State Solidarity Erodes on Common-Core Tests
By Catherine Gewertz, Education Week
Only 21 states still plan to use shared tests designed for the common core, a continued erosion of the unity that emerged six years ago, when 45 states embraced the standards and pledged to measure student learning with common assessments.
The high school testing landscape is even more fragmented, as states increasingly choose the SAT or ACT college-entrance exam instead of common-core tests.
An Education Week survey of states’ testing plans in English/language arts and math—the two subjects covered by the common core—found that states have continued in 2015-16 to drift away from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and Smarter Balanced tests.
(The interactive graphic can be found at http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/state-testing-an-interactive-breakdown-of-2015-16.html)
Those assessment systems were crafted by two groups of states to reflect the Common Core State Standards, which were the product of an initiative launched by the nation’s governors and chief state school officers. The U.S. Department of Education awarded $360 million in grants in 2010 to the two consortia to create the tests.
Here’s how states’ assessment plans break down in 2015-16, illustrating three key shifts:
Consortium strength continues to wane.
- Twenty states and the District of Columbia are giving PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests. Six states and the District of Columbia will administer PARCC; 14 will use Smarter Balanced.
- Twenty-seven states are using tests they created or bought off the shelf.
- Three states are blending consortium questions with home-grown questions, or offering districts a choice of which test to give. Most Massachusetts districts can choose, for a second year, whether to give PARCC or the state’s legacy test, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS (although 10th grade students still must pass the MCAS to graduate). Tests given in Michigan this year will combine Smarter Balanced and state-designed questions; Louisiana’s tests will blend PARCC and state-designed questions.
Last year, consortium tests were more dominant, though the two groups had declined from their peak membership. Education Week‘s survey of states’ 2014-15 testing plans showed 28 states and the District of Columbia using PARCC or Smarter Balanced, and 22 states using other tests or offering districts a choice of which test to use.
Consortium participation is particularly weak in high school.
- Nine states will use consortium tests, or questions, only in grades 9 and lower, and chose some other assessment—in many cases, the ACT or the SAT—to measure high school achievement as required by federal law. Colorado, for instance, will measure achievement in grades 3-9 with PARCC, and in grade 10 with the PSAT. It will also administer the ACT to all juniors to gauge their readiness for college.
- Fifteen states will use PARCC or Smarter Balanced in the full range of grades required for federal accountability.
High school testing now tilts more heavily toward college-admissions exams.
- Twenty-one states now require students to take the SAT or the ACT, and three others give students a choice of taking the SAT or the ACT, the WorkKeys career-skills test, or the ACT Compass college-placement test.
- Twelve states now use the SAT or the ACT in their official, federally mandated accountability reports on high school. In some states, such as Maine, a college-entrance exam will be the sole test that measures high school achievement. In others, such as Hawaii, the SAT or the ACT will measure only college readiness, and states’ own standards-based tests will measure achieveme
BY Jane Hurst
Every year, it seems that there are more and more reports of sexual assaults on college campuses. Yes, it is happening more frequently than ever, but you don’t have to be a victim. There are many ways that you can protect yourself, and make sure that you are safe, no matter where you are, whether you are outside on campus, in your own dorm room or apartment, or out for a night on the town. Here are some tips that you can use to stay safe no matter where you are or what you are doing.
- Learn the Area – On the first day you arrive at the campus, learn your way around. Make sure you that you know all of the routes to each of your classes, and to any other places that you will be frequenting, including the library, activities, etc. If you are walking around and looking lost, you could be setting yourself up to be a victim of assault.
- Find the Campus Safety Office – It is a good idea to learn where the campus safety office is, and the services offered there. You can go there to learn a lot of safety tips that will make your college experience the best it can possibly, and the safest. You can learn about the most common crimes on campuses, and how to keep yourself safe.
- Find the Blue Phones – Most campuses have emergency phones that are lit with blue light. Yes, most of us have cell phones, but you can’t always rely on these. If the battery is dead, you won’t be able to call anyone for help.
- Know Your Surroundings – Any time you are out and about, be aware of what is going on around you. Take note of your surroundings, and walk like you have a purpose. Don’t have your headphones on, and look straight ahead instead of down at the ground. Make eye contact with people you pass, and stay in well-lit areas.
