Is the future of learning in line with the future?


Due to the constant evolution and ever-expanding developments in technology, the workplace of the future will be unrecognisable from that of today. In order to equip the students of today for the jobs of tomorrow, a clear understanding of the social skills required to match technical expertise is undeniably essential.

One of the unfortunate byproducts of this rapid advancement in technology has been an increase in cyberbullying. Students of today face a distinctly different set of challenges to that of past generations. For students, the internet and social media provide an unlimited source of information and an ability to connect with others, yet the questions remain; how can we ensure they remain safe and free from harm?

The issue: a snapshot

Whether they are in or out of the classroom, students constantly interact with technology in some form or another. Interactive technology has become intrinsically linked into the everyday lives of young people. While there are many benefits to be had, glaring realities exist that educators must address in regards 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 the Australia ESafety Office, 1 in 5 students experiences cyberbullying. This data is further compounded by research from Reach Out indicating a dramatic rise in the number of incidents for Australian students aged 14–16.

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 Australia proactively attempting to address this issue. The Australian Computing Academy’s ‘Digital Technologies’ initiative provides vital skills and resources to teachers and students in the ever-evolving digital field. In particular, this provides theory and practical skills to students from Year 1 to Year 8 in the vital areas of digital systems, data collection, algorithms and implementation.

Although many students are provided with the background information and theory, little has been done to effectively incorporate the innovative technology required into schools. If this were to change, however, students would be able to 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 have 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.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/highwaystarz

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