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Guidance on use of Digital Communication Platforms

1st February 2021 | News, What's New

As part of the Department of Education Circular 0074/2020 and publication Guidance on Remote Learning in a Covid-19 Context: September – December 2020, schools are required to have an appropriate digital communication platform in place to facilitate communication with staff, pupils and parents/guardians. As part of this process, schools should review and amend relevant policies, including Data Protection, Child Protection and the school’s Acceptable Usage Policy to ensure they reflect this new method of communication.

In some instances, schools are considering using such a platform for the purpose of live videoconferencing for meetings and/or for teaching and learning. Good cyber security, including taking the following steps, can help ensure that such meetings or classes will run as effectively and safely as possible :-

  1. Create new meeting links for each meeting, to reduce the likelihood that the link would be shared outside the list of invited attendees;
  2. Require passwords for all meetings to ensure that only invited attendees can attend;
  3. Ensure the host joins the meeting early and uses the “waiting room” facility to screen those wishing to join in advance;
  4. Participants should also be asked to log on with their full name as username;
  5. Lock the meeting once attendees have been admitted.

Procedures and protocols should be put in place for meetings or classes online in the same way that they are for meetings or classes held in person. These will include online classroom or meeting rules and etiquette which should be considered and communicated in advance of such meetings or lessons, so that all participants understand what is expected of them in advance.

Schools are also referred to page 4 of CPSMA Newsletter June 2020 for further guidance on distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, which contains a checklist for schools to assist in this regard.
CPSMA Education Advisors are also available to assist with any queries that schools may have on this issue at 01- 6292462 or at [email protected]

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