cybersafety: what it means for school districts in Georgia

There’s no question that in 2015 we’re more connected than ever. As mobile devices infiltrate school, work, and personal life, we live in a society that is ‘always on’, with constant access to information. This trend presents school districts in Georgia with the challenge of ensuring all students remain safe online when faced with accessing content or contacts around:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Grooming
  • Eating disorders
  • Extremism
  • Age-inappropriate content

the current cybersafety landscape in Georgia

In Georgia, public schools and libraries must adopt and enforce reasonable policies of cyber/internet safety that prevent children from access to harmful material, and without an acceptable use policy in place all state funds are withdrawn. Luckily, there are a couple of key resources in place to assist with this if you’ve not already taken note:

  • The Georgia Department of Education provides a flow chart of steps for schools to adopt a cybersafety program, covering areas such as establishing a team, taking stock of your current safety situation, writing policy and presenting to staff, students and parents
  • The Georgia Cybersafety Initiative (also known as the Georgia ICAC Task Force) provides a website, brochures, and on-site presentations for schools to teach about the dangers of being unsafe online, and though the site is now outdated there is still some useful information and most school districts in Georgia provide cybersafety training in line with the ICAC curriculum

taking cybersafety policies to the next level

The policies, training and teaching initiatives implemented by districts in Georgia go a long way towards protecting students online, but there are other ways in which schools can deliver an even more comprehensive approach to cybersafety.

Network monitoring software is one such method, and is quickly becoming the must have tool for technologically savvy districts. Giving educators the ability to see in real-time what students are doing on the network, monitoring software can help to alert staff to a pattern of activities that could indicate cyberbullying, but also help identify students facing other risks, such as eating disorders.

Click here to find out more about the benefits of monitoring software.