EdTech - Technology Solutions That Drive Education https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/rss.xml en 3 Ways K-12 Schools Can Fill Overlooked Cybersecurity Holes https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/3-ways-k-12-schools-can-fill-overlooked-cybersecurity-holes <span>3 Ways K-12 Schools Can Fill Overlooked Cybersecurity Holes</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:14</span> <div><p>Just like businesses, schools store social security numbers, birth dates and other sensitive data that can be used to steal money, identities or private files, including test questions or grades. And most school networks are inadequately protected because <strong>the responsibility for considering cybersecurity is falling through the cracks</strong>. </p> <p>Most school boards, chief financial officers and procurement professionals don’t realize that end devices like <strong>network printers and copiers</strong> are just as vulnerable to attack as any PC. </p> <p>As a matter of policy, <strong>IT staff should be integrally involved</strong> in all purchases of connected technology from the very beginning. Similarly, board members and administrators must empower IT staff to set and enforce security policies in educational institutions they serve. </p> <p>To safeguard against rising cyberthreats, educational institutions should establish benchmarks to govern three procedures:</p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Embrace Security by Design to Minimize Endpoint Vulnerabilities</h2> <p>End devices are not all equally secure. Some have minimal built-in protections while others have<strong> layered and integrated security features</strong> aimed at keeping hackers out of networks and guarding against various ramifications should a hacker manage to bust through fortifications.</p> <p>Like personal computers, they have hardware, a BIOS to boot up their operating systems, software applications and ports to access the internet. And, just like on PCs, <strong>these elements can be exploited</strong> by hackers if left unprotected.</p> <p>Despite these vulnerabilities, <strong>43 percent</strong> of IT professionals in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region completely ignore printers in endpoint security practices according to a <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=5&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwicvvjZsvrSAhXH4iYKHRnQCokQFgg3MAQ&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww8.hp.com%2Fh20195%2Fv2%2FGetPDF.aspx%2F4AA6-9485ENUS.pdf&amp;usg=AFQjCNGGdht6zKdakA4DGhBAAMbaT0mRwQ" target="_blank">Spiceworks survey</a>. And according to <a href="https://k12cybersecure.com/map/" target="_blank">EdTech Strategies</a>, since January 2016 there have been <strong>more than 350 </strong><strong>cyberincidents</strong> targeting K–12 schools in the United States.</p> <p>While security-optimized PCs, printers and copiers can cost a little more, it is wise for those charged with purchasing such equipment to identify and evaluate their choices, opting for the strongest cybersecurity their budgets will allow.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Establish Strong Security Policies and Procedures</h2> <p>An increasing number of teachers are choosing to bring their own inexpensive wireless printers into the classroom for the sake of convenience. This means, however, that <strong>educators may be connecting poorly protected devices</strong> to their institutions’ networks, creating security vulnerabilities.</p> <p>This is just one example of the and largely unnoticed rogue activities that can occur in schools, colleges and universities, and which must be better controlled with stronger polices.</p> <p>Such policies — drafted by IT professionals in tandem with legal staff, HR and anyone else charged with protecting data in an organization — should address the types of technology purchased, how networks can be accessed, who is able to use the equipment and when, as well as the <strong>protocols for accessing the equipment</strong>, such as entering passwords or cryptokeys.</p> <p>Policies should also address what happens to digital information during its lifetime. For instance, many organizations are competent at mandating how documents should be protected on network servers and machines while in someone’s possession.</p> <p>However, <strong>they often forget to assure the protection of this data</strong> when the equipment is out for repair, or the destruction of it when a PC, printer or copier is retired.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Minimize Human Error with Built-In Safeguards</h2> <p>To err is human, right? That is precisely why it is so important to choose PCs, printers and copiers with <strong>built-in safeguards</strong>.</p> <p>One of the most common mistakes people make in organizations is <strong>printing sensitive documents to remote machines</strong> — and then forgetting about them. </p> <p>A <strong>discarded printout containing personal information</strong> from the entire student body — more than 21,000 people — was stolen from one New York community college, according to the <a href="http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-20061206-2006-12-06-0612060229-story.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Press</em></a>. The institution reportedly ended up paying $500,000 to enroll students in a credit-monitoring service.</p> <p>To address such scenarios, some printers now include a feature called “<strong>pull printing</strong>,” where print jobs are held on servers or workstations until users physically authenticate themselves to the machines. Educational institutions should consider such options for reducing human error as a matter of policy.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/k12/k12/k12/k12/author/elliot-levine"><img src="/k12/k12/k12/k12/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Elliot%20Levine.jpeg.jpg?itok=T5wM__Zm" width="58" height="58" alt="Elliot Levine" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/k12/k12/k12/k12/author/elliot-levine"> <div>Elliot Levine</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=@edtech_elliott&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Elliott Levine is Director of Education for the Americas Region of HP, Inc. and the company’s first Distinguished Technologist focused solely on edtech. A former K-12 district administrator and professor, Elliott is a past columnist for Electronic School and American School Boards Journal.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 17 Aug 2018 17:14:41 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41221 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Technologies Schools Must Have to Stop Ransomware https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/technologies-schools-must-have-stop-ransomware <span>Technologies Schools Must Have to Stop Ransomware</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/15/2018 - 11:11</span> <div><p>Ransomware hackers <strong>continue to threaten and target K–12 schools</strong>, and they’re not likely to quit anytime soon. Ransomware works in several ways, but all of them prevent access or use of computing resources until a ransom is paid.</p> <p>For example, <strong>crypto-based ransomware</strong> encrypts data so no one can access it, and <strong>locker-based ransomware</strong> locks a computer so no one can use it. Even worse, another form of ransomware, known as <strong>wiperware</strong>, makes each computer unusable even if the user or school pays up.</p> <p>Although it’s tempting to rely on automated technologies, such as <strong>patch management and anti-virus software</strong>, to stop ransomware, most attacks rely on both social engineering and user interaction. That means simply leaning on patch deployment during the next major ransomware attack will likely not be enough to avoid losses.</p> <p>To better protect their systems for the future, school IT leaders can take these additional steps.