A toolkit to protect data privacy in schools

October 19, 2018 in

According to Forbes, the Badass Teachers Association and the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy recently issued a guide to protect data privacy in schools "the Educator Toolkit for Teacher and Student Privacy". The toolkit was supported by grants from the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, the American Federation of Teachers, and the NEA Foundation.

Starting from the point that both teacher and student data is vulnerable and that ownership of the data is not always clear, the toolkit includes a full chapter on the pertinent privacy laws as they currently stand in order to provide families with guidance.

According to Peter Green, author of the article for Forbes:

"Educators are being pitched all manner of educational technology these days. Some are meant to help educate students. Some are meant to mine students for data. Some are meant to do both. Schools need to be doing their homework before adopting, and the toolkit lays out the questions that should be asked. In particular, schools need to be wary of black box algorithms, programs that use super-secret proprietary software to make educational decisions. If a human walked into your classroom and said, "Those three students should be in the advanced group, but I won't tell you how I decided that," you would show that human the door. Software is no different. And if any vendor answers teacher requests for transparency with some version of, "My ability to make money is more important than your ability to do your job," the teacher has learned some valuable information about that vendor."

The toolkit also offers teachers rules for using social media and provides practical tips for protecting privacy. An appendix shows the results of a survey given to teachers about technology in their schools. According to the survey, 50% of respondents declared their school uses an online app or program to track student behavior. More than 50% also reported that their school requires them to use certain computer based programs and materials.

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/petergreene/2018/10/1...