With technology and education becoming increasingly intertwined, many are worried about how schools are handling cybersecurity threats. Larry Khan, Chief Technology Officer of Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, Texas, discusses his role in the field and how threats are being addressed.
“Some of the things that are starting to happen are pretty substantial,” Khan said. “Just this week at W.D.C. and Apple, they were showing a lot of things that they’re doing with augmented reality in education and how heavily they were investing in that space…We’re starting to see the emergence of digital assistants in classrooms, but of course putting a digital assistant that’s always on, always listening, brings other questions to the front in terms of student privacy.”
Many fear these advancements in technology and the possible detriments they could bring, not only to technology but also to their child’s security. However, Trinity Valley School has taken measures to ensure safety and understanding.
“We instituted multifactor authentication for everyone,” Khan said. “Anti-phishing training has been huge; schools have become a huge target for security hits for many reasons. You want to protect the kids and their identity…so really having a good perimeter, doing penetration tests, having certificates on the WiFi side, those types of things are what we can do on the IT side.
As with any new concept, external threats occur, particularly cyber threats to campuses trying to add technology into their curriculum. Building the students’ education in coding and anti-phishing training is the best way to combat those threats.
“One thing we do have that’s terrific is a very strong comprehensive K12 coding program that all our kids are learning to code,” Khan said. “You want those kids on your side protecting your network that they have a sense of, “This isn’t something to be hacked,” but they have a sense of ownership and a sense of protecting that. I think the best thing we can do as schools to protect ourselves are have the outside ethical hacks, the penetration tests, and learn to respond to those and learn from those.”
The evolution of education technology is quickly growing, and many industry-leading innovations are on the horizon in terms of positive advancements.
“Well, you know, the positives are sky’s the limit, the changes that are coming with VR,” Khan said. “And yes, we have some kids coding and VR doing amazing things and augmented reality are going to have, I think, some terrific affordances for kids to learn new things and new ways that weren’t even possible to imagine before. In fact our school is going to be hosting a two-day cybersecurity workshop, coming up this July 19th and 20th and we’re going to have people coming in from around the country to attend it, to learn about these issues.”
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