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Endpoint Protection Tools Can Stop Ransomware Before It Begins</h2> <p>Ransomware targets endpoints, so IT leaders should <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2017/10/3-cyberhygiene-tips-k-12-end-users">protect endpoints</a> through myriad security controls. For example, an <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=endpoint%20protection%20suite&amp;ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">endpoint protection suite</a> bundles <strong>advanced anti-malware, anti-spam, anti-phishing and firewalling capabilities</strong> for desktops and laptops. These packages also frequently use reputation services or threat intelligence feeds to determine the likely intent of a file. In short: Is this ransomware? </p> <p>Unified threat management solutions offer similar anti-ransomware features as endpoint protection suites, but instead provide <strong>safeguards for servers</strong>. Together, endpoint protection suites and UTM solutions can stop many ransomware threats, including those spread by email, websites or instant messaging.</p> <p>These tools deny ransomware the opportunity to infect the endpoint in the first place. For stronger protection, school districts may want to deploy <strong>a series of anti-malware, anti-spam and anti-phishing controls</strong> in conjunction with their email servers. This approach prevents attackers from reconfiguring or even disabling endpoint-based security controls.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Manage Vulnerability with Regular System Updates</h2> <p>The next layer of defense in preventing ransomware infection is <strong>vulnerability management</strong>, which requires IT leaders to focus on patch management and configuration management. </p> <p><img alt="ET_Q418_SecSave_Scarfone-elPunto.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/ET_Q418_SecSave_Scarfone-elPunto.jpg" /></p> <p>Patch management includes <strong>updating an endpoint’s operating system and applications</strong>, especially email clients and web browsers, to eliminate many of the vulnerabilities that ransomware might try to infect. This protection strategy has been instrumental in stopping many ransomware attacks, and it will undoubtedly continue to be critical in the future. School district officials should ensure their patch management practices go beyond operating systems and cover the very applications that ransomware may target.</p> <p>IT leaders will also want to <strong>double-down on configuration management</strong>. Some ransomware takes advantage of weak security configuration settings. For example, if an operating system allows silent installation of new software and a user has logged on with full administrative privileges, ransomware could infect an endpoint without giving that person any opportunity to stop it. School districts should <strong>create security configuration checklists</strong> for their endpoint operating systems and major applications. To prevent ransomware infection, these checklists should center on fundamental security principles, such as providing users the least amount of privilege necessary.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Use Application Whitelisting if All Else Fails</h2> <p>If other security controls don’t stop the ransomware, the last layer of defense is application <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/04/4-tips-controlling-shadow-it">whitelisting</a>. With this technique, an operating system allows an executable to run <strong>only if the school district has specifically approved its use</strong>. Depending on the whitelisting technology, a school district may grant executables permission to run based on methods such as file hash or software vendor identity.</p> <p>In some cases, the software authorizes new executables to run only if they were acquired by the OS’s built-in update feature. <strong>Even if a user is tricked into downloading and installing ransomware</strong>, whitelisting technology prevents the user from running it, regardless of his or her privilege. </p> <p>However, to be truly effective, <strong>whitelisting must be kept up to date</strong>. Any errors in configuration could inadvertently prevent legitimate software from running or mistakenly allow ransomware or other malware to spread. School districts should carefully evaluate whitelisting solutions and, whenever feasible, run them first in monitor-only mode to confirm proper operation before enforcing whitelisting policies.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/karen-scarfone"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/KarenScarfone.jpeg.jpg?itok=JzlESD2H" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/karen-scarfone"> <div>Karen Scarfone</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Karen Scarfone is the principal consultant for Scarfone Cybersecurity. She previously worked as a senior computer scientist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 15 Aug 2018 15:11:07 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41216 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Video Games Score Points with Teachers on Academic Benefits https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/video-games-score-points-teachers-academic-benefits <span>Video Games Score Points with Teachers on Academic Benefits</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/14/2018 - 11:49</span> <div><p>Playing video games used to be <strong>the antithesis of studious behavior</strong>. Now, the very same virtual worlds that once might have distracted kids from academics are used to supplement them.</p> <p>As schools continue to legitimize video games, K–12 teachers are realizing <strong>it is better to ride this wave rather than fight </strong><strong>it</strong>, and reframe games as educational tools. For example, esports are even considered on par with traditional competitive sports in some schools. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Educational Games Capitalize on Interest-Based Learning</h2> <p>One of the biggest boons of incorporating video games as educational tools is that <strong>it’s an easy sell to students</strong>.</p> <p>By acknowledging this, the <a href="http://esportsfed.org/" target="_blank">North America Scholastic Esports Federation</a> built <a href="http://esportsfed.org/resources/curriculum/" target="_blank">high-school-level STEM curricula</a>. In one NASEF class, <a href="http://esportsfed.org/resources/curriculum/english-9-and-game-design/" target="_blank">English 9 and Game Design</a>, participating students develop English-language skills by writing about topics covering the history of esports to <strong>comparing mythological heroes from literature to those in video games</strong>.</p> <p>Games like these can also help “<strong>develop social and emotional skills while teaching traditional components</strong> like English, physics and math,” Gerald Solomon, executive director of the <a href="http://www.samueli.org/">Samueli Foundation</a>, a key partner in developing the NASEF classes, tells <a href="https://www.sporttechie.com/north-america-scholastic-esports-federation-high-school-curriculum/" target="_blank">SportTechie</a>.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Virtual Teamwork Can Set Students Up for College</h2> <p>Like in football and baseball, students participating in esports can <strong>develop the lifelong skills</strong> that come from competitive team activities.</p> <p>Strategic thinking, teamwork, collaboration, goal setting, preparation and managing success and failure are a few of the skills associated with traditional sports that esport athletes can pick up, according to <a href="https://www.viewsonic.com/library/education/how-to-start-high-school-esports-team" target="_blank">ViewSonic</a>. </p> <p>Skills aren’t the only rewards for virtual athletes. As higher education institutions start to pick up on this trend, some universities have created <strong>scholarship opportunities for talented students</strong> to represent their schools on the digital battleground. </p> <p><strong>Eighty-one colleges </strong>currently participate in the <a href="https://nacesports.org/" target="_blank">National Association of Collegiate eSports</a>, and all but two offer money to esport athletes.