Desmos privacy and safety environment
Desmos can be considered a private online environment when considering Elm’s (2008) continuum for online privacy.
-Desmos class activities are only available via class code and teacher enrolment.
-Students online environment is sperate to other users and confined to that defined by the teacher and those the teacher has invited to the group/class.
- No personal details are required to sign up, students are encouraged to use institutional logins/emails/usernames to keep private data safe.
- Sole provider free of advertisement material or malicious material.
Ensuring online safety with Desmos
As above, Desmos is a free tool designed with collaborative learning where students can critique and share feedback contributing to each other’s learning. In any social online environment though, negative experiences occur with over 33% of young people reporting unwanted content and contact and 21% experiencing social exclusion or threats and abuse (Office of the eSafety Commissioner, 2018).
The eSafety Commissioner promotes improving online behaviour through awareness, being respectful and responsible and encouraging young people to act as positive leaders. They provide many resources that can be utilised by both students and teachers to help build improved online safety and reduce cyber-bullying. I will be utilising the ‘young & eSAFE’ worksheets to build understanding of the value and expectations of being respectful online before having student begin giving feedback and critiques within Desmos
Ensuring online privacy with Desmos
Again, while Desmos can be classified as a private environment there is nothing stopping students from taking screenshots and sharing content through other means. 20% of young people reported they share general information openly online and 14% include personal information (Office of the eSafety Commissioner, 2018). It is important that students are reminded of digital footprint management best practices and awareness of how quickly information can be shared.
As above, the teacher controls access to activities ensuring they are free from external influences and attacks. Students will only use institutional logins and non-identify usernames in the event of a data breach of Desmos servers etc.
While there are risks for both online safety and privacy using Desmos they are minor due to its private nature. They can be further reduced through education and awareness programs like those mentioned above. This is not to say that a teacher can be ignorant of the possible and must be vigilant of themselves, their students and implement student management policies as necessary if issues arise. Considering the learning and collaborative benefits and the low online risk associated with Desmos it is recommended as a classroom tool.
Elm, M. (2008). How do various notions of privacy influence decisions in qualitative internet research?’. In A. Markham & N. Baym (Eds.), Internet Inquiry: Conversations About Method (pp. 69–87). Los Angeles: Sage.
Office of the eSafety Commissioner, A. (2018). State of play—Youth, kids, and digital dangers. Australian Institute of Family Studies.