in spades in the long run. Here are a few tips that will help you tell whether a learning app is safe for students.
1) Review the comments and ratings left behind by users
In most cases, reputable learning apps usually have customer reviews, ratings, and comments. Before downloading and installing it, you’ll have a clear idea about its safety and reliability based on user experiences. While it’s normal for apps to have a couple of negative reviews, you should avoid the ones with many negative reviews or comments that seem too good to be true. Go through these comments and trust your instincts when making your decision.
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2) The app can be found at official stores
Every technological gadget comes with preloaded apps. Therefore, when adding learning apps, you should always download them in official stores such as Appstore and Google Store. These platforms have safety protocols to ensure that all apps are safe for everyone. If you decide to use an unofficial store, you will increase the chances of an online attack because these platforms are less likely to have strict rules. You should exercise caution when downloading apps from third-party platforms.
3) The apps are updated regularly
You need to update your learning apps regularly to avoid security issues. Failure to update your apps regularly will make them incompatible with your phone and you’ll encounter more problems in the long run. On the other hand, updating your apps regularly will keep you safe and help you enjoy all the benefits that they have to offer. You should seek help from dissertation writers to have ample time to update your apps.
4) You can easily find recommended apps
Another important way to tell if an app is secure is by downloading and installing the ones that the official store recommends. Most of these apps are usually fast and reliable. Plus, they usually have the editor’s seal. You can always look at the suggestions provided by the official store. Going through these suggestions will help you understand the benefits of the app and read user reviews.
5) All permissions make sense
All permissions that are requested by the learning app should make sense. They have to go hand-in-hand with their functionality and performance. For instance, a photo editing app should not request permission to access your microphone or phonebook. If it does, be cautious. When in doubt, uninstall the app.
6) Install an antivirus
Installing an antivirus on your phone or tablet will help you figure out whether an app is safe or not. An antivirus identifies and does away with potential threats. This protection is essential, especially for Android users as the apps operate directly on the system. An antivirus will help you avoid suspicious apps and websites even if they look clean.
Simple Online Safety Tips
Here are some simple tips that tutors can use to help students stay safe during online learning:
1) Understand the district’s policy regarding social media use in school
Extended school closure is one of the best times for tutors to interact with their students on social media platforms and connect with them. However, you need to ensure that you are adhering to the policies at all times. You need to know what you can or cannot share.
2) Don’t share students’ names publicly
Avoid sharing student names on the internet or social media platforms. When sharing a piece of artwork or essay paper, ensure that you edit out visible names. You can use the first name in some instances for illustration. However, avoid sharing their full names publicly. If possible, crop the photos to avoid sharing pictures of your students.
3) Share information with students carefully
There will be times when tutors will need to share information with their students. You probably know that social media is used as a reminder of an important thing or promotes awareness. You should always avoid anything that hinders the privacy and security of learners. House this information in the school email or any other safe location. Keeping this information safe will help you keep away unwanted visitors. You need to encourage your students to protect themselves with passwords.
4) Choose apps and websites wisely
In most cases, schools will approve the apps and websites that can be used for educational purposes. This is one of the best places to start. You should exercise caution when using tools that rent directly related to education because they may lack the privacy settings that are needed to protect student information. You need to be aware of the potential risks with any paid or free platform. For instance, TikTok is an amazing app that is used by most adults and students across the world. However, there are several security risks that you need to consider before using it. You cannot always control what students download and use at home. However, you can always educate yourself and choose what you’ll use in the education setting carefully.
5) Always use email addresses related to school
You should avoid using your email address to communicate with others online. Learning institutions invest a lot of resources in firewalls and cybersecurity measures to protect tutors and remote students. Online learners usually have lots of passwords and logins to keep in mind. Students need to be encouraged to use their school email address as their login. Using these platforms will protect you and your information.
The internet is a dangerous place. Therefore, students need to be educated about online safety and security and be empowered with the appropriate resources and habits. Always talk to your students honestly and openly about privacy issues and the need to protect themselves against hackers through proper maintenance. The tips that we’ve shared in this article are all you need to stay safe during online learning and achieve your biggest goals. At some point, you’ll need help from others. Research extensively and seek help when you need it to avoid wasting a lot of time and money in the long run.