</p> <p>The trend will continue, and we, as technologists, would do well to keep an eye on it in K–12 education.</p> <p><em>This article is part of the "Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&amp;vertical=default&amp;q=%23ConnectIT&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#ConnectIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p></p><center><a href="http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/node/11661" target="_blank" title="Connect IT"><img alt="[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="87" src="http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/sites/default/files/articles/2014/05/connectit.jpg" title="[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" width="400" /></a></center> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/joe-mcallister"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/JoeMcAllister.jpg?itok=wnB4yNmz" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/joe-mcallister"> <div>Joe McAllister</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Joe McAllister is a learning environment advisor at CDW•G.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:49:37 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41211 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Technology Helps Teachers Prevent and Mitigate Bad Behavior in the Classroom https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/technology-helps-teachers-prevent-and-mitigate-bad-behavior-classroom <span>Technology Helps Teachers Prevent and Mitigate Bad Behavior in the Classroom </span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/13/2018 - 10:17</span> <div><p>While most teachers want to believe the best about their students, the reality is that <strong>skipping class, plagiarism and a host of other issues</strong> are behavioral challenges teachers grapple with daily.</p> <p>It can be difficult for teachers to react in ways that will guide students back to proper classroom behavior <strong>without alienating them</strong> — which is a major concern according to <a href="http://gradnation.americaspromise.org/sites/default/files/d8/2018-07/Disciplined-and-Disconnected-Final.pdf" target="_blank">a recent study from the Center for Promise</a>.</p> <p>“Because of heightened emotional intensity in adolescence and the punishments typically associated with ‘getting in trouble,’ <strong>disciplinary interventions represent pivotal opportunities</strong> for students to feel either included and respected or shut down and ignored by schools,” the study authors write.</p> <p>But innovations in education technology can equip teachers with the tools to help students stay on a good path and get the most out of their academics. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Lock Student Screens During Tests to Prevent Cheating</h2> <p>One of the best ways to deal with student misbehavior is to prevent it from happening in the first place. </p> <p>Take schools with one-to-one device programs. With each student using a tablet or notebook computer, <strong>it’s impossible for teachers to keep watch</strong> over every screen at once during a quiz — creating an opportunity for students to open a web browser and look up the answers. </p> <p>Companies are responding with tech solutions: As part of <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/google-interstitial.html" target="_blank">Google</a>’s <a href="https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/education/spark-student-creativity-with-chromebook-tablets-ar-vr-and-more/?_ga=2.199809580.309781524.1533844149-855839774.1533565461" target="_blank">announcement</a> of the <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Acer-Chromebook-Tab-10-9.7-Chrome-OS-Tablet/5029412" target="_blank">Acer Chromebook 10</a>, the company introduced a new “locked mode,” allowing teachers to l<strong>ock students’ screens on managed Chromebooks</strong>.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">‘Tardy Kiosks’ in Schools Help Track Student Attendance</h2> <p>Along with cheating, student attendance can be a big problem for teachers. According to <a href="https://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/ind_12.asp" target="_blank">a study from the National Center for Education Statistics</a>, <strong>38 percent of teachers</strong> say tardiness and class-cutting interfere with their teaching. </p> <p>At <a href="https://www.marionschools.net/" target="_blank">Marion County Public Schools</a> in central Florida, teachers were losing valuable teaching time to distractions from late and absent students, as well as <strong>an outdated attendance-logging system</strong>.</p> <p>As a solution, administrators adopted “tardy kiosks,” where late students can use their student ID numbers to check themselves into class. </p> <p>“When students arrive late, they log in to any kiosk located in the attendance office, [and] within seconds, the device prints out a tardy pass, which includes the teacher’s name and time the student logged in,” Kristi Miller, an applications specialist at Marion County Public Schools, wrote for <a href="https://www.educationdive.com/news/combatting-student-tardiness-with-kiosks-and-an-sis/526875/" target="_blank">Education Dive</a>. “As a result, district staff members are <strong>spending more time focusing on students</strong> and less time concerning themselves with inefficient attendance procedures.”</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Combat Classroom Distractions with Tech</h2> <p>Screen locks and tablets-turned-truant-officers can help manage some bad student behavior, but <strong>many students are distracted by outside technology</strong> that they bring into the classroom themselves.</p> <p>In response, some schools have banned smartphones in the classroom. Other schools have opted to use <a href="https://www.npr.org/2018/01/11/577101803/a-schools-way-to-fight-phones-in-class-lock-em-up" target="_blank">cases that lock phones</a> inside once students enter a classroom.</p> <p>But one of the best ways to stop students becoming distracted by their devices is to <strong>have them use other devices</strong> <strong>in their work</strong>.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://ctl.yale.edu/Using-Electronic-Devices-in-Class" target="_blank">Yale Center for Teaching and Learning</a>, using “<strong>targeted electronic activities</strong>” can keep students engaged on the devices teachers want them to use, and keep them off the ones they do not.</p> <p>In a study at <a href="https://chs.cleburne.k12.tx.us/" target="_blank">Cleburne High School</a> in Texas, administrators found this to be especially true. Holding classes on digital citizenship and incorporating appropriate devices in the classroom <strong>kept students from engaging in distracting activities</strong>.</p> <p>“Teachers creating engaging lessons that add value to classroom technology — including Chromebooks — is the <strong>most effective way for students to not be distracted by outside influences</strong>,” Instructional Technology Director Tim Grijalva told the <a href="http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/cellphone-usage-by-students-for-non-class-work-distracting/article_a19e271e-99bf-11e8-92d0-0fd6d286218f.html" target="_blank"><em>Cleburne Times-Review</em></a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:17:52 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41201 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 How to Choose Between Penetration Tests and Vulnerability Scans https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/how-choose-between-penetration-tests-and-vulnerability-scans <span>How to Choose Between Penetration Tests and Vulnerability Scans</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/10/2018 - 09:54</span> <div><p>Even seasoned cybersecurity professionals confuse <strong>penetration tests with vulnerability scans</strong>. Both play an important role in the security practitioner’s toolkit, but they vary significantly in scope and expense. Here are answers to some common questions about the topic:</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">What is Penetration Testing?</h2> <p>During a penetration test, highly skilled cybersecurity professionals <strong>assume the role of attacker</strong> and try to break into an organization’s network. Just as an attacker would, they conduct reconnaissance on the network, seek out vulnerable systems and applications, and exploit those vulnerabilities to gain a foothold on the organization’s network.</p> <p>The knowledge gained during these tests <strong>points out weaknesses</strong> that could be exploited by a real hacker and provides a roadmap for security remediation.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">What Is a Vulnerability Scanner, and How Is it Used?</h2> <p>Vulnerability scanners are <strong>automated security testing tools</strong> that probe all of the systems connected to a network and identify vulnerabilities. They run thousands of security checks against each system they discover. Most organizations run automated vulnerability scans at least weekly to quickly identify vulnerabilities for remediation.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Vulnerability Scans vs. Penetration Tests: What’s the Difference?</h2> <p>While vulnerability scans and penetration tests both discover hidden weaknesses in systems, applications, network devices and other network-connected components, vulnerability scanning is highly automated, while penetration testing is manual and time-consuming.</p> <h2 id="toc_3">When Should You Perform a Penetration Test vs. a Vulnerability Scan?</h2> <p>Most organizations combine the approaches, running vulnerability scans frequently and supplementing them with less frequent penetration tests.</p> <p>Penetration tests provide the <strong>most comprehensive evaluation of a system’s or application’s security</strong> by exposing them to real attackers using modern hacking tools. However, it’s impossible for penetration testers to check every system and every vulnerability; the tests are usually a deep dive into a small group of target systems.</p> <p>Vulnerability scans, on the other hand, can <strong>run constantly and scan very large networks</strong>. They cast a wide net but don’t include the human precision and creativity involved in a penetration test.</p> <h2 id="toc_4">What Types of Vulnerabilities Are Usually Discovered?</h2> <p>Common issues include outdated OS versions that are missing security patches and are vulnerable to exploit; application security flaws, such as <strong>SQL injection and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities</strong>; and insecure configuration settings, such as weak encryption ciphers and the use of default passwords.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/mike-chapple"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/mike_chapple_updated.jpg?itok=PSiizevj" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/mike-chapple"> <div>Mike Chapple</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Mike Chapple is associate teaching professor of IT, analytics and operations at the University of Notre Dame. </p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:54:53 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41196 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 5 Steps to a Successful K–12 STEM Program Design https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/5-steps-successful-k-12-stem-program-design <span>5 Steps to a Successful K–12 STEM Program Design</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:03</span> <div><p>From inside the K-12 education bubble, it’s easy to believe that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and STEAM (adding art to the STEM mix) initiatives are a done deal — everyone’s doing them. </p> <p>There are whole <a href="http://www.stemcon.net/" target="_blank">conferences</a> dedicated to STEM. But as recently as 2016, a <a href="https://code.org/promote" target="_blank">Gallup research poll</a> conducted by<a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/google-interstitial.html" target="_blank"> Google</a> found that only <strong>40 percent of U.S.</strong> schools offer programming or coding classes. </p> <p>With the Trump administration <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/26/tech-support-trump-stem-education/" target="_blank">prioritizing $200 million a year toward </a><a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/26/tech-support-trump-stem-education/" target="_blank">STEM</a> and computer science education and tech giants including <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/microsoft-interstitial.html?enkwrd=microsoft" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>, Google, Amazon and Facebook ponying up <strong>another $300 million</strong>, there may be opportunities for schools new to the idea of STEM to get started. </p> <p>Knowing where to focus time and attention when getting started can mean all the difference between a solid program and one that fades after a couple of years.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Understand the Origins of STEM and Its Importance</h2> <p>Where do STEM programs come from? The initial idea for a program may bubble up from <strong>any of the various stakeholders in the education community</strong>: administration, teachers, students, and even the business community.</p> <p>“Oftentimes, it is a grassroots effort and comes from one teacher,” says Laura Fleming, veteran teacher, voice behind the <a href="https://worlds-of-learning.com/" target="_blank">Worlds of Learning blog</a> and author of <em><a href="https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-kickstart-guide-to-making-great-makerspaces/book258492" target="_blank">The Kickstart Guide to Making GREAT Makerspaces</a></em>, “someone who is a STEM champion, who gets other colleagues to buy in, and in some cases, even gets administration on board and buying in as well. It all can happen very organically and <strong>isn't always a top-down initiative</strong> pushed down by administration.”</p> <p>Some STEM programs even originate with a visit from <strong>an outside organization</strong> that exposes students and teachers to STEM concepts and programming.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sparkshop.org/" target="_blank">SparkShop</a>, whose mission is to educate students about STEM and raise their awareness of the diversity of engineering career opportunities, is one such nonprofit. </p> <p>“We come into a school with our maker lab and offer STEM classes that run as three-week intensives,” says Shonali Ditz, co-founder of SparkShop. “We provide teachers a STEM curriculum packet to engage kids within that three-week window and throughout the year. And at the end of three-week session, we’ve <strong>taken the designs that the kids created and built them</strong> out on our <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/Printers-Scanners-Print-Supplies/3D-Printers-Accessories/3D-Printers/?w=PI1&amp;enkwrd=3d+printer" target="_blank">3D printer</a>, and we bring them back for the students to see the end results.”</p> <p>“Our curriculum is focused on three topics: varieties of <strong>engineering, manufacturing, and invention and entrepreneurship</strong>,” adds Tiernan Murrell, SparkShop’s other co-founder. “Our makerspace helps bring these topics to life. We use it with every school we visit, but especially with needy schools who don’t have adequate funding.”</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Identify Your School's Specific STEM Mission</h2> <p>Given the growing popularity of STEM, it’s understandable that districts and schools may want to <strong>jump on the bandwagon and quickly commit</strong> to an initiative.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, these attempts often fail without the <strong>necessary research and planning</strong>. A thought-out mission and roadmap are key to growing a successful STEM program.</p> <p>“Before any district gets started with any sort of STEM initiative, they <strong>need to ask themselves the question, ‘Why?’