Afterschool Webinar:

Safely Engaging Youth in a Virtual World

Thursday, Apr 23, 2020 02:00 PM ET

New Users

Create an Account

Returning Users

About this webinar:

With the quick transition from in-person to virtual learning environments, afterschool providers are quickly adapting to serve young people in this new virtual world. But sifting through all of the resources that have flooded the field can be a tough task. Instead, we can learn from experts who have years of experience preparing educators to engage students in a virtual environment.

Join the Afterschool Alliance and Outschool, an online platform where educators teach highly-engaging classes over Zoom, to learn how to effectively transition to online platforms and understand the safety and privacy issues to engaging with your students online.



  • Aaron Sokol, Head of Partnerships, Outschool
  • Chris Neitzey,  Director of STEM Initiatives, Afterschool Alliance




Quick tips for online safety and privacy for afterschool educators

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has produced a brief for educators and school districts to reference when making the transition to remote learning. To help afterschool educators understand the safety considerations they should consider when stitching programming to a virtual platform, we pulled a few of the most helpful tips and included them below.

  • A web link to a video session is an invitation into the classroom or program. It should be kept secure and confidential, never posted publicly.
  • Audio containing an individual’s voice is personal information, as is video containing an individual’s likeness. All must be protected in accordance with federal and state law and your school system policies.
  • If you permit chat functionality to be used, get clarity on how those will be transcribed and protect them accordingly. Note that “private chats” between a teacher and student are often captured as part of the full transcript and should also be protected as part of the education record.
  • Ensure that students can’t join the conference until the educator or group leader starts the session, deactivate any private chat capabilities, prevent any automatic camera activation for participants, and take advantage of controls that would permit teachers or educators to turn off participant cameras
  • Not all students will have webcams, not all will be comfortable on camera, and in general, it may not be advisable to require students to turn on their webcams. Consider if you will give parents the ability to opt their child out of participating in video sessions, and have alternative connection methods, such as email or phone, available for those students who need it. Remember that with video conferencing, you are now looking into someone’s home, so be respectful of privacy even beyond what the law requires. Also ensure that educators have a clear and specific path for escalation in the event that they see something troubling.
  • Communication with parents: If you’re introducing a video conferencing system, share simple privacy information and guidance for parents, including:
    • How student data privacy will be protected;
    • If sessions will be recorded and if so, for what purposes and how the videos will be secured;
    • Schedule for when video conference/webcams will be in use.
    • Whether or not parents may opt their child out of participating and if so, how, and how the lessons will remain available to their child.

And remember, please check with your school district to see what guidance and policies they may have created for schools and educators utilizing virtual learning platforms. The tips above are broad guidelines, but you will want to ensure they aligned with your local school districts before moving ahead with virtual platforms.