By Jane Larsson, CIS Executive Director
Schools and universities around the world are making extraordinary efforts to support their communities during these difficult and uncertain times. Key among these efforts is the move to online and remote work to enable students to continue their education, receive essential counselling and social-emotional support, and maintain social interactions.
In recent weeks we have received a significant number of emails, calls and requests for guidance from our members around the world. The most frequently asked questions include:
- Should we record virtual sessions with students? What about counselling sessions?
- How can we make sure that our new virtual classes comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and uphold individuals’ privacy rights?
- How can we support our staff and students’ mental health during this time?
- We have students in need of virtual therapeutic interventions and support, do you know anyone who could provide this?
- How do we implement virtual learning for very young children?
- How can we keep students safe in their new learning environments, without placing additional strain on our staff who are already going above and beyond what we would normally require?
In response to your requests, this week we will begin publishing a series of articles to address specific areas of challenge.
Download the first article in the series, it provides an overview of the key safeguarding considerations to keep in mind when implementing a virtual or remote learning program and includes links to leading resources. To help you easily access the information you need, the article format includes a series of questions along with guidance and associated resources.
Although safeguarding considerations are important, you can only do as much as your time and resources allow during this challenging period of change. The key priority for your institution right now is the continuity of education and the provision of counselling services to support your community. We hope these articles will help you to do just that.
- Navigating the new reality—How to protect your mental health and well-being by Dr Bill Mitchell
- Should we record virtual counselling sessions? And other questions … answered includes a link to article Adapting to new learning environments How to keep students safe and protect their well-being
- Virtual waiting rooms: Identifying safety and security challenges looks at the software and associated security side of current practices
- Self-awareness and well-being for educators by Ellen Mahoney who reflects on the mental health of educators during times of uncertainty and provides suggestions and resources to help address feeling powerless or ill-equipped or hopeless.
- Safeguarding implications for online learning
- Managing Ambiguity, a competency to harness now and for the future