Internet and computers provide students with instant access, some of which is paid for by collecting their personal information. (Pixabay)

Online privacy course ready for B.C. school use

Privacy commissioners develop lesson plans for grade 6-12

How do you get the toothpaste back in the tube?

Trying to remove unwanted personal information from the internet is like that on a larger scale, so the best approach is to protect your privacy as you go. A new set of classroom tools designed to help B.C. students understand and protect their privacy rights is available to teachers and students for this school year.

Students using smartphones and computers face a complicated world where “free” apps and website services finance themselves by collecting, and in some cases reselling, the personal information of their users. A 2015 survey of teachers and administrators conducted by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, found seven out of 10 teachers were “very” or “somewhat” confident in their ability to teach digital privacy skills.

Federal and provincial privacy authorities developed the lesson plans to assist teachers in this evolving area. They include videos, class discussions and exercises to introduce students to privacy principles.

“Students today rely on smartphones, iPads, laptops and other devices at school and at home,” said Michael McEvoy, B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner. “That’s why privacy education is absolutely critical in today’s schools.”

Teachers can find four lesson plans at www.oipc.bc.ca/resources/lesson-plans/ along with guidance documents and infographics. Three of the plans are geared to students in grades 6-9, with instruction on how to minimize the information they share on social media and other platforms.

An advanced section for grades 9-12 outlines the legislation in place in B.C. and Alberta. It also shows students how to limit data collection on themselves, and ways to deal with platforms and organizations that they believe may not be respecting their privacy rights.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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