Schools Demand Students' Social Media Passwords

It is a story that is all too often in the news: A child is subjected to torturous cyberbullying by his or her peers via social media. Threatening messages sent on Facebook, humiliating comments about their appearance on Twitter, and other such nonsense drives the student to lash out, possibly hurting themselves, their peers, or both.
Schools no doubt serve a protective function and are charged with ensuring students have access to a free, appropriate education in an environment that is safe, secure, and nurturing. To help achieve that end, some states are taking strong measures to bolster the authority and power of school districts with regard to investigating instances of bullying, even if such negative behaviors do not occur on school property or within the bounds of the school day.
 
The Illinois Law
In an attempt to curb cyberbullying behaviors, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law, enacted January 1st of this year, that allows public school districts to demand access to students’ personal social media accounts if the student is suspected of violating school rules.
A letter sent home to parents in Triad Community Schools in Illinois, obtained by Motherboard, outlines the new policy:
 
 
“School authorities may require a student or his or her parent/guardian to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to his/her account profile on a social networking website if school authorities have reasonable cause to believe that a student’s account . . . read more
Just three months after the first measles outbreak from Disneyland, researchers have confirmed that the low rates of vaccination are the culprit for measles spreading from California throughout the country, as just published in the JAMA Pediatric Journal
"Disneyland is an international attraction and sometimes people are coming from places where measles vaccination rates are low or they don't get the recommended two doses, and that, combined with the fact that there are a lot of pockets of non-vaccination in California and people coming from all over the U.S. created the perfect storm for a big outbreak," lead author Maimuna Majumder of Boston Children's Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told Reuters Health.
In late December 2014, the first signs that a measles outbreak was about to occur began to present themselves. People were coming into emergency rooms and doctor’s offices with high fevers, runny noses, coughing, and red, watery eyes.  In addition to the ones originating in Disneyland, there were other unrelated outbreaks in Nevada, Illinois, and Washington.  California has by far the most cases, numbering 142 in early March, but there are measles reports in 17 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  
 
 
What makes this measles outbreak particularly disturbing – aside from the fact that the disease was declared eliminated in 2000 – is that it began at Disneyland, a place full of children who have since returned to school. . . . read more
With technology advancing and changing faster than ever, how can educators and schools keep up? The answer: refurbished ed tech. 
 
The Emergence of Refurbished Ed Tech
 
Teachers and administrators are turning to refurbished educational technology for better learning experiences on a reduced budget. Refurbished machines save time and money, and gives instructors a wider range of teaching options for students. We paneled some of the top minds in education to learn about the impact refurbished tech is making on education.
 
The Benefits of Refurbished Ed Tech: Savings
 
School systems across the nation run on tight budgets. While per-student spending remains at an adequate level in select districts, it can hardly cover the cost of new devices for every child, especially with rapid advances in digital media.
 
“Refurbished technology is a great way to get more devices into the hands of students at significant cost savings,” says Robert Baker, CEO and Co-Founder of certified ed tech provider Mac to School. Teachers need the proper tools to interact with their students in a technology-driven society.
 
Bob Nelson, Superintendent of the Chawanakee School District in California, notes the benefits of saving time as well as money. “What are the benefits of refurbished ed tech… identical machines, thus simplifying the 1:1 environment for purposes of training and support.”
 
His own experience of working with identical devices at the district level over the past six years has given him keen insights into the savings refurbished equipment provide.
 
 
 
How Ed Tech Has Changed: Access and Efficacy
 
In an age . . . read more
As far back as the time of the ancient Greeks, philosophers like Plato recognized the inherent value of studying the arts. Theatre, music, dance, and the visual arts were seen as integral to Greek society and are still an integral component of education in our country today.
But not that long ago, amid nationwide budget cuts and an increasing emphasis on instruction and testing in math, science, and language arts, many school districts were forced to reduce arts programming greatly, and in some cases, eliminate parts of their arts curriculum altogether. The arts suffered because school officials, students, parents, and the public in general perceived the arts to be nothing more than an extracurricular activity, despite the vast evidence to the contrary. Fortunately, however, this trend has reversed somewhat, and school districts are once again developing thriving fine and performing arts programs.
The trend towards expanding arts education is certainly a positive one, as the benefits that students reap from participation in the arts are many. In fact, research shows that the arts promote positive development in the academic, social, and emotional realms. So important are the arts to a comprehensive educational program, that Katy Independent School District in Texas proclaims, “The arts are what make us most human, most complete as people.”
 
Signs of Support
The arts are gaining more and more recognition as a central component of the public school curriculum rather than as an add-on that students elect to take in high school or participate in . . . read more
If you have a child with special needs, you are no doubt familiar with many of the services and accommodations provided to them by their school. You may also have a clear understanding of some of the laws that guarantee your child the appropriate support services in an educational setting. You are likely also familiar with the time, energy and red tape required to obtain services for your child. It is a complicated process indeed, with many legal underpinnings guiding the development and administration of programs for special needs kids.
 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
First passed in 1975 as the Education of Handicapped Children Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as it stands today, is the result of revisions in 1990, 1997 and 2004. Prior to 1975, children with disabilities were either placed in segregated classrooms in public schools or denied access to public education altogether.
 
 
Today’s iteration of IDEA includes four parts, including Part B, which outlines the service requirements for children from 3-21 years of age, and Part C, which governs the administration of services to children from birth to 2 years of age. IDEA, among other things, establishes that families have a right to:  
  • A Free and Appropriate Public Education for school-aged children.
  • An Individualized Education Plan for public school students.
  • A consultation with a school professional to determine the level of a disabled child’s needs.
  • Access to early intervention services for infants and toddlers.
  • An Individualized Family Service Plan for infants and toddlers.
 
IDEA provides . . . read more
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Schools Demand Students' Social Media Passwords
Schools Demand Students' Social Media Passwords
Recent legislation that allows Illinois public schools to demand students’ social media passwords has renewed the debate about students’ right to privacy at school.
Measles in School: A Parent’s Guide in 2015
Measles, the once eradicated disease, has made a comeback in the U.S. in recent months, and a recent study estimates only 50% of people are immunized. The outbreak has raised questions about immunizations and the safety of children in public schools. Learn how to keep your children healthy and reduce their measles risk.
The Surprising Way Schools are Saving Money on Ed Tech
With technology advancing and changing faster than ever, how can educators and schools keep up? The answer: refurbished ed tech.