Essential Tech Trends for Australian Educators in 2024

Juggling planning, getting to know your students and keeping up with the latest TikTok challenges… who has time for tech trends, right? Wrong! In 2024, savvy educators will harness tech’s power while shielding students from its pitfalls.

As educators in Australia, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest technology trends, especially those that impact our classrooms. In 2024, several key tech topics demand our attention, ranging from AI ethics to the surge in digital threats such as blackmail and sextortion. This post will cut through the noise, providing you with the essential information you need to stay ahead and practical resources to help you empower your students in 2024.

AI in Education: Opportunities and Ethical Considerations

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to revolutionise the educational landscape. Tools such as adaptive learning platforms and AI tutors are becoming more prevalent, offering personalised learning experiences for students. However, with these advancements come significant ethical considerations. Whilst there are thousands of AI web apps for education already circling, here are the big four your students will know about: Chat GPT, Bard (Google), Bing Chat (Microsoft) and Grok (xAI).

Key Points:

  • Ensure AI tools used in your classroom are approved for use at your school.
  • Be aware of biases in AI algorithms that might affect student engagement and learning outcomes.
  • Protect student data privacy when using AI tools.

Learn more about AI in education:

Navigating Privacy and Security in the Digital Classroom

The integration of technology in education has made privacy and security paramount. As teachers, we’re not only educators but also guardians of our students’ digital safety.

Key Strategies:

  • Restart your computer at school as your IT admin regularly push updates to protect your technology.
  • Practice what you preach to students: use strong passwords and learn to recognise phishing scams.
  • Use secure and school-approved platforms for online learning materials and student data storage.

Know about:

 

Media Literacy: Teaching Students to Trust and Verify

In an era where misinformation is rampant, teaching media literacy has become more crucial than ever. Students must learn to critically evaluate the credibility of online sources.

Classroom Activities:

  • Encourage students to cross-check information with reputable sources.
  • Discuss the importance of fact-checking and recognising bias in media.
  • Use real-world examples to illustrate the consequences of misinformation.

Classroom Resources:

 

The Rise of Digital Blackmail and Sextortion: A Growing Concern

Alarmingly, there has been an increase in cases of digital blackmail and sextortion, particularly involving AI-generated content. These threats can have devastating effects on young individuals.

Take action:

  • Educate students about the risks of sharing personal information or images online.
  • Encourage open communication and provide a safe space for students to report any online threats.
  • Collaborate with parents and guardians to raise awareness about these digital dangers.

Support:

 

AI and Cybersecurity in Schools

With the increasing reliance on digital tools, schools are targets for cyberattacks. It’s crucial to stay informed about the latest cybersecurity measures.

Actionable Steps:

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest cyber threats and explore updated prevention and protection strategies.
  • Review your school’s policies, procedures & people (roles and responsibilities).
  • Conduct cybersecurity and AI training for staff and students.

Stay up to date:

As technology continues to evolve, so must our approach to using it in educational settings. By staying informed about AI ethics, privacy, security, and the emerging threats of digital blackmail and sextortion, we can create a safer and more effective learning environment for our students. Remember, in the digital age, being a teacher also means being a guide in the complex world of technology.

Author: Trent Ray | Co-founder, Cyber Safety Project