Students spying on teachers online, warns e-Safety Commission

by Sarah Bachman20 Jul 2015

The commission said teachers should be locking their social media accounts and keeping a record of their Internet use amid concerns students are tracking their online activity to find out more about their personal lives.

The commission’s chief cyber trainer, Greg Gebhart, said that while this kind of snooping is generally not insidious, teachers should be cautious about what they choose to put online.

“They do bond with teachers, and generally most of the kids look for teachers online because they like them, but teachers need to be a bit more aware of what they put online, not just because of children, but parents and the community,” Gebhart told The Weekend Australian.

Gebhart said an 11-year-old student admitted he’d used the RSVP dating website to look at photos of teachers at his school.

“You should see what they put on their profiles,” the boy told him.

Gebhart said students were able to conceal in­appropriate apps and photos from their parents and teachers by filing them in a “homework” folder on their PC’s and laptops.

He added students covered their tracks by using “decoy apps’’, such as Secret Calculator, which functions as a normal calculator unless it is accessed by entering a secret code. Once unlocked, the app reverts back to a folder for private photos, documents and hidden apps.

However, Geb­hart said that a simple check of data storage and file sizes can reveal the hidden apps.

“If you find a calculator is taking up 80% of storage space on an iPad, that’s a giveaway,’’ Gebhart said.
QUT lecturer, Rebecca Spooner-Lane, said most students tracked teachers online simply out of curiosity.

“They’re seen as almost untouchable and have such a position of authority, so when a child can find an insight into their personal lives then it’s quite exciting.”
 

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