In recent months and largely due to the health crisis, teleworking systems, digital collaborative tools, videoconferences and virtual classroom systems have allowed many people to continue with their activity, gaining great relevance in our day to day lives.

A clear example is the large-scale implementation of these systems in teaching, which has allowed continuity for both teachers and students during this pandemic. But are students and teachers really safe? Do we know if these tools violate your privacy or not?

The answer is: IT DEPENDS on the platform that has been selected.

That is why it is very important that schools make sure that the virtual classroom and videoconferencing systems that they are going to implement comply with all security and privacy requirements to protect their students and teachers as they have a great responsibility to ensure complete safety. 

Free solutions: attractive, but not the best option

Virtual Classroom Systems

It is no secret that wonderful online tools are offered on the internet, apparently for free. But … where does the profit come from? Do they have a really altruistic aim?

As the famous economist Walter William would say ; ” Nothing is free “, everything has a cost and, sometimes, it implies sacrificing something in exchange – such as our privacy or our personal security … For these companies, knowing who we are, what we like, our interests, our economic and family situation has great value, as does knowing what we do and even where we have been, or where we are physically in real time.

All this data is much more valuable than the cost of a subscription or the cost of a license since with these inquiries from millions of people, and using Big Data and Marketing techniques, they make this personal data available for commercial purposes, such as the use of our personal information for advertising campaigns.

How many of us been doing a search to buy a certain item, or look into taking a trip or hiring a certain service when, suddenly, as if by magic, we begin to be bombarded by adverts directly related to what we were researching? It must have happened to us all.

But this doesn’t happen by magic. These are very advanced techniques employed by Big Data, Marketing, Neuromarketing … that these companies use with our personal information so that advertising can have a much stronger impact on us. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that they are doing this to help us, NO. This is done so that they and their clients get more benefits from us.

Educational centers, universities and teachers have a great responsibility

That is why these companies have seen a great opportunity, and have focused on the field of teaching. At this time, educational centers, universities and teachers play a fundamental role, since they have a great responsibility towards their students when it comes to choosing well when looking for tools to use when teaching their classes. Therefore, the following questions should be asked:

  • Do we really know what they do with the data when it is recorded on these platforms?
  • Will this information be made available to third parties for commercial interest?
  • These tools install certain plugins and cookies on students’ and teachers’ computers – are they really necessary for the operation of the tool or do they also collect personal information in the background of everything we do for commercial purposes?

In addition, a good virtual classroom system will not be limited to video calls but will also include the necessary elements for teaching: a virtual whiteboard, file store, interactions, granting of permissions, etc. For these reasons, those virtual classroom and videoconference systems that protect the privacy and safety of students and teachers, such as Voluxion Classroom, without downloads, plugins or cookies, without the need to enter students’ emails, are undoubtedly the best option.

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