</strong>” says Fleming. “They need to identify what their needs are, what their interest in STEM is based on and what their goals are. It is very important to not embark on any sort of STEM initiative <strong>just because it is a trend</strong>. It needs to run deeper than that in order for there to be any sort of success and sustainability.” </p> <p>One of the best ways to plan the direction of your STEM program is <strong>by observing</strong> what other districts are doing. </p> <p>“One suggestion I always give is to build on what other schools are doing,” explains Todd Burleson, resource center director for <a href="https://www.winnetka36.org/hubbardwoods" target="_blank">District 36’s Hubbard Woods School</a> in Winnetka, Ill., and author of <em><a href="https://www.mhprofessional.com/9781260019957-usa-the-green-screen-makerspace-project-book-group" target="_blank">The Green Screen Makerspace Project Book</a>.</em> "If you’re looking to build out a makerspace, I recommend <strong>going to visit other schools</strong> and see what they’re doing. And ask, ‘What do you use? What don’t you use? What can you do without?’ We did this in our district, traveling to Wisconsin and Colorado, and we learned a lot from these visits.”</p> <p>Fleming agrees with this approach and says there’s great value in “visiting local districts who have successful programs that are in line with your identified goals, <strong>attending conferences that offer sessions that address your identified goals</strong>, seeking out thought leaders in the STEM space whose work is in line with your vision, leveraging social media platforms to learn more and getting some ideas related to the program you want to create for your school or district.”</p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Integrate STEM to Work with the Current Curriculum</h2> <p>While looking outside your district for inspiration, you also want to <strong>focus internally on the existing curricula</strong> in the classrooms to figure out how you can integrate STEM into what’s there. </p> <p>"Look first at what you’re doing in science and how STEAM can <strong>augment those projects and enrich them</strong>,"<strong> </strong>suggests Burleson. "I suggest starting small: Choose a particular project and work outward from there.</p> <p>“The most effective STEM programs, are those that are <strong>integrated directly into the curriculum in the classroom</strong>, rather than skills and concepts taught in isolation,” adds Fleming. “Integrating STEM in this way gives a context for learning, and will help to create learning that endures." </p> <p>Teachers should try to create authentic educational activities that are aligned with content-area standards, as well as STEM, Flemming says. "Doing so will maximize deeper learning."</p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Do Not Give STEM an Age Requirement</h2> <p>One question STEM neophytes often have is <strong>when to bring STEM into the classroom mix</strong>.</p> <p>Experience has shown that STEM programs are applicable to students from all age groups, from kindergarten through high school. While these can be sophisticated topics, kids get them. </p> <p>“There definitely is not an age that is too young,” says Fleming. “Young learners are fearless, have a natural curiosity, and are <strong>more willing to take risks and chances</strong>, and those qualities serve them well when it comes to STEM-related concepts.”</p> <p>Currently, SparkShop’s classroom visits are focused on fourth- and fifth-graders.</p> <p>“There’s research that shows that kids are forming their self-concept with regard to academics <strong>between the ages of 8 and 10</strong>, so that’s why we’re focused on this age group,” explains Ditz. “We go in right at the age when kids are identifying themselves with their academics. We help them <strong>apply those strengths</strong> that they’re recognizing to STEM topics and engineering fields.”</p> <h2 id="toc_4">5. Enhance STEM Programming with Proper Technology Budgeting</h2> <p>Since all the topics falling under the STEM acronym touch on technology in one way or another, it’s important to give thought to <strong>where and how technology will fit into your program</strong> and budget accordingly. </p> <p>Within District 36, Burleson explains, “We have buckets of technology: construction, robotics, circuitry and electronics, and coding. We try to spread our budget evenly across those buckets. Each bucket is important and in relationship to the others.” </p> <p>If you’re just getting started, Burleson suggests the following tools:</p> <ul><li><strong>Construction:</strong> Legos, Rigamajigs</li> <li><strong>Robotics and coding:</strong> Robot Turtle board game, Sphero, NAO robot</li> <li><strong>Circuitry:</strong> Squishy Circuits, simple circuits</li> </ul><p>When bringing its makerspace into classrooms, SparkShop typically includes a <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/MakerBot-Replicator/4304681" target="_blank">Makerbot Replicator+ 3D printer</a>, an Inventables Carvey 3D carving machine, <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/AFINIA-EMBLASER-2-LASER-CUTTER/5021461?enkwrd=laser+cutter" target="_blank">a laser cutter</a>, a <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/Computers/?key=microsoft+surface+pro+3&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1&amp;w=C" target="_blank">Microsoft Surface Pro 3</a> to run CAD software and electronics kits for all the students. </p> <p>By supplying the technology themselves, schools that are <strong>unable to afford their own tools</strong> are still able to enjoy them. </p> <p>"SparkShop's approach is to keep all the kids engaged," explains Murrell. </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/alexander-slagg"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/alex-slagg.jpg?itok=ingOHmnw" width="58" height="58" alt="alex slagg" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/alexander-slagg"> <div>Alexander Slagg</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=museloose&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Alex writes for CDW’s Tech magazines and websites. He is also a Marketing Program Manager at CDW, managing content strategy and production, with a focus on security, cloud and IoT. He lives in Chicago.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:03:03 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41191 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Schools Explore Innovative Security Enhancements Ahead of the New School Year https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/schools-explore-innovative-security-enhancements-ahead-new-school-year <span> Schools Explore Innovative Security Enhancements Ahead of the New School Year</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/07/2018 - 14:20</span> <div><p>The way that school leaders must<strong> think about the security and safety of their students</strong> has taken a dramatic turn as the reality of school shootings continues to rock the lives of parents, students, teachers and administrators.</p> <p>School spending on security measures has increased nationwide, creating a $2.7 billion industry that is expected to continue growing through at least 2021, <a href="https://www.marketplace.org/2018/05/08/education/anxiety-over-shootings-bolsters-27-billion-school-security-industry" target="_blank">Marketplace reports</a>.</p> <p>With this increased investment, technology vendors are developing leading-edge security technology, which includes everything from security cameras and alarms to new biometric systems like <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=Finger%20print&amp;ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">fingerprint scanning</a> and <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/company-offers-free-facial-recognition-software-boost-school-security">facial recognition</a>.</p> <p>While this is laudable from a safety standpoint, schools integrating these tools must <strong>ensure that their IT infrastructure is strong enough</strong> to support the implementation of these technologies successfully. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Couple Classroom Security with the Cloud</h2> <p>Leaders in K–12 schools are already <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/5-steps-k-12-schools-need-consider-when-moving-cloud">looking to cloud technology</a> to offer <strong>better access to information and resources</strong> for an increased number of classroom and personal learning devices, but integrating the cloud can also have considerable security benefits.