Within educational institutions, technology can often pose as many challenges as it can opportunities and dealing with potential hazards where young people are concerned can be difficult. A duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of children was imposed on FE colleges and schools by the Education Act of 2002 resulting in institutions having to introduce a range of policies to address threats of harm to children from e-security, bullying and even radicalisation.
Current and emerging technologies present so many opportunities for new ways of learning, collaborating and even socialising that colleges must ensure their learners know how to behave safely and responsibly on a digital campus. The digital campus in itself offers many opportunities to safeguard learners whilst delivering the experience the millennial generation demands.
Here are the top three ways the digital campus can help colleges safeguard their students:
- AUTHENTICATED ACCESS. Access to the digital campus can be granted based upon the identity of a student, their geographical location, their faculty or area of study and a myriad of other factors – extracurricular activities, social or sporting groups for example. This leads to the right people having access to only the tools they need based upon who they are and what interests they have. Access can be granted prior to joining the college – as a school leaver at an open day for example – limiting further the access to those resources relevant to someone applying to the college. It may also continue for alumni, long after the student has left the institution, with pared-down access and relevant links to the business world beyond the college gates.
- A MANAGED AUDIT TRAIL. Technology delivers data – in abundance. That data can be used to deliver an audit trail of information upon which to base more accurate decision making, but it may also be used to flag up trends in the data that show when things may be going wrong. Is a student looking like they need help? An early warning system can help a college identify from online activity that a student’s attendance has dipped, that they’re less engaged with online learning systems and that they’re potentially going to drop out. A keyword flagging system may also be an option if the institution is keen to extinguish unsavoury behaviours early on. Data-driven decision making is fast and accurate and can help reverse a trend as fast as it is identified.
- EXCEEDING STUDENT EXPECTATIONS AND DELIVERING A QUALITY STUDENT EXPERIENCE. It’s not just about what you learn, it’s how you learn too. A digital campus environment delivers freedom to the students but implements measures in the background to make sure that those students are safe. They are safeguarded online because the systems they are using can be monitored 24/7, and wraparound services can be delivered to them in terms of mentoring, advisors and counselling should it be required. It’s never been easier for students to communicate, collaborate or be cared for around the clock. And with smart-campus technologies managing facilities, lighting, parking and transportation, it’s more intelligent than ever before too. The digital campus is an altogether more engaging and safe way to learn.
Would you like to know more about how the myday Digital Campus can help safeguard your students?