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04 October, 2023
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Teachers refuse to livestream their classrooms

Fear of ‘teacher memes’ among reasons as Cypriot educators refuse to live stream from class


Public school teachers in the classroom remain firm on their refusal to live stream lessons online, saying it would be unproductive and dangerous, while reports point to a fear over internet memes.

State teachers unions have called on their members not to broadcast their lessons live from the classroom, arguing such actions were against the spirit of interactive learning and also raised questions over privacy concerns.

But Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou says teachers and students ought to use a government-licenced software application, Microsoft Teams, a platform that allows communication and collaboration online while combining chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration.

Prodromou, who is spearheading a gradual but controversial re-opening of schools in the Republic of Cyprus, said the programme had been cleared by the office of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, Irene Loizidou-Nikolaidou.

Students have been staying at home during the pandemic lockdown, with high school seniors just this week getting back into the classroom on a rotational basis, meaning half the class attending on certain days of the week and the other half on alternate days.

Teacher memes have been very popular on social media all over the world, with some meant to be funny while others expose problems and bad behaviour in class

The minister cautioned teachers not to use software programmes that have not been licenced by the government, warning that such actions could lead to breaking student privacy laws.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the commissioner said her office was examining the current situation, where a number of students sit in a classroom while others attend virtually from home.

Loizidou-Nikolaidou said her office had received several complaints or questions from educators, students, parents, student groups, as well as journalists, regarding distance learning in state schools, regarding exams, evaluations, and grades.

But the commissioner stopped short of saying whether the use of Microsoft Teams in public education raised any privacy issues, citing an ongoing survey to in the form of questionnaires that were due back on May 13.

“My office will come back to this issue with further information and guidance,” the commissioner said in her statement.

But according to daily Politis, some teachers were concerned over possible misuse of the software, such as images and videos ending up being posted online.

Internet memes consist of image macros, which are digital media featuring a captured photo or animated picture, paired with a concept or catchphrase that sometimes can go viral.

Teacher memes in particular have been very popular on websites and social media all over the world, with some meant to be funny while others expose problems and bad behaviour in class.

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