</p> <p>Security sensors and alarms <strong>connected to an Internet of Things setup</strong> can increase IT efficiency, increase safety by alerting students in real time and give students and parents peace of mind, according to<a href="https://www.emc.com/collateral/solution-overview/campus-security-iot-solutions.pdf" target="_blank"> a study by Dell EMC</a> on use of their security systems in higher education institutions.</p> <p>Similar benefits can translate to K–12 schools, as IoT security systems like <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/emc.html" target="_blank">Dell EMC</a>’s Edge Gateway, which is integrated into its VM5 System, uses solutions common in K–12 schools such as <strong>video cameras and gunshot detectors</strong> to recognize threats. Utilizing IoT, users on the network are then notified immediately, cutting down on response time.</p> <p>At the Reading School District in southeastern Pennsylvania, administrators looking to change their security system integrated <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Cisco-Meraki-MV21-network-surveillance-camera/4304178" target="_blank">Cisco Meraki MV security cameras</a> into their new <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Cisco-Meraki-MX450-Cloud-Managed-security-appliance/4798499" target="_blank">Meraki MX450 </a>cloud-managed security device, allowing for <strong>simple, clear access to camera feeds</strong> from anywhere in the school. </p> <p>“We now have significantly better video quality and much better coverage,” Network and Systems Administrator CR Hiestand said in <a href="https://meraki.cisco.com/customers/k-12-education/reading-school-district?ref=2HUdqs0" target="_blank">a Cisco case study</a>. “We are moving from something where we could say, ‘Yes there are people moving in that area doing something’ to saying, ‘<strong>I know exactly who that student is</strong> and I know exactly what they are doing.’ That is huge.”</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Integrate New Automated Systems into Current Networks</h2> <p>In North Carolina, <a href="https://www.pahp.com/" target="_blank">Phoenix Academy</a> administrators installed automated gunshot-detection devices, the <a href="http://www.govtech.com/education/k-12/First-School-in-North-Carolina-Buys-Gunshot-Detection-Technology.html" target="_blank">Center for Digital Education reports</a>.</p> <p>The system uses <strong>a network of audio sensors and an uploaded blueprint of the school</strong> to detect and pinpoint threats and send out alerts to users on the network, all while integrating seamlessly into the current IP network.</p> <p>“[Security is] one of those things where you can <strong>never do anything that’s foolproof</strong>, but you want to make sure you’ve put in everything you possibly can, that you’ve done everything you can do,” Superintendent Kim Norcross told the Center for Digital Education. “If this were to help with response time in a critical event, that’s everything we can do.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/technology/building-automation-systems-security/" target="_blank">According to Campus Safety</a>, IT teams can avoid a lot of headaches by converging building automation systems (BAS) and physical security systems.</p> <p>Blending these two systems combines control of both onto one dashboard — and allows IT departments to <strong>slowly absorb the responsibilities of both without adding too much additional work</strong>.</p> <p>“With all its benefits, it’s easy to see why building automation is the way of the future, and it can be customized to meet clients’ specific needs, allowing efficient running of a business and property,” Campus Safety reports. “Building owners, facility managers, security directors and IT professionals see the value of converging potentially dozens of systems onto one network with a single control point. Security integrators and their customers both stand to capitalize.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 07 Aug 2018 18:20:20 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41186 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 5 Steps K-12 Schools Need to Consider When Moving to the Cloud https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/5-steps-k-12-schools-need-consider-when-moving-cloud <span>5 Steps K-12 Schools Need to Consider When Moving to the Cloud</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/06/2018 - 13:11</span> <div><p>In recent years, <strong>cloud computing has gained momentum</strong> among K–12 school districts, <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2017/09/cloud-computing-k-12-will-see-steady-growth-through-2021">following expectations</a>, as personalized learning, connected classrooms and one-to-one device programs add a significant strain to school networks.</p> <p>Districts integrating cloud computing are able to <strong>tackle broadband and network capacity issues</strong> — one of the <a href="https://cosn.org/sites/default/files/final IT Leadership 2018.pdf" target="_blank">top three focus points for K–12 IT professionals</a> — as well as enable educational benefits, including <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313468654_Cloud_Computing_as_a_Catalyst_in_STEM_Education" target="_blank">expanding and reinvigorating STEM learning programs</a>. </p> <p>Moving to a hybrid cloud model can <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2017/06/4-unexpected-perks-cloud-migration">help schools achieve a slew of other significant advantages</a>, including the ability to take advantage of existing IT resources, quickly scale out new resources, maintain a higher level of control over and visibility, and tie various systems together for <strong>a seamless end-user experience</strong>. </p> <p>Yet the transition can be a big one, requiring leaders to plan for <strong>shifts in culture, licensing, processes, system compatibility and a host of other issues</strong>. </p> <p>When considering a move to a hybrid cloud model, IT decision-makers should think through several considerations and determine what impact they may have on their own schools.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Evaluate Cost Savings Unique to Your School District</h2> <p>Every school district is different, a fact that renders broad proclamations such as “the cloud saves districts money” <strong>almost meaningless</strong>. While it is true that <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2017/05/answer-k-12-cost-savings-cloud">some districts end up paying less</a> when they start delivering IT resources via a cloud model, some end up paying more. </p> <p>Pushing resources to the public cloud will certainly <strong>reduce on-premises infrastructure costs</strong>, but these costs are sometimes replaced or even exceeded by new networking expenses, different administrative burdens and a proliferation of shadow IT. </p> <p>Putting significant resources into the public cloud can stretch a school’s WAN infrastructure, and some schools have difficulty<strong> coming up with the funds</strong> necessary for upgrades that will provide the required level of network redundancy.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Understand the Effects of Cloud Control and Management</h2> <p>Schools that take advantage of cloud platform services run a risk of <strong>locking themselves into a single provider</strong> — thus removing one of the main potential benefits (flexibility) of a move to the cloud. </p> <p>Additionally, other types of cloud services are typically architected <strong>quite differently depending on the vendor</strong>, making it difficult or even impossible to “forklift” infrastructure back out of the public cloud. </p> <p>Some schools have specific performance or availability requirements, which may make it difficult to find a public cloud solution that meets their standards. </p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Keep Learning Software Licensing Agreements in Mind</h2> <p>Managing software licenses for traditional software can create <strong>significant management hurdles for schools</strong>. Even cloud software licenses can create compliance issues for schools that don’t properly manage and monitor their environments. </p> <p>But trying to navigate licensing and cost restrictions while migrating applications to the public cloud can quickly move the needle from “headache” to “nightmare.”