Teachers on TikTok: What K-12 IT departments need to know

Connections like this are exactly why Keller is such a huge fan and TikTok user and other social media platforms, which help teachers find ideas — and each other. Keller says teachers are using the platform to develop a Rich and supportive teacher network; There are more than 100 million TikTok users in the US, and they’re also discovering tips and tricks for organizing classes and managing student behavior.

“One of the things I love about TikTok is that educators have a space to share what works for them. As educators, we can share a great curation tool or idea of ​​behavior management and give other educators a chance to try something new or different,” says Keller.

However, when it comes to using TikTok in the classroom, Keller doesn’t recommend it. The algorithm is completely different from other social media platforms, such as Twitter or Instagram. “A video can go viral, and content is easily taken out of context,” she says. “I love the video editing options that TikTok provides and would recommend Capcut to teachers and students instead of TikTok.”

Countries are increasingly banning TikTok due to security concerns

Keeler’s advice not to rely on TikTok in the classroom isn’t unusual. Restrictions on the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, are expanding across the US

“Here in Texas, we have been advised to remove TikTok from our district devices due to security concerns,” says Gary Lackey, director of cybersecurity at Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District in Baytown, Texas.

Related: Goose Creek CISD has been awarded the CoSN’s Trusted Learning Environment seal.

Although the ban only covers state-owned devices, Lucky notes that “there are some major questions about why you would want to use TikTok on a personal device, based on what we know about TikTok, but the state is not going to dictate what we should do personally.” “.

Texas isn’t alone in surprising the trendy video-sharing app: At least 30 other countries TikTok has been banned from state-owned devices, including those in schools, universities and government offices. Blocking indicates security, privacy and safety concerns. The US federal government has also implemented a ban on the use of TikTok on any federal government devices from December 2022.

Teachers can approach TikTok in the classroom with an IT mindset

Even with these restrictions, teachers can still legally use the platform on their personal devices. To stay safe, Keeler — who uses her personal device to access her TikTok account — says teachers should follow their school district’s rules and regulations for using online platforms.

“I work hard to use it before or after my knot time,” she says. “As with anything, it’s important to be aware of what you’re putting out there. I often come across on TikTok and other social media apps and remind people that just because something says private doesn’t mean it’s private.” For this reason, Keller sticks to professional content and creates videos that allow her to share what she does and does Library advocate.

No matter the social media platform, there will always be security risks. A spokesperson for the Department of Education’s Office of Student Privacy Policy refers teachers to the agency Security best practices page, which includes helpful resources on protecting student data privacy and a checklist on what to look for when working with apps.

Keller reminds students that TikTok is like many other social media platforms, where more engagement with certain content means they will be shown similar videos. She stresses to them the importance of looking for “different places for sources of information and also recognizing that there is persuasion and bias”.

“I love being on TikTok, but I also understand how it works,” she adds.

Read on: Teach students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 digital citizenship skills using education technology.

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