Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Teachers Turned to Social Media as a Remote Learning Tool During the Pandemic, but Privacy Experts Warn the Trend Could Open 'Pandora's Box' of Problems


October 7, 2020

A Sept. 24 photo of masked students from St. John's Prep's Facebook page. The assistant principal of the Danvers, Massachusetts private school notes that it's acceptable to share good news or market your school on social media, but it's not to communicate with students or about them. (Facebook)

When the pandemic forced schools to shift to online learning with little warning, teachers got creative. Some utilized Facebook's live video feature to connect with students. Others shared lessons on TikTok, the video-sharing platform popular among young people that President Donald Trump has sought to ban, citing national security concerns.

But the trend makes student privacy expert Amelia Vance cringe.

"I've been a little horrified over the pandemic at the number of teachers who have not been told" about the privacy implications of using social media for classroom instruction, said Vance, director of youth and education privacy at the Future of Privacy Forum. Vance urged teachers to steer away from social media as an educational tool during a webinar last week hosted by the privacy forum and George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, which centered on a need to improve teacher training on student privacy issues and education technology. "It's something where we desperately need more training and, in this case, not only of teachers, but of administrators on the potential harms and consequences."


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