Episode 2: Safety Risks Inside the K-12 Cloud
Welcome to another episode of The K-12 Tech Experience podcast, hosted by ManagedMethods! In our second episode, we’re joined by Diana Gill, the director of technology at East Porter County School Corporation in Indiana, and a ManagedMethods customer. We discuss the safety risks inside the K-12 cloud, talk about student data privacy as IT teams monitor for these risks, and how IT leaders can balance the two to better protect students and staff in remote learning environments.
Cloud applications are critical for communication, collaboration, and for continuing education in remote learning environments. However, there are cyber safety risks that come with the use of these apps that K-12 IT teams may have difficulty monitoring for within their shared drives, emails, and files.
Diana was kind enough to come on the podcast to share her perspective on the topic and give some examples as to how remote learning has impacted student safety monitoring in schools. Below is a preview of the conversation — make sure to click ‘subscribe’ on the player below to hear the rest of the conversation wherever you listen to your podcasts!
JK: How about we start off with having you share more about yourself, your career so far, how you got to where you are today as the director of technology, and some background on East Porter County School Corporation.
DG: I became the director of technology as a surprise. I didn’t imagine that when I was in college—wanting to be an English teacher—it wasn’t part of my plan, but it was a happy path and I love what I do today! I taught high school English for eight years. While I was going back to school to get my master’s—to get my license to be a principal—I started getting really involved in educational technology, and started using a lot of digital tools in the classroom to increase my reach to students and be more engaging.
I fell in love with EdTech and I started doing some leadership stuff with it and became a technology coach for East Porter County Schools. While doing that, I had the opportunity to work closely with both the curriculum department and the former technology director, Chris Bowers. He was a great mentor to me for all things cybersecurity and policy. When he left his job, I applied and got it, and work with great people where I have a lot of support!
JK: Since the start of the 2020 school year, how has the transition to remote and/or hybrid learning been for East Porter County School Corporation?
DG: Before we went remote in the spring, we had done exactly one day of online learning. In Indiana, we call them e-Learning days. We did them because of a make-up, snow day, kind of situation. We were really intentional about making sure our online instruction was high-quality, and we were really proud of our one day—it was a great success—and looking forward to the future.
Obviously, the situation that we’re in is really different. I think if I’m being really honest, people are tired right now. This is a lot—to format shift the way you teach overnight. But, the silver lining here is that hopefully one day we’ll have the opportunity to stop and reflect, and reshape our practices when we don’t feel like we’re in survival mode every day.
JK: Is East Porter County School Corporation operating 1:1 or is it still a BYOD-type structure during remote learning?
DG: We’re 1:1—take-home devices—for grades 6-12 and working to bring that down. But we also give devices out to our families who might need one if they are quarantining or selected an all-virtual option for the first semester. So, we’ve got a little bit of a mix going.
Listen to the rest of our conversation with Diana below and make sure to subscribe to The K-12 Tech Experience wherever you listen to your podcasts, so you don’t miss another episode!