- Don’t Drink and Drive – If you are going to be drinking, leave your car at home. Arrange for a sober driver, a cab, etc. and arrive alive. If you are currently having any issues because of drinking and driving, you should call a DUI attorney at a criminal defense firm like Sohovich Law to find out what you need to do to put the situation behind you.
- Use the Campus Service – This is a free service offered by many colleges that offers people escorts to their vehicles, night classes, etc. Never feel silly to ask for this help. It could save your life.
- Let People Know where You are Going – If you are going out, let your friends know where you are going, and what time you plan to be back. If possible, in addition to your cell phone number, leave another number where you can be reached. If you aren’t back when people expect you, they can check up on you to make sure that you are okay.
- Keep an Eye on Your Drink – When you are out at the bar, never take your eyes off your drinks. It is too easy for someone to slip a date rape drug into a drink, and you can end up being sexually assaulted without being able to do anything about it. You may not even remember what happens, so you can’t even report the assault.
- Don’t Carry a Lot of Books – If you are overloaded with books, shopping bags, etc., your hands aren’t free for defending yourself if necessary. This makes you an easy target for attackers. Use a backpack or another type of bag for carrying books so your hands are free and you are not distracted.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!
MAKING A QUANTITATIVE LEAP FOR SUCCESSFUL MATH TRANSITIONS
By Pamela Burdman
California’s education systems, from K-12 through college, need to revamp their math policies to make them better coordinated and less likely to create arbitrary barriers to college success, according to my policy brief released last week by LearningWorks.
Large numbers of California students end up in college remedial math sequences that diminish their chances of graduating. Research has revealed that some of these students could succeed in required college-level math courses without remediation. There is broad agreement that college graduates need quantitative reasoning skills to understand and apply quantitative concepts in various contexts. But the current set of inconsistent and opaque math requirements across public high schools, community colleges, and public universities by default screens some capable students out of colleges, majors, and careers.
More than three-quarters of California’s community college students and about a third of those at California State University, including a large proportion of students of color, are assigned to remedial math courses. These courses, intended to boost students’ progress, instead have been shown to represent obstacles, especially at community colleges. To reverse the trend, the brief calls on California’s education systems to work together to provide all students with a foundation in quantitative reasoning.
“Education leaders increasingly have grown concerned about the extent to which required math courses serve as impediments to students’ educational progress and degree completion,” noted Linda Collins, executive director of LearningWorks, an organization that aims to strengthen student outcomes in college, in releasing the brief. “Our intention is for this brief to deepen policy discussions across schools, community colleges, and public universities about how math requirements can support, rather than hinder, student achievement.”
The policy brief, Quantitative Leap: How Math Policies Can Support Transitions To and Through College centers on three shortcomings with current math policies — dueling definitions of proficiency, inaccurate means of measuring students’ skills, and insufficient opportunities for students to acquire these skills before college – and recommends changes in each area.
I wrote it in response to a November 2015 summit on math readiness that brought together educators, education leaders, and policy experts from across California. The summit grew out of my 2015 series, Degrees of Freedom, which highlighted research on the inherent dilemmas in current math policies. For example, fewer than 30 percent of community college students who take remedial courses ultimately complete a math course required to earn a degree or transfer to a four-year university. In addition, the tests used to place students in these courses have limited efficacy.
Remedial courses are like medical treatments in that they can have harmful side effects. They are useful only if the underlying condition is properly defined and diagnosed. The education systems can do more to improve students’ quantitative reasoning levels while avoiding over-prescribing remedial courses.”
To make this “quantitative leap,” I offer three recommendations in the brief:
- Quantitative reasoning expectations across California’s education systems should be reasonably consistent, evidence-based, and well-aligned with students’ courses of study so that they don’t constitute arbitrary barriers to academic progress.
- To remove unnecessary barriers to college completion, higher education institutions should rely on evidence to ensure the validity and efficacy of assessments and other placement measures that determine students’ readiness for college-level quantitative reasoning courses.
- High school students should have sufficient opportunities to prepare for college-level work (and avoid remedial courses) by taking appropriate math courses. While ideally the K12 math curriculum would be designed to do just that, currently there is a need for senior-year transition courses for students who otherwise would not be on track to be college ready.