</p> <p>Schools attempting to push their on-premises software out to the cloud while maintaining compliance with vendor licensing agreements may want to <strong>consult with a third-party expert </strong>to ensure they do not inadvertently violate rules and open themselves up to audits and fines. </p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Develop Skills to Support the New IT Environment</h2> <p>For those who have never undertaken a major move to the cloud, it might at first seem simple. After all, the thinking goes, the cloud is meant to <strong>simplify life for IT and end users</strong>: removing management burdens, creating instant scalability and adding flexibility. </p> <p>However, managing a hybrid cloud environment <strong>requires a different skill set</strong> from managing traditional on-premises infrastructure. If an IT team’s skills lie primarily in the latter department, that can result in a rocky transition.</p> <p>Some cloud use cases have matured to the point where they really are fairly simple. These include <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/solutions/cloud/enterprise-saas-software-solutions.html" target="_blank">Software as a Service</a> migrations of infrastructure applications, which are <strong>so well documented and well understood</strong> that they’re widely considered to be slam dunks. </p> <p>Moving certain applications to the cloud, however, can be a more stressful experience, with an accompanying level of risk, complexity and expense that might cause some schools to hesitate.</p> <h2 id="toc_4">5. Prepare Staff for the Cultural Shifts of Cloud Computing</h2> <p>For some schools, student data privacy regulations may <strong>prohibit the placement of certain workloads</strong> into the public cloud. </p> <p>At other schools, administrators may simply be uncomfortable with the idea of placing<strong> </strong>resources outside the school’s security perimeter — whether these fears are legitimate or not. </p> <p>Finally, cultural concerns within the IT department may slow down schools’ journeys to the cloud. Some schools' data centers are staffed by the same workers who have “kept the lights on” for years or decades, and a move to the cloud will <strong>force system administrators into the new roles of cloud service managers and brokers</strong>. </p> <p>For some, these new roles are either unappealing or simply don’t align with their skill sets.</p> <p>Learn more about the potential benefits of incorporating the cloud into your infrastructure in the CDW white paper "<a href="https://cdw-prod.adobecqms.net/content/dam/cdw/on-domain-cdw/solutions/cloud/white-paper-hybrid-cloud-model.pdf" target="_blank">Hybrid Clouds Deliver the Best of Both Worlds</a>."</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/edtech-staff"> <div>EdTech Staff</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 06 Aug 2018 17:11:26 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41181 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 Company Offers Free Facial Recognition Software to Boost School Security https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/company-offers-free-facial-recognition-software-boost-school-security <span>Company Offers Free Facial Recognition Software to Boost School Security</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/03/2018 - 13:47</span> <div><p>With the wave of school shootings that have swept the U.S. in recent years, <strong>concerns about physical security and safety</strong> have overwhelmed parents, teachers and school administrators alike.</p> <p><strong>Facial recognition technology</strong>, which would allow schools and law enforcement to quickly identify who is entering their schools and when could give school districts a powerful means to make schools even safer.</p> <p>Last month, <a href="https://www.realnetworks.com/" target="_blank">RealNetworks</a>, the streaming media company that garnered attention in the ‘90s and early 2000s for <a href="https://www.realnetworks.com/our-story" target="_blank">developing the first audio streaming solution</a>, announced it would offer its facial recognition software, <a href="https://safr.com/k12/" target="_blank">SAFR</a>, for free to over <strong>100,000 school districts</strong>.</p> <p>“School safety has become one of the top national issues in the United States in 2018,” said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks in a <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realnetworks-provides-safr-facial-recognition-solution-for-free-to-every-k-12-school-in-the-us-and-canada-300681977.html" target="_blank">press release</a>. “We are proud to give our leading-edge SAFR for K-12 technology solution to <strong>every elementary, middle, and high school</strong> in America and Canada. We hope this will help make schools safer.” </p> <p>As schools begin to integrate new technology to enhance both classroom efficiency and school safety, having free access to software like SAFR could be crucial for low-budget districts. </p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Software Uses Artificial Intelligence to Protect Students</h2> <p>According to RealNetworks, the facial recognition software <strong>utilizes AI and machine learning</strong> to learn the faces of those entering and exiting schools, matching them to databases of faces provided by users to screen for unwanted visitors.</p> <p>When there is a request to be added to a database, schools take <strong>an initial picture for registration</strong>. Once approved by administrators, the photo taken by the school is saved using an encrypted hash and housed on the school’s local server, <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/realnetworks-facial-recognition-technology-schools/" target="_blank"><em>Wired</em> reports</a>.</p> <p>Districts interested in using SAFR will need <strong>at least one</strong> existing <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/Cisco-Video-Surveillance-7070-IP-Camera-network-surveillance-camera/3914108" target="_blank">IP camera</a> and access to the SAFR app, which can be downloaded onto Mac OS and iOS tablets and computers.</p> <p>RealNetworks has also announced that SAFR apps for <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/microsoft.html?enkwrd=Microsoft" target="_blank">Windows</a>, Linux and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=Android&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Android</a> devices are on the way.</p> <p>The software is designed to work on faces at varying distances, from all angles and under different lighting conditions, as well as with those that are <strong>partially obscured or altered with makeup</strong>, according to the company. RealNetworks also says the software is able to recognize facial expressions.</p> <p>SAFR has a rate of 95.2 percent accuracy when identifying faces “in the wild,” according to <a href="http://vis-www.cs.umass.edu/lfw/" target="_blank">a study</a> conducted by the <a href="https://www.umass.edu/" target="_blank">University of Massachusetts</a>, and was ranked 18th among <a href="https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2018/06/21/frvt_report_2018_06_21.pdf" target="_blank">facial recognition software tested</a> by the <a href="https://www.nist.gov/" target="_blank">National Institute of Standards and Technology</a>.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Administrators Consider Privacy Concerns Over Biometric Security</h2> <p><strong>Use of AI programs and cameras</strong> to collect biometric data is <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/02/biometric-technology-tracks-students-attention">not an entirely new concept</a>. </p> <p>While administrators may be excited about the benefits of <strong>implementing biometric data collection</strong> at their schools, there are concerns about collecting and capturing this kind of data on students.