The constant evolution in digital technology means the workplace of the future will be unrecognisable from that of today. In order to equip students for the jobs of tomorrow, a clear understanding of the social skills required to match technical expertise is essential, writes Robert Corkhill.
The internet and social media provide an unlimited source of information and an ability to connect with others. This presents students of today with a distinctly different set of challenges to that of past generations, among them cyberbullying. So, the question is: how can we ensure they remain safe and free from harm?
The Issue: A snapshot
Whether they’re in or out of the classroom, young people constantly interact with technology in some form or another. It has become intrinsically linked into their everyday lives. While there are many benefits to be had, glaring realities exist that educators must address in regard to the online welfare of their students.
Undertaken through various channels and means, cyberbullying in the school environment takes place online. This typically takes the form of an effort to hurt, harass or embarrass a fellow student.
According to researchers at the University of Auckland, nearly one-third of teenagers have been the target of cyberbullying through the internet and/or mobile.
Students who fall victim or experience instances of cyberbullying are also likely to be negatively affected in the classroom. Frightened, ashamed or socially ostracised, a student’s ability to perform academically can be hampered by these unfortunate forms of online bullying.
Addressing the issue
Fortunately, there are organisations in New Zealand proactively attempting to address this issue. Netsafe, Sticks ‘n Stones, Student Communication and Safe Practices Charitable Trust and others offer advice and resources to teachers and students to meet challenges in the ever-evolving digital field.
Although many students are provided with the background information and theory, there’s still work to be done to effectively incorporate the innovative technology required into schools. As this changes, students can learn both the technological and social skills required for success in their future career of choice.
This begs a fundamental question: how can the educators of today effectively prepare students for the technologically driven job market of tomorrow?
Security and safety in the classroom
Every young person deserves the right to feel safe and secure in school, particularly while they are online. Recognising both the scale and scope of this increasingly important issue, Acer has partnered with Windows 10 to offer devices equipped with built-in security and privacy features.
No matter the environment, Acer’s ProShield technology works to protect students from getting hacked and their data from being accessed and distributed by cyber bullies. Through the addition of biometric authentication, data encryption and file shredding capabilities, students are able to remain safe from unauthorised access and intrusion. Recent research into this technology uncovered a 33 per cent reduction into security breaches following its implementation.
Windows 10 security software also affords parents the ability to place restrictions on their child’s Acer devices. This technology, available on the Acer Spin 5 and TravelMate B118 devices, allows parents to safeguard their children through a restriction on particularly websites, apps and even the imposition of a screen time limit.
Protecting our future
While equipping our students with the requisite knowledge and capacity to understand cyber security is critical, the technology used in the classroom itself is equally important. Protecting our students from cyberbullying is a vital tool to improve their well-being, output and everyday educational experience.
In order to understand the importance of cyber security in the future, students of today must learn in a first-hand capacity. The addition of Windows 10 embedded Acer devices into the classroom seeks to create a generation of students with a deep appreciation just how vital cyber security can be – not only now but in the future.
ROBERT CORKHILL IS MARCOM MANAGER ACER COMPUTER AUSTRALIA.
FOR MORE ABOUT ACER’S PRODUCT AND SERVICES CONTACT EDUCATION.ACA@ACER.COM
© INTERFACE Magazine, September 2020