These changes can help set the stage for the effective instruction, high quality textbooks, robust student supports, and strong professional development necessary for enhancing students’ quantitative reasoning skills in high school and college. The recommendations focus on ways the education systems need to work together to eliminate the misalignment and policy incoherence that place needless obstacles in students’ way.
Pamela Burdman is an education policy analyst focused on college access, readiness, and completion, and a fellow at the Opportunity Institute. Previously, she was a program officer for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.
||From American Youth Policy Forum
Research shows that students start to make predictions about their futures as early as the fifth grade. How can we better incorporate career counseling into K-12 and beyond? Read More…
By Jane Hurst
Higher education should not just be about learning philosophy, the arts, sciences, etc. It should also be about learning about our world, how to live in it, and how to sustain it for generations to come. As more and more people and businesses are learning to become sustainable, so are many college campuses. There are several ways that a sustainable campus can be created. Let’s take a look at what can be done on your campus right now.
Food – College campuses have the potential to become centers for food growing cooperatives. Students, teachers, and staff can take part in gardening programs that produce fresh food for college cafeterias. They can also make the switch to more organic foods, as well as buying from local producers. They can also teach about farm-to-garden food routes, energy costs of food production, and more.
Investment – Campuses have the potential to be leaders in the entrepreneur world, simply by creating sustainable atmospheres. Colleges and local business can work together to create sustainable economies, with investment decisions being made that will train a whole new generation of leaders in sustainability who will continue to create a green economy. Things that can be accomplished include large gardens, the use of recycled materials in creative ways, creating new energy systems, and much more.
Energy – One of the first things we need to look at is energy. But, we need to find ways to create energy that aren’t going to be damaging to the environment. There are a number of challenges involved in creating an environment with zero-carbon energy use, but it can be done. For instance, renewable energy sources can be used. Buildings can be retrofitted with new technologies to help create energy while leaving no carbon footprint.
Clean Air – One of the biggest reasons why many people feel drowsy or unable to concentrate is because they are in buildings that have poor air quality. This can all be changed by installing a new HVAC system, or upgrading the one that is already in place. In addition to making sure that the latest HVAC technologies are used, it is also important to keep these systems clean and well-maintained. The better the system, and the cleaner, the healthier the indoor air is going to be.
Curriculum – A sustainable campus must offer a curriculum that gives students hands-on experiences of living a sustainable lifestyle. This includes creating a sustainable campus that offers a curriculum revolving around sustainability. Obviously, there is on standard for curriculums across the board. The best way to get this started is to find out what people are most interested in when it comes to creating a sustainable campus, and a sustainable life, and let the teaching begin.
Wellness – Not only should we be working on creating a better world for ourselves and for the next generation, we also need to concentrate on our own personal health. Campuses must deal with a wide variety of health issues, from illnesses due to stress to poor nutrition to alcohol and drug problems, and much more. Your campus can offer programs and efforts that help others to learn about nutrition, exercise, taking breaks to alleviate stress, and other programs that will enhance the overall health of students, teachers, and anyone else who wants to take advantage of this information.
Governance – Even though we all claim to hate government interference, we need a governing body. It is the same with all college campuses. But, it can’t be all one-sided. If there is a grass roots motivation, the school leadership may rebel. On the other hand, if the leadership is trying to get something started, the grass roots segment could rebel. All sustainability plans must be part of the campus mission, and be a part of its philosophy. Leadership at all levels is necessary to make it all work.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with
By Danika McClure
College affordability has been a trending topic in higher education circles for years, as tuition prices have skyrocketed in in the last decade. Many thought leaders in academia have come to the harsh conclusion that the current higher educational system is unsustainable.
Although elite American universities consistently hold high rankings when compared to world universities, many have concluded that they hold prestige because of how highly selective they are, rather than the economic value of earning a degree. A high quality education that is actually worth the hefty pricetag are is largely unavailable for many students. .
In his book, Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities, Richard DeMillo argues that the redemption of the higher education rests in revolutionaries who are willing to “rewrite a new social contract,” which would ensure that an institution’s quality would be judged by its ability to serve its intended population, not by how many people are excluded from its doors.
DeMillo’s latest book, aptly titled Revolution in Higher Education, offers a solution to the college exclusivity problem, contending that the cure to collegiate access and affordability might be a digital one.
