When the school year comes to close with a graduation ceremony on May 22, all of the current seniors’ and several of the teachers’ careers at SIS will come to an end. Seniors will move on to college and teachers will seek new opportunities elsewhere, but one of the things they will leave is their school email with the domain name ‘@stu.siskorea.org,’ which will be deleted immediately after graduation day. With many of the school emails serving as the primary digital correspondence platform for students and teachers, the deletion of the accounts is a little-known yet important fact.
Technology is embedded in the education, communication and reporting processes for students and teachers. Students leave digital footprints everywhere, such as in apps like Google Doc, InDesign, Photoshop and much more. From first grade, students are expected to indulge themselves in the world of technology.
Ironically, although the school encourages students to use such technological platforms to communicate, the students’ digital footprints are erased immediately after they graduate. In fact, the school currently does not provide any exit strategy for departing students or teachers to download, collect or otherwise take their data with them.
The administrators do indeed have every right and responsibility to delete leaving students’ and teachers’ emails. However, their rapid and immediate response is a counterproductive course of action. Although there may not be a way to change the domain name and still maintain the email, it would be optimal to carbon copy all of the information into another email for those who desire so. This is a potential solution that can adhere to the school policy of promoting student technological awareness while providing a practical endpoint to students’ digital lives at the school.
It is also necessary for the school to publicize or make the students aware of the fact that everything in their school email will be deleted in a matter of seconds soon after they graduate. Students are left in the dark about the digital footprint they may want to keep even after their departure from SIS. As of now, it is simply impossible for students to make any effort to preserve the digital records of their high school careers.