Thirty years you graduated from from the largest local college with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, journalism and speech communication. For the first 22 years, you taught high school journalism classes at an area high school. During that time, you also earned your master’s degree in educational administration and supervision. When you left the public school classrooms, you immediately began teaching public speaking classes at the college you attended. This spring you completed your eighth year at the university making your professional teaching experience a grand total of 30 years.

As you sat at one of the university’s industrial shredding machines disposing of old academic records that have since been transferred to digital, you began thinking that your teaching experience actually goes back even farther. When you were a young 19 years old, you were paid to teach women’s fitness classes at a local gymnasium, and for nearly eight years while you were in your 20s, you were paid to teach the Lamaze childbirth classes for another local organization.

There have also been all the volunteer teaching positions you filled when your sons were growing up and you had the opportunity to be their Den Leader in the Boy Scouts or a Bible study and children’s music teacher at Church.

So, if you include all of those teaching experiences, you have been teaching for more than 50 years! But this weekend, you made a very difficult decision to retire from teaching, at least for now, in the wake of this Covid-19 pandemic. Your husband needs some help at his office, and you can run the commercial paper shredders that he uses on a nearly weekly basis. You could also be helpful in processing new insurance claims and other office work that builds up.

You could continue teaching your college classes online, but the seven-week experience that you had with that form of teaching was not exactly your style, You love the face-to-face interactions between you and your students, and you love to see the interactions my students have with each other Somehow, participating in and watching these interactions on a digital platform just was not the same.

Although the university has said staff could go back to their classrooms this fall, the classes still will not be the same. You would likely only have eight to nine students in the room at the same time, so you would have to rotate days when they could actually attend the class with the remainder of the students watching and participating online. You also have concerns about collecting and grading papers, so students would still have to submit their work on computer, and you would have to spend many hours grading their work online! So what would be the point of having them in the classroom at all?

This near complete switch to digital is an aspect that business offices are facing as well, as evidenced by the fact that your husband no longer needs to employ any full time workers for his high security paper shredders, and he recently made the decision to no longer use a company that brings commercial paper shredders to his business.

Educational and Medical Security Remains Paramount

Keeping identities and financial and medical records safe during the recent switch to online classes and telemedicine may be challenging. And while high capacity paper shredders and commercial paper shredders can help protect privacy on printed documents, there are many who fear that the increased use of online digital platforms will put more people at risk. As companies that provide commercial paper shredders transition into a different level of security protection, however, there are some places that are helping offices wipe clean laptops and main frames alike.

Even before the pandemic, as many as 49% of consumers thought their security habits made them vulnerable to identity theft or other information frauds. Today, both printed documents and digital records may make people more vulnerable.

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