We’ve seen the potential that digital innovation in education could have already, as the advent of massive open online courses (MOOCs) illustrates. At Stanford University, computer science professors Daphne Koller and Jennifer Widdom offered their courses to an open learning website which attracted 150,000 students. That same year another Stanford professor, Sebastian Thrun offered a free version of his artificial intelligence course, which yielded the same number of interested students.
Through MOOC technology, hundreds of thousands of students were able to learn from and access high level courses from the brightest minds in their field of study. And the widespread interest in MOOCs that occurred in early 2012 and continues today has sparked an abundance of innovation in educational technology and pedagogy that has carried over to colleges and universities across the country.
DeMillo notes, however, that while open course software has the potential to change the way our higher education system operates, enacting this change at the systemic level is no easy task. He does, however, note a few innovators which have successfully changed the way their institutions operate for the better.
One such innovator is Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who since his appointment in 2002, has championed widespread university changes in order to expand access to students without decreasing the quality of instruction. In doing so, Crow created what is now referred to as “the new gold standard” for American Universities, using technology to erase circumstances which would normally prevent a student from attending or graduating college.
Under Crow’s guidance, ASU launched its online degree programs, which has grown by over 42 percent since 2013, and minority enrollment has increased by 62 percent–making ASU the largest public university in the world.
In years since, ASU has continued to innovate and advance its online pedagogy to better fit the needs of its students. Recently, an environmental studies course introduced gamification as a tool to complement other parts of the online learning experience, allowing students to immerse themselves in the material. Just last year the school implemented the Global Freshman Academy, which allows students to explore, learn, and complete courses before applying to ASU or paying for the credit. And recent partnerships with Starbucks promise a free tuition to students who work at the company and attend online classes at ASU.
Other schools have opened admittance to prestigious programs online in an effort to expand access as well, many of which reduced cost to the student.
Georgia Tech president George Peterson opted to use make the university’s prestigious computer science master’s degree available at a fraction of the on-campus price. Pennsylvania State and Columbia now offer online courses on a variety of subjects. Even Harvard, rumored to be a “digital resister” has a digital arm, in the form of HarvardX.
In an interview with Economist, Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor who coined the term “disruptive innovation”, expresses a belief that American universities are too “too firmly wedded to their old costly ways to embrace the digital revolution.” But for DeMillo argues otherwise, stating “Show me the industry that has withstood the advance of technology.” As universities look to the future, access, affordability, and quality are factors that might determine which school’s lecture halls stay open.
Danika McClure is a writer and musician from the northwest who sometimes takes a 30 minute break from feminism to enjoy a tv show. You can follow her on twitter @sadwhitegrrl
A new study shows black male athletes are completing college at significantly lower rates. Renee Montagne speaks to Kevin Blackistone, a “Washington Post” sport columnist, to examine this pervasive problem.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
March Madness is dominating the college sports headlines this week. Less noticed is this. Black athletes are dropping out of colleges across the country at alarming rates. That’s according to the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. The study calls it a graduation gap and a systemic issue, not just a few scandals at certain schools. With us to talk about these findings is Washington Post columnist Kevin Blackistone. We reached him on Skype. Good morning.
KEVIN BLACKISTONE: Good morning, how are you?
MONTAGNE: Fine, thank you. What is new that you found in this study?
BLACKISTONE: Well, this is Shaun Harper’s study, and he points out that on major college campuses across the country, black males make up less than 3 percent of undergraduate enrollments. Yet, when you look at their numbers or percentages on the revenue-generating sports teams of football and men’s basketball, they make up well into 50 and 60 percent of those teams. So the idea is that they are really there to be part of the revenue-generating working class of athlete on campus and not necessarily there to be part of the educating class as most everyone else is.
MONTAGNE: When you say any other demographic group – in fact, I think the numbers are something like, at those 65 schools, just barely more than half of the black male athletes graduate at all.
BLACKISTONE: Exactly. And what’s really insidious about this is these athletes are supposedly promised at least one thing as remuneration for all their blood and sweat. And that is a college degree, which can be a transformative tool in our society when you talk about upward mobility. And that’s really the troubling part about this.
MONTAGNE: Well, this has been talked about so much, really, in recent years. Why hasn’t it changed?
