Did you know "In El Paso, Texas, a hacker broke into the computer network of a local school district, finding a database of about 63,000 students’ Social Security numbers.In Wake County, N.C., school officials accidentally mailed out about 5,000 postcards with students’ Social Security numbers printed on the front.
And in Palatine, Ill., two laptops belonging to a state contractor were stolen from a car, divulging the Social Security numbers of nearly 8,000 special education students."
Did you know that data breaches leave people six times more likely to become victims of identity theft, according to a survey this year by Javelin Research. The main reason that schools collect students' Social Security numbers is for tracking their progress. However, experts say there are less risky ways to identify students. When a child identity theft victim turns 18, they find their credit has been destroyed, preventing them from taking out loans or renting apartments. Imagine turning 18 and discovering that you're not able to move on with your life because someone has destroyed what was suppose to be your fresh start. Social Security numbers are “the single most misused piece of information by criminals perpetrating identity thefts,” according to a technical brief issued last fall by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.Yet schools still continue to not only collect students' Social Security numbers but also print them on transcripts, tests, and athletic educational forms. North Dakota students are assigned a 10-digit ID number when they enroll that sufficiently tracks their performance, leaving no need for Social Security numbers, according to Jerry Coleman, director of school finance at the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.This shows that there is another way and it has been successful. Using a simple random number generator or some kind of pattern to assign students with a personalized ID can save many, many students from identity theft.
“When someone asks for your child’s Social Security number, say no,” said Aaron Titus, chief privacy officer for Identity Finder, which helps organizations protect sensitive data. “I have found about 90 percent of the time, when I push back a little bit, I get my way.”
Information gathered from "In Push For Data, Schools Expose Students to Identity Theft" by Gerry Smith
Smith, Gerry. "In Push For Data, Schools Expose Students to Identity Theft." The Huffington Post, 15 Dec. 2011. Accessed 23 Feb. 2017.
Technology, now more than ever, is becoming such a big part of education and our world as a whole. It is very rare for someone to go even a day without using some sort of technology, especially the children that are growing up with technology built into their everyday lives. Students are already accessing and building their knowledge of and with technology, so why not put that knowledge to good use? I believe that students today are benefiting every time they have a chance to work with technology.
This semester I am teaching in a transitional first grade and as I have been taking over more responsibility in the classroom I have began teaching the math lesson everyday, which always starts on the smart board. Whether it's just showing story problems or giving the students the opportunity to interact with the board, we start there at the beginning of every lesson. As we have been discussing integrating technology more and more into the classroom, I have started allowing the students to interact with the smart board as well. These interactions range from moving objects around to using the markers to answer question or share answers with the class. Since I have began allowing the students to be the ones interacting with the smart board, I have noticed a higher level of engagement as we work through the lessons.
The experience that I had with technology as a moved through grade school was positive, but limited. As I was moving through school I did not have the opportunity to see technology integrated into a lot of the lessons, mainly because it was not available at the time. However, now it is! I think educators need to take full advantage of it. On top of the endless activities and resources that can be found through technology, the range of availability it opens up to diverse learners is unlike anything we have had access to in the past. The wide range of accessible knowledge that is provided through technology is almost unbelievable. I truly believe that the more students today use technology, the more their minds will grow and continue to grow.
This semester I am happily teacher assisting in a transitional first grade at Ridgeview elementary in Sparta. I have seen the variety of technology resources that Sparta offers to the schools. I have included the available and supported technology that I have seen present at Ridgeview elementary.
Hardware & Peripherals
Software and electronic subscriptions:
Ridgeview has an access page, Sparta Links, that provides students and teachers with all the software and electronic subscriptions that are available to teachers and students. Students use this page to explore activities they are assigned to do as well as choose to do during their free time in the lab. I have listed a few below that I have seen in action.