Things That Can Get Educators in Legal Hot Water

Remember those World War II posters that warned, “Loose Lips Sink Ships?” Well, that dire wisdom is just as urgent today. It is possible that a comment ingenuously made in the faculty room, in an email, during an IEP meeting or a phone call can cause a teacher embarrassment, at best, or a district to become embroiled in a lawsuit, at worst. Caution to be professional at all times as well as ever mindful of confidentiality laws has always been a top priority of school districts. However, in our digital age, this issue has taken on a new meaning and has escalated caution to another level.

In order to ferret out the most critical concerns facing schools today and some tips for how to deal with these concerns, I spoke with four lawyers who work with schools on a regular basis. Following are some of the insights gleaned from those conversations.
What is considered written documentation?

Anything and everything written about a student on school grounds can be subpoenaed for use in court. Attorney Dianna Halpenny of Sacramento, California, reinforces that anything in writing with a student’s name in it is part of the official student record. It is not necessarily true that if teachers keep it at home that it is not a student record.

Email communication

When faced with the challenge of keeping email private on school servers, teachers used to be advised to use web mail versus a downloadable email client such as Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, or Thunderbird. The belief was that web mail such as Yahoo mail; Hotmail, Mail2Web, etc. were safe.

Attorney Pamela Parker of Austin, Texas, reveals another, less known, fact: even web-based email is forensically accessible. Web-based email history may still be on the school server. Parker acknowledges that schools are not necessarily monitoring emails; however, a forensic computer specialist can recreate the emails if necessary. The reality of today’s world is that everything that is digital lives forever. Parker employs a sound analogy, “Having a conversation by email or text message is no different than having a private conversation on stage at Carnegie hall in front of a full house. Most people won’t pay attention, but some will.”

Teachers may send an email to a parent, colleague, supervisor, etc. believing that the email will remain confidential between them. However, there is no guarantee that the recipient of an email will respect that confidentiality or realize the importance of keeping the interaction private. Sometimes, despite all good intentions, emails are forwarded accidentally. This easily happens when the writer uses “reply all” or continues to respond to an email that has the entire thread attached. I’ve been amazed at what I’ve had included in a message to me when I have been added as a recipient midstream in an email conversation. When I scroll down, I might read conversation to which I should not have been privy. Here’s a tip: Look at what’s attached to the bottom of your email before you hit “send!”

Phone messages

Another consideration is phone messages. Not only can they be overheard, they can be forwarded. Parker contends that even a teacher’s children might see and pass on text messages or phone emails. Parker advises educators to have critical conversations in person.

Attorney Brad King of Richmond, Virginia, goes on to explain that even messages on personal phones, especially those regarding relationships with students, can become public domain. He explains that teachers’ phone records can be involved in litigation. Again, the digital age brings a new level of accountability to the issue. Digital phone messages, as well as text messages, are easily forwarded and potentially retrieved.

Text messages

Have you ever gotten a text or sent a text that was meant for someone else? Are you sure that deleted texts are not potentially accessible if a related case was brought to court? How much text messaging is available is dependent on your telecommunication carrier. There may be information out there that you do not know is there.

Contributors:
Diana D. Halpenny
Attorney at Law
Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, Inc.

Pamela Parker
Attorney at Law
Austin, Texas

Bradford A. King, Esq.
Thompson McMullan, P.C.

Mark Joel Goldstein
Attorney

Telecommunication version iPhone rumor recurrence

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The iPhone rumor aims at the market competition. On 23rd, auspicious silver analyst Wang Jin jin forecast in its report, C net edition iPhone possibly in the third quarter of next year going on the market home. Its report said that American operator Verizon and the Apple Company promotes CDMA version’s iPhone at the beginning of 2011 (iphone accessories wholesalers), the Chinese telecommunication promotes CDMA version iPhone the time to be at least later than Verizon 6 month even longer time.

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T1 Internet Service – When Is A Business Internet T1 Justified

This piece provides an overview of T1 Internet Service for those businesses that need higher reliability and availability. Since T1 Internet service comes with a service level agreement (SLA), usual uptime is much higher than DSL or cable. Also, with T1 Internet service, the upload and download speeds are a constant. This is vital for critical information needs, where limited downtime can be tolerated and productivity depends on consistently fast Internet access. Also, for voice applications a T1 can include quality of service (QOS) to ensure the access speed and consistency required for quality voice traffic.

Many small business use low-priced Internet links, such as DSL, cable, and fios. To keep costs down, all of these methods use sharing techniques to connect users to the Internet itself. Also, reliability is not assured, athough a “best effort” is made to preserve connectivity. A business Internet T1 data line, although using technology identical to SDSL, is given a higher value by the telcos. A T1 failing will be repaired within hours whereas a DSL, cable, or fios user could possibly experience a 5 day turn around time for repair.

