Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wait . . . Someone Could be Reading my Emails?

Do you ever stop and wonder who else is reading your email? When you work in an office or school and are assigned an email there is usually some policy letting you know that your employer has the right to access your emails. Stop and think about this for a moment. Every time you send an email from your place of employment someone else has the right to read it. Also, if you are given an email from an employer that email is technically supposed to be used for work related purposes.

In a school system we have a responsible use policy that clearly spells this out. I happened to see students had a group chat using their school email. I asked them if this chat was for educational purposes. Would they want anyone else reading it? Would they tell their grandma what was in it? I got the deer in headlights look, which prompted me to discuss the difference between personal and professional email accounts. Parents should always be monitoring a child’s email as they navigate the online world; however, we all need to remember when we use a work related email others can read it. The written word can be powerful and can come back to haunt you later on in life. I hope students are learning about choosing kindness in the online world and pausing before they post.

I heard many students say they would be switching their group chat to a non-school related method. Please always keep the lines of communication open with your child about digital skills. They are growing up in a world very different from us. Those of you who are my age might remember looking for Carmen Sandiego or gathering items for your family to trek on the Oregon Trail. These students are building whole words in Mine Craft and creating their own apps. They need to make the mistakes and learn. Today my students learned the importance of using school related emails for school related topics.

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