Lesson 3 – Reviewing EdTech Products, Chapter 2 – Safety

September 13, 2019 posted by

[Student Privacy for K12 Educators] [Reviewing Edtech Products
Chapter 2: Safety]>>Objectives: By the end of this unit, you will be able
to define digital safety, explain the basics of digital safety, and identify the necessary digital safety
elements for tech products in education. Protecting students online extends well beyond
privacy. Digital safety focuses on exposure to digital
content, communications and more, ensuring that risks of harm from these media are minimized and that there are policies and procedures in place that both prevent and appropriately
respond to such harms. First, make sure that the product has a clear
Terms of Service document. A Terms of Service document is a set of rules
that users agree to follow in order to use an online service. These agreements are legally binding, though
the company is free to change them. In order for your students to be able to use
a product, the Terms of Service must not contain terms that violate the law or fall short of
acceptable safety practices. Like the privacy policy, the Terms of Service
is primarily a legal document to protect the company. However, it also serves a safety function,
setting the rules for what is appropriate and acceptable content and conduct while using
the website or application. It may also help you to understand important
aspects of using the service, such as the acceptable minimum age for users. The Terms of Service isn’t the only way to
review safety practices, but it is always a helpful tool in the process. When reviewing for safety, there are two elements
you’re going to need to focus on – content and communications. Visual images, video and audio are all different
types of content. Content can either be product generated or
user generated. Product generated content is contained within
the service and is created by the company itself. Just as you would with a film, book or song,
you should review product generated content to make sure that it is both appropriate for
your students and complies with school policy. User generated content is, not surprisingly,
created by users. This type of content is much harder to review
and control. Products without oversight of user content
can leave your students exposed to inappropriate material. If students can access user generated content
from others, you’ll need to make sure that there is a moderator manually enforcing safe
content policies. Communication refers to text, audio and other
means of interaction digitally. Online communication has some great benefits
for education, but also poses risks. So the next question you’ll need to ask is,
“With whom are my students communicating?” Cyber bullying, harassment and other inappropriate
digital communication can come from many sources, including members of the school community. If students have the ability to digitally
interact with other students, teachers, parents or any other users, it is best to ensure that
those communications are also moderated. Abuse reporting is another means of enforcing
safe content and communication. On many digital platforms, social reporting
is used as a moderation technique. This allows for users to anonymously report
other users who have violated the Terms of Service through bullying, harassment, posting
inappropriate content and more. If users can communicate or generate content,
you should check the Terms of Service to make sure there’s an anonymous abuse reporting
mechanism. It is best to make sure that any abuse reporting
preserves the anonymity of the reporter. [Find iKeepSafe’s Privacy Tools
for Educators and Administrators at:] [iKeepSafe.org/PrivacyEducation]

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