PSBA Bulletin September/October 2021 September/October 2021 - Page 37

guest perspectives

guest perspectives

Lynn Foltz , board president , Wilmington Area School District

What challenges related to technology or cybersecurity has your district encountered

Sharing and Analysis Center , a division of the Center for Internet Security . This organization “ is the focal point for cyber
recently ,
and
how
has
the
district
threat prevention , protection , response
responded ?
and recovery for the nation ’ s state , local
Like
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across
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territory and tribal governments .” After
commonwealth , our district experiences a
joining
this
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district
variety of issues related to technology and
discovered a connected device on our
cybersecurity . There is a constant barrage
network ,
notified
the
other
of attacks that include denial of service ,
entity
and
prevented
an
phishing emails and scam emails with
intrusion .
Other
prevention
viruses . This past year there were more attacks than we had experienced in prior years . For example , we received phishing emails from both the superintendent ’ s and principal ’ s accounts .
methods include backing up the district ’ s data every 24 hours . The endpoints , or staff laptops , are backed up to
Google Workspace accounts .
The guest column features responses from school leaders on topics of relevance . This issue focuses on cybersecurity issues at school districts .
If you would like to participate as a columnist , please contact Jackie Inouye at Jackie . Inouye @ psba . org .
To protect our technology infrastructure and data from external hackers , we adopted multifactor authentication . This requires the individuals logging in to provide at least two pieces ( it can be more ) of evidence to prove their identity . The district initiated this over the summer , first with the administration and vital district office staff , followed by the remaining staff . If a staff member is uncomfortable with adding the authentication application to his or her mobile phone , multifactor authentication can also be completed using a USB and NFC ( near field communication ) device . This device conveniently attaches to a key ring that the staff member has on his or her person . These devices are inexpensive , provide protection from outside attacks and are compatible with the district ’ s online service .
Our district also held professional development sessions to aid in identifying fake or phishing emails . This included education with respect to finding and recognizing fake email addresses , fake logos , and other means by which a hacker attempts to gain credentials or access . Our district joined the Multi-State Information
Finally , our district developed a cybersecurity and mitigation response plan to include the who / what / when / where / how analysis of any incident and the exact actions required , both immediate and ongoing , to reduce risk .
What are some priority areas for your district related to technology , or what areas of school technology do you foresee changing in the future ? Just six years ago , students had no email . Student laptops were on transport carts . The educational staff had laptops but no Google . There was recognition of a vision and a willingness to learn , to instruct in new ways . An educator became a technology coach . One-to-one laptops / iPads were purchased , then leased . Workshops and faculty coaching sessions were held . We became a Google Reference District . Then the pandemic hit . Remote learning required workstations , which we equipped with a laptop and iPad ( camera and microphone ). Thus , our district ’ s priority will be improving the integration of our existing technology into the curriculum and the district ’ s planning processes . The completion of a K-12 computer science curriculum is a priority . Incorporating realworld applications of technology into our Future Farmers of America program , other academic subjects and extracurriculars is also very important to us . Including an ongoing technology component in educator in-service training is critical .
The future of technology may incorporate augmented-reality classrooms and more integrated options concerning where and when students will receive instruction . The teacher ’ s role may become more of a facilitator as well as an educator . Artificial intelligence will be a factor in teaching and learning . The devices used now will be obsolete . The laptop of the future may be a robot . B
September / October 2021 PSBA Bulletin 35