Three college students eagerly and excitedly work together on assignments while using a computer.

Privacy for Students, Digital Writing, and Autonomy

Navigating online without student privacy

Lack of online privacy

There is an issue with online privacy today regarding digital writing and autonomy in the academic environment. Privacy is jeaopardized when students try to pursue their education.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article, “Understanding and Maintaining Your Privacy When Writing With Digital Technologies,” by Lindsey C. Kims. It was extremely informative and very applicable to online user practices today.

As a college student, my academic work revolves around digital literacy. For example, I find most of my textbooks on the web or in a downloadable PDF. I also navigate and complete many of my posted assignments on online platforms.

In addition, my school has a partnership with Google. This means that my college email, word processing documents, and other valuable resources are all affiliated with my Google membership. I feel that this makes things both convenient and challenging at the same time. It’s convenient because I don’t have to make multiple passwords to use several different programs. But it’s challenging because Google constantly watches my every move, especially when I’m completing schoolwork.

I wish I could use a different browser to do my homework. But unfortunately, I don’t really have a choice as a Kean student.

The article referenced talks about the issue of metadata, data regarding data concerning my online whereabouts.

The web gathers data whenever I make a web search or simply click on a link. This includes what time it was, how long my web visit was, and even the current location of my device. It’s just simply in a word: creepy.

I think schools should teach students how to protect themselves on the web.

People shoud also advocate for the implementation of privacy checks.

Intense Digital Monitoring Limiting Student Privacy

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

When it comes to digital writing and Learning Management Systems (LMS), it even gets a little messier. Learning Management Systems are software that make education materials available online.

After reading “Messy and Chaotic Learning,” by Martha Fay Burtis, I realized something.

It is incredibly difficult to maintain privacy as a student in this day and age.

Surely systems such as Blackboard and Canvas are helpful in some ways. They provide discussion boards, online messaging platforms, online files we can access rather than print, and etc.

However, these systems also closely monitor the digital activity of students. They obsessively track responses to discussion threads; they verify student identities for proctoring purposes; and they scan every single assignment to check for plagiarism.

The same companies that make LMS also wish to control college student identification cards, laundy machines, and vending machines on campus.

Here is the moral of the story.

There is a lot of control, monitoring, and lack of privacy for students today.

And unfortunately, they don’t have much of a say about it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *