Reflections on teaching in a digital world

Digital technology can be a powerful pedagogical tool; however, networked technology has an inherent security risk (Kelly, 2001). Therefore, when I introduce digital technology to the classroom, I will also have a responsibility to introduce adequate digital security measures. Although digital security concerns are often focussed on software risks, such as viruses and other malware, these can generally be addressed by judicious anti-virus and firewall use (Microsoft, 2014). Instead, I suspect the greatest challenge in digital security will be protecting my student’s personal data from collection by unscrupulous agencies (Riofrio, 2013).


While filtering programs such as Net Nanny may be effective in some areas, my students will also require education in safe online behaviours and critical thinking. I see the two key areas of risk as digital identity control, and information security.


Children using computers

(Alamy 2012)

Information Security

Maintaining information security is increasingly important. The majority of transactions and communications are being conducted digitally, while data aggregation is simplified as web crawlers and search engines become more efficient (Connotate, 2014). I will have a key role to play in educating my students on the safe release of personal information. This may include instruction on identification of the more secure websites, outlining the pitfalls of sharing personal information online, and explaining the data collection methods of corporations and individuals. I feel confident in fulfilling this role, as my previous employment included information security management for the military.

As information security becomes increasingly automated, striking an acceptable balance between online safety and privacy will become an ongoing issue; one that will need to be discussed regularly with the school hierarchy, my peers, and parents. The video below offers a glimpse into this Brave New World.

Digital Identity Management

Digital identity management will be pertinent to both my students and myself. Personal digital branding is increasingly noted by peers, current employers, and future prospects; “You are who the Internet says you are” (Richmond, 2013, para 1). As many social media footprints commence during the school years, I will be able to provide meaningful assistance to the future success of my students by emphasising the impact and longevity of information posted online, and encouraging the proactive management of digital identities.


Sam mistook their instructions to bring bubbles and beer.

Some photos scream “Hire me” (Boomer, 2010).


The Australian Government’s “Budd:e” Cyber Security Education Package looks to be a good resource for assisting students of varying ages to learn safe online behaviours.




Alamy. (2012, 1 April). Children in a school computer lab [Image]. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Australian Government. (n.d.). Budd:e Cyber Security Education Package. Retrieved from

Boomer. (2010, 24 September). drunk-college [Image]. EagleiOnline: For students at Boston College Law School. Retrieved from

Connotate (2014). Beyond web scraping. Retrieved from

Kelly, L. (2011). The security threats of technology ubiquity. Retrieved from

Microsoft. (2014). Help prevent malware infection on your PC. Retrieved from

Richmond, A. (2013, 21 November). Don’t let social media derail your career – use it to attract potential employers. Forbes. Retrieved from

Riofrio, M. (2013, 8 April). The 5 biggest online privacy threats of 2013. PCWorld. Retrieved from



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