BLACKISTONE: Well, I think one of the reasons it hasn’t changed is because there’s really no economic pressure to change this. All of the incentive is really on winning and not losing on the field or on the court. Coaches are not necessarily incentivized to graduate players.
MONTAGNE: You know, one last thing – which is worth keeping uppermost in our minds – are the staggering figures, the money that’s involved. Just give us a quick reminder of what we’re talking about here.
BLACKISTONE: Well, we’re talking about a $10 billion contract that NCAA basketball signed with broadcasters several years ago to broadcast all these games that we’re going to love to watch over the next three weeks and that the conference commissioners of the power five conferences in this country, those five guys make on average $2.8 million a year in salary. And then you look at the coaches and the multimillion dollar contracts they have to coach. And you look at the staffs. And then you look at the student fees that go along to support some of the athletic activities at colleges across the country. It’s a whole lot of money. And at the very least, it seems that these black male college athletes, who produce most of this revenue, should get more from it or certainly get the guarantee of their college scholarship so that they have something when they get out of school.
MONTAGNE: Kevin Blackistone teaches sports journalism at the University of Maryland. He is also a sports columnist at The Washington Post. Thank you very much for joining us.
BLACKISTONE: Thank you.
By Melissa Burns
You may be using an iPhone or even several different models of it for years a believe you are pretty good about using it to its full potential. However, there a lot of options and features that are not hidden, but aren’t exactly all that obvious either, and knowing them can considerably improve your experience of using the device, and make this use all the more productive.
1. Creating Shortcuts
If you type a lot using your iPhone, it may be a good idea to optimize the process a little bit. Can you remember any words that you use especially often? If so, you may create shortcuts – combinations of letters that will automatically expand into the necessary words of phrases when you type them in. To do so, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Add New Shortcut.
2. Clearing History
Sometimes, due to this or that reason, you have to wipe the history off your iPhone. It may be because constant prompts get all too annoying, or you want to give the phone to somebody else and don’t want them to know what you were up to all this while. However, figuring out how to clear up all your traces on your own may be a bit of pain – that’s why it is better use an online guide on how to clear all history on your iPhone and perform the process step by step.
3. Adding Letters to Your Passcode
Do you think that a passcode comprised of only numbers is not secure enough? You may mix letters in, as well. To do so, go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock and turn off “Simple Passcode”. This time, when you are prompted to change your passcode, you will have the entire keyboard, not just numbers, at your disposal.
4. Use Your iPhone as a Level
Do you know that you had a fully functional level in your pocket all that time? As it turns out, simply swiping left in the in-built Compass app immediately turns it on.
5. Taking Screen Shots
Ever wondered how these screenshots in online iPhone guides are made? There is nothing difficult about it – you simply have to hold the home and the on/off buttons at the same time, and the short of your current screen will be saved into your camera roll.
6. Responding to Texts without Unlocking the iPhone
Pull down on the message notification and swipe to the left – this will allow you to answer the text without first unlocking your phone. An extremely useful function when your hands are full and every extra movement is uncomfortable.
7. See the Apps that Drain Your Battery the Most
Do you want to know where your battery charge goes? It is pretty simple. Go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage and you will see statistics of which apps cosumed most energy in the last 24 hours.
Things like these, when combined, can really change the way you work with a device – so don’t forgo this opportunity and learn these simple tricks. They will help you in future.
Early in my career as a budget analyst for the federal Department of Education, I became familiar with national education rankings. Over the years, I have reviewed countless reports. While measures are becoming more sophisticated, most national rankings oversimplify California’s results and mask significant progress.
Today more students than ever are succeeding in rigorous coursework in high school, developing college-level knowledge and skills. In the past several years, California’s high school students have surpassed national averages in pursuit of advanced placement courses, scores on college admission tests and overall preparedness for college. The results are impressive.
San Jose Unified was the first California school district in the late 1990s to set an expectation for all students to complete a college preparatory course load. East Side Union, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Campbell high school districts now have similar requirements, and others, including Santa Clara Unified, are considering them.
Overall in Santa Clara County, 73 percent of high school students attend schools where their course of study is aligned with the admission requirements for California’s colleges and universities. The percentage of students completing these requirements here, 54 percent, is growing faster than the statewide percentage, now at 42 percent
Another positive trend is underway in advanced placement. These programs challenge students with high standards and enable them to enter college with advanced standing. Advanced placement has grown from 11 courses offered in the 1950s to more than 30 in public schools today. Throughout the nation, there is a concerted effort to ensure more diverse students pursue these classes.
