One interesting and potentially concerning trend that has emerged in compiling data for the K-12 Cyber Incident Map is that the number of schools and/or districts that have experienced multiple cyber incidents is increasing. This may be due to an increased reliance on technology for teaching, learning and school operations as compared to other districts and hence a greater exposure to cyber risks. It could be due to bad luck. Or, it could be a sign of a lack of expertise, resources, and/or attention to cyber security issues. To aid policymakers, researchers, administrators, and others in understanding this trend, I have decided to compile and begin to report more detailed information about these schools and districts.
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I have been critical of the treatment of technology in both the 2015 and 2016 Education Next back-to-school polls for a variety of reasons. Credit where it is due: the 2017 EdNext Poll on School Reform expanded coverage of the topic and, while not perfect, is much improved. Here is what savvy readers should know about this year’s findings.
Students in schools implementing personalized learning – by virtue of a receiving a Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant – are less likely to report feeling safe in school, less likely to report that there is at least one adult in the school that knows them well, and less likely to say they feel like they are an important part of their school community.
If there is an Achilles’ heel to a future of robust personalized learning for all K-12 students, it is the uneven attention to the cybersecurity risks facing school information technology assets and data. In this post, I offer emerging lessons about real and perceived information security issues facing schools from the data underlying the K-12 Cyber Incident Map.