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Hacking and Other Computer Danger
As discussed in previous posts, there are a variety of challenges when using technology in the classroom. Some include copyright, plagiarism, cyberbullying, appropriate content and hacking. While there are also an enormous amount of benefits to integrating technology in the classroom, these drawbacks can sometimes overshadow the positive uses.
There a number of reports of hacking, such as this Education Week article from the US, into school systems both from the public and the student body. If the school systems are not properly protected and monitored, a large amount of personal information, grades and other files could be compromised. The ability of students to hack school files and applications is heightened by the Bring Your Own Device movement. Not only do students have access to their own personal hardware and software which is difficult to manage, students have 24 hours access to their device and may use it for personal use outside of school. There has been research about e-examinations on BYOD devices already, suggesting that this could be an ongoing issue for teachers. There could also be issues surrounding falsifying information, in terms of altering dates, times and other metadata to fit the necessary information needed for assessment. This is concerning as there is often no obvious way of identifying that the information has been changed.
Not only may the school network be susceptible to hacking, but students private accounts and connections are too. Students, as well as members of the general public, need to be aware and alert of spam and scams that filter into their email and social networking accounts. As ‘digital natives’, students many students are prone to being ‘click happy’ and clicking on spam links or allowing programs to access features that they should not need. Teachers must educate students about these cyber issues, particularly if the school has a BYOD program in place. Additionally, students also need to be aware of the dangers of providing personal information to websites and other applications.
Dawson, P. (2015). Five ways to hack and cheat with bring-your-own-device electronic examinations. British Journal of Educational Technology.