In California, the number taking advanced placement exams has increased by 73 percent since 2005, with nearly 169,000 students in the class of 2015 taking at least one. California ranks fifth nationally in the percentage of that class scoring a 3 or higher on an advanced placement exam.
This is the second year that California students in grades 3-8 and 11 will complete new computer-based tests to measure college readiness. Results from grade to grade will help parents and educators gauge students’ strengths and weaknesses in relation to the state’s new college and career-oriented standards. The University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges and Association of Independent California Colleges endorse the standards and the state’s effort to provide clear and consistent messages about readiness for success.
Providing access to actionable data also is a growing trend. Nearly a quarter of a million California students in the class of 2015 prepared for the SAT by taking the PSAT, up from 133,028 in 2005. PSAT results also help districts identify students for advanced placement classes and eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Across the nation, districts are working to connect high school students to SAT practice questions online through the Khan Academy.
Participation rates for college admission tests continue to increase, with more than 242,000 California students taking the SAT and more than 122,000 taking the ACT in 2015. Individual scores also are improving. In 2015 California students scored higher in reading, math and writing on the SAT than students in New York, Florida and Texas. The number of California African-American and Latino students meeting the SAT’s college readiness benchmark has increased at a faster pace than in New York and Florida.
California’s colleges and universities are reporting unprecedented numbers of top-notch students applying. This is a signal that students recognize the stronger preparation now required for college and careers. But considerable work remains among educators to ensure access and equity are priorities statewide.
Michael Kirst is president of the California State Board of Education and professor emeritus of education at Stanford University. He wrote this for this newspaper.
By Jane Hurst
Internet crimes are on the rise, and one of the biggest is identity theft. You don’t even have to go online yourself to be a victim of this crime. Some of the most innocent of transactions can lead to identity theft. As a college student, you are prey to many unscrupulous types who have no problem destroying your credit, and your future. Here are some ways that you can protect yourself from identity theft.
Keep Financial Records at Home – You don’t need to have all of your financial information in your dorm room. If you do have it with you, you are at a high risk for identity theft. Leave this stuff at home. If you need to access the information, give your parents a call and they will arrange for you to get it safely, or fax it to financial institutions if it involves your student loans.
Create Secure Passwords – Creating a password can be a real pain, but it is more important than you may think. Don’t use things in your password that can be easily figured out by someone else, such as your birthday, your school’s name, your pet’s name, etc. Instead, come up with something that you can easily remember, but that has letters, numbers, and symbols. A good way to do this is by creating a sentence that has meaning to you, such as, “I love to eat pizza at 3 a.m.”, and then use the first letter of each word, plus the numbers and periods, so you have, “ILTEPA3.A.”
Stick with One Credit Card – You are a student. You don’t need to have multiple credit cards. If you do apply for many cards, your information is on those applications, and you have no idea who is going to see them. If you must have a credit card, stick with just one, and don’t be tempted by credit offers that sound too good to be true.
Check Your Credit Score – It is important that you know your credit score, and that you check it regularly. You can get do this for free online, and it only takes a few minutes. If you are careful with your finances, but your score is low, this is a clue that someone has been messing with your financial information, and you can nip it in the bud before it gets any worse. Read identity theft protection reviews at No Identity Theft to choose best ID theft protection.
Be Smart about Public WiFi – You are likely going to be using your laptop in any number of places that offer a connection. You need to be extremely careful about what you are doing online when using public WiFi. Do not enter any financial information, and avoid online banking until you have a secure connection.
Don’t Share Info on Social Media – People are way too quick these days to share their personal information on their social media pages. You may think that a post is completely innocent, but a criminal may see something in it that can lead them to your financial accounts, and to steal your identity. Avoid talking about family names, pet names, financial info, and anything else that could help a criminal steal your identity.
Restrict Access to Your Personal Computer – Your roommates, friends, and classmates may ask from time to time to use your personal computer. If possible, don’t let anyone else use your computer. You never know what they may be doing, and if they are doing something illegal, it is you who is going to get into trouble, not them. It is a good idea to make sure that your computer is password restricted, so only you can access it.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!