The process of finding, learning, and distributing the various tech tools needed to have a virtual classroom can be stressful and overwhelming. Once that process is over, it is easy to assume that everything will run smoothly and there is nothing left to worry about. There are a few key things virtual educators should consider when it comes to safe online practices before launching into the virtual classroom.
Access to the class
Ensuring that only your students can access your virtual classroom, both during live meetings and any portal you use for discussion and assignment posting, is very important. Enabling a waiting room or requiring a password for live class sessions will help prevent any unkown users from joining the call and wreaking havoc. It is also important to ensure that your students have reliable access to your online classroom and that you provide them with the tools and resources they need to complete work and access materials.
When sharing and receiving files online its important that you know where files are coming from. You and your students should know how to spot red flags before clicking a link or opening a file. Many online classroom platforms will scan for viruses and malware, but it is important that you know how to spot potential threats.
Using a secure network
Not everyone has a reliable connection to the internet. It is important to stress the importance of using a secure network when students access your virtual classroom. If you know some students will rely on public internet access for class time, ask your school if there is a VPN in use so they can connect and remain secure.
The internet makes it easy for people to connect and for learning to happen outside of the traditional school environment, but there are also a variety of security threats. By learning basic online safety tips and sharing them with your students you can help ensure you have a successful online classroom experience.