Microsoft to work with local parents to make Internet use safer

More schools and teachers may be using technology to help students learn better, but some of the programmes used in schools may be putting the personal data of students at risk, software giant Microsoft said on Wednesday.

"Privacy concerns are holding educators back from making the most of modern technology and preparing students to succeed in today's workplace. At the same time, many solutions being used in the classroom are unintentionally putting student data at risk," said Microsoft vice-president for worldwide education programmes Anthony Salcito.

He was speaking at the annual Microsoft in Education Global Forum, held in Barcelona this year. The forum gathers school leaders from all over the world who showcase how they have used technology to encourage classroom learning.

Ms Stephanie Hung, the director of public sector at Microsoft Singapore, added in a press statement that the company intends to work with parents to educate them in online security, cyber bullying, and the safer use of the Internet and social media.

"With a better understanding... they will be able to help their kids and family online," she said.

The software company has been collaborating with the Ministry of Education and the Infocomm Development Authority to roll out a programme called BackPackLive!, which equips teachers with classroom strategies to leverage technological developments.

Also attending the forum in Barcelona are Ms Chen Siyun from Chestnut Drive Secondary and Mr Richard Koh from Crescent Girls' School.

Ms Chen is showcasing how she has used technological platforms, such as motion sensing device Kinect, to build confidence of students weaker in English.

Mr Koh is exhibiting a digital trail application of Bukit Chandu that Crescent Girls' School has developed, which teaches Secondary 1 students about history, literature and English through war poems.