</p> <p>At the <a href="http://www.ucds.org/" target="_blank">University Child Development School</a> in Seattle, administrators bypassed this concern by <strong>only using the SAFR technology on adults</strong>.</p> <p>“SAFR immediately proved to be an enormously valuable asset, helping to ensure that our open, urban campus stays secure,” Paula Smith, head of UCDS told RealNetworks. “The facial recognition solution <strong>provides parents and staff faster campus and building access</strong>, freeing up staff so they can devote more time to student needs.”</p> <p>As more schools adopt facial recognition software and other biometric scanning devices — like using <a href="https://www.cdw.com/product/Wasp-WaspTime-B2000-Biometric-Time-Clock-fingerprint-reader-Ethernet/2855355" target="_blank">fingerprint scanners</a> to <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242098052_Development_of_Academic_Attendence_Monitoring_System_Using_Fingerprint_Identification" target="_blank">take attendance</a> — the debate over balancing security and privacy is sure to keep heating up.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 03 Aug 2018 17:47:18 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41176 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12 K–12 Districts Prepare Their Infrastructures for the Internet of Things https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/08/k-12-districts-prepare-their-infrastructures-internet-things <span>K–12 Districts Prepare Their Infrastructures for the Internet of Things</span> <span><span lang="" about="/k12/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/02/2018 - 11:11</span> <div><p>The surge of devices used by K–12 students is putting a strain on school district networks, causing IT teams to <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/06/schools-need-robust-networks-support-internet-things">consider adopting the Internet of Things</a>. </p> <p>Bringing IoT into schools maintains connectivity for students and teachers during the day, <strong>through both personal devices and classroom tools</strong> like smartboards, Kellie Wilks, chief technology officer of <a href="https://www.ectorcountyisd.org/" target="_blank">Ector County Independent School District</a>, TX, told <em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/media/video/smart-devices-promise-k-12-benefits-if-it-infrastructure-task">EdTech </a></em><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/media/video/smart-devices-promise-k-12-benefits-if-it-infrastructure-task">magazine</a> at the <a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/iste-2018">ISTE 2018 conference</a>. </p> <p>“If we can provide the Wi-Fi and the connectivity to any device it becomes more personalized learning,” Wilks said.</p> <p><a href="https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/register?newsletter"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>EdTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">IoT Implementation Requires a Strong Network Infrastructure</h2> <p>As administrators at many K–12 schools become more interested in IoT, it’s important that their IT teams go into the integration process <strong>informed about the infrastructure they will need</strong>.</p> <p>“The access points and those things that are in the classrooms or are in the buildings, we have to look at that as ‘<strong>how many devices can they handle?</strong>’ Mike Ribble, <a href="http://www.usd383.org/" target="_blank">Manhattan-Ogden Unified School District 383</a>’s district director of technology, told <em>EdTech</em>. </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.al-enterprise.com/-/media/assets/internet/documents/k-12-networking-guide-en.pdf" target="_blank">recent study from Alcatel Lucent Enterprise</a> found that school districts looking to incorporate IoT should first <strong>take a hard look at their current networks</strong>, then establish what needs to be improved to handle IoT-connected devices.</p> <p><script type="text/javascript" src="//sc.liveclicker.net/service/getEmbed?client_id=1526&amp;widget_id=1386460733&amp;width=640&amp;height=360"></script></p> <p>“The first step in building a next-generation K-12 network is to <strong>analyze and evaluate the capabilities of the existing network infrastructure</strong>,” according to study’s authors. “The core network itself may be outdated and unreliable. It may be too complex and structured with too many layers to efficiently support multimedia applications.”</p> <p>At the <a href="https://www.paulding.k12.ga.us/" target="_blank">Paulding County School District</a> in Georgia, teachers and students were <strong>frustrated with bandwidth shortages and limited wireless capabilities</strong> in the classroom. After taking stock, administrators realized their network infrastructure was seriously lacking. They began to implement dedicated <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/?key=Dedicated%20switches&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">switches</a> in each classroom, new <a href="https://www.cdw.com/search/Networking-Products/Wireless-Networking/Wireless-Access-Points/?w=N23&amp;enkwrd=access+points" target="_blank">access points</a> in the hallways and a central suite to manage the networks. The school district is now able to handle the wireless connections on its network, which can range from <strong>8,000 to 10,000 per day</strong>.</p> <p>“We’re <strong>progressively putting the solution in place</strong> at each of our schools and we’ve been getting a lot of great feedback,” Julie Ackerman, executive director of technology, told Alcatel Lucent. “The infrastructure is simple to implement and its benefits are immediate.”</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Security Is Key for IoT Integration</h2> <p>While increased connectivity is crucial for modern classrooms, putting so many devices onto a network creates <strong>more openings for malicious users to infiltrate the system</strong>.</p> <p>“There have been some major headline hacks that have happened because of Internet of Things devices that <strong>weren’t properly segmented or weren’t properly patched</strong>,” says Michael Lane, CDW-G senior field solutions architect. </p> <p>Luckily, current IoT security practices are not much different than what IT teams are used to dealing with when securing workstations, like <strong>user verification and limiting bandwidth access</strong>, Lane explains.</p> <p><strong>IoT containment</strong>, which uses virtualization techniques to separate IoT devices while allowing them to remain on the same physical network, also limits how exposed your network is, according to Alcatel Lucent.</p> <p>“This is beneficial as it <strong>minimizes any potential damage resulting from a malicious attack</strong>, by limiting the number of devices accessible within the same profile,” they study’s authors write. “If a breach occurs, the rest of the network is not exposed, as other devices are contained in other parts of the network.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"><img src="/k12/sites/edtechmagazine.com.k12/files/styles/face_small/public/people/headshot.jpeg.jpg?itok=QfIQ8S6q" width="58" height="58" alt="Eli Zimmerman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/k12/author/eli-zimmerman"> <div>Eli Zimmerman</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=eaztweets&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Eli has been eagerly pursuing a journalistic career since he left the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill School of Journalism. Previously, Eli was a staff reporter for medical trade publication <em>Frontline Medical News,</em> where he experienced the impact of continuous education and evolving teaching methods through the medical lens. When not in the office, Eli is busy scanning the web for the latest podcasts or stepping into the boxing ring for a few rounds.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 02 Aug 2018 15:11:27 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41171 at https://edtechmagazine.com/k12