Telecommunications vendors provide higher-end services, such as business Internet T1 service, in order to address higher reliability and consistency needs in some companies. As a business grows and adds employees, the value of an Internet connection increases and the business often needs higher availability. Often, the usage and reliance on the Internet also increases after services such as voice, and shared data services are moved to the “cloud.” In the neighborhood of 10 employees, a company will find it’s telecommunications needs more feasibily served by a business Internet T1 service.

Voice over IP (VOIP) has become widespread as well as various shared data services. Examples include popular applications such as SalesForce.com, GoogleApps, and many more. Generally, the quality of information available on the Internet has improved over time, causing more extensive dependence on connectivity to applications and online data sources. Changing business operations and usage all require additional bandwidth and reliability. Sales revenue and productivity of employees can be affected for each minute of downtime. How many businesses would survive with no telephone service for several days?.

Although hard to measure, timely information or lack thereof can make or break many small enterprises. This is especially true for companies using “cloud computing,” where online collaboration and information for daily operations in office calendaring, documents and financial data are only accessible through the company Internet link.

With business Internet T1 service, the SLA offers a “guarantee” of reliability and availability of crucial Internet services. Although many don’t realize it, a company’s Internet connection is an essential resource as more business functions and information needed for daily operations now must have reliable access. Loss of connectivity even for hours or a few days at a time can be fatal to daily operations or even the enterprise.

As T1 prices continue to decrease and businesses’ need for connectivity increases, a greater number will turn to the reliability and availability of T1 Internet service for day to day operations. The SLA distinguishes T1 Internet service from less expensive and unreliable DSL, cable, and fios services that many are using today. The SLA will be the deciding factor in order that critical operations are maintained, productivity remains high, and adequate sales and revenue is achieved for survival.

Career In The Telecom Sector

India has grown through leaps and bounds, the sector which has lead the whole economy to grow and develop, and reach where it is today. Students are always encouraged to choose the career of their choice, to make them put their whole- hearted efforts in the work. Almost all the industries provide great opportunities for the students to show their creative side, and work according to their interests. One sector which has grown to a great extent and in many ways the basis for many other industries to develop is Information Technology.

Telecommunications, a part of the IT industry, has grabbed the attention of a large number of students as their career prospects. Also, the career in telecom sector is very flourishing, with the industry booming and showing great growth rate. Telecom industry is said to be the industry, which even faced the recession well enough, and was not much struck by the same. Therefore, one can find a lucrative as well as a promising career in telecommunications sector. For pursuing a career in telecommunications, a student can opt for any of the following telecom courses, depending on his level of education:

Bachelors of Science in Telecom Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Computer Technology
Certificate in Computer Forensics
Diploma in Telecom Engineering
Certificate in Computer Science
Bachelor of Science in Mobile Internet Communication Informatics
Certificate in Information Technology

The degree courses require a time period of four years, in which the student is made to learn all the technicalities of the subject. A student needs to have physics, chemistry and maths as his subjects in the senior secondary examination to pursue his career in the telecom sector. There are many subjects in the telecommunications industry, which the student can choose as his specialisation, some of them are:

Telecommunications and System Lab
Statistical Signal Processing
Optical Communication & Networking
Cryptography & Network Security
Speech And Audio Processing
Advanced Computer Networks
Image & Video Processing
Wireless Communication
Satellite Communication
Multirate Systems And Filter Banks
Antenna Theory And Design
DSP and Micro Controller Lab

Telecommunication sector is so vast, that it provides opportunities for all the students, whether he is a degree or diploma holder. The various sectors and job responsibilities in the telecom sector are:

Software:

Telecom Software Engineer
Telecom Systems Solution Engineer

Hardware:

Telecom Hardware and Software Engineer
DSP Chip Design Engineer
Real-time Computer Systems Developer
Performance Optimizer

Communication:

Communication Engineer
Mobile Communication Engineer

Multimedia:

Image Processor
Video Engineer

Design:

Antenna Design Engineer
Telecommunications Equipment Designer

Management:

Trainer
Research Project Supervisor
Technical Support Provider

With the advancement of every sector, and the booming technology sector, the growth of telecommunications as a sector is very bright, and even scholars have predicted the industry to grow at a great rate in the upcoming years. The career prospects of the students in this field are also very brilliant, due to the vastness and the number of opportunities provided by this sector to the students. Students in any field are very finicky about their future as a whole; therefore, they make it sure that the career they are opting for is worth it and would definitely help in producing lucrative results overall. Companies like Bharat Sanchar Nigam, MTNL, ISRO, Oracle, TCS, WIPRO, Airtel, siemens Communications, TATA, Vodafone, Honeywell, IT Solutions, Infosys are few of the companies, covering private as well as public sector, which holds the future of the telecommunication students.