Updated: Aug 25, 2021
The reporting of the most recent disclosed data leaks which occurred with Facebook affecting millions of Facebook users around the world (including even Mr. Zuckerberg: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9433271/Leaker-says-offering-private-details-500-million-Facebook-users.html) reminds us of the vulnerability we all encounter within our ever-increasing digital connectedness. As I write this final blog post for the scholarly doctoral series discussing both the opportunities and challenges of expanding learning technologies, I conclude that today's students must learn appropriate vigilance. Careful cyber hygiene and security practices must become second nature for learners, as well as the foundational bedrock of their prudent technology use within all future educational contexts.
It may sound overly ambitious that we all become proactive stewards of ethical conduct on the web, but this is what the 21st century landscape demands that educators instill in their pupils. If we advocate for a new era of digital vigilance as a potential springboard for the development of a common, ubiquitous pedagogy wherein students learn to constantly reassess new threats to individual privacy and informational integrity, we will succeed in maximizing the brave new world of the digital classroom. Educators have first to dispel the implicit myth that all digital learning is safe, simply because it is conducted under the auspices of a school district or educational provider.
There is no quick or failsafe fix for network and interface vulnerabilities. Any suggestions to the contrary are either ill=informed or clear disinformation. Teachers and students navigating the shifting threat landscape in education must become better digital practitioners who ask better questions to ensure the integrity of digital interactions and information exchanges. The internet is no longer simply a textbook substitute intended to streamline teaching, it is now a separate academic subject area unto itself, presenting as both an art and a science. Comprehension of its myriad complexities and rapid evolution must be an existential buttress of every student's future curriculum.