Sunday, March 22, 2015

Student Data Privacy Resources

The rapid development and progress of new technology tools and applications, especially online and “cloud-based” services, introduces new challenges and concerns about the safety and security of student information. Managing student data privacy and security is an ongoing and dynamic process that will require regular review and revision by teachers and administrators. Schools also need to be transparent with parents about the services being used with students and involve parents in conversations about privacy and security.



  • Are schools regularly reviewing the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of the application, services and tools that they use with their students?
  • What are some strategies for schools and district to use to evaluate the applications, services and tools that are being used with students?
  • Who is responsible for agreeing to an application's Terms of Service before students are allowed to use it for learning? Teacher, school administrator, district administrator?
  • What resources are available to guide schools in making responsible choices and developing responsible policies?
  • How can we better educate and inform teachers, students and parents about Student Data Privacy?
Here are some places to get started:

U.S. Department of Education, Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) website, http://ptac.ed.gov/. Specifically, take a look at the "Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services" resource, http://ptac.ed.gov/document/protecting-student-privacy-while-using-online-educational-services


The Consortium of School Networking (CoSN), “Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit”, http://cosn.org/privacy

There is a brand-new Student Data Principles initiative, http://studentdataprinciples.org/the-principles/ that has some terrific information and guiding principles to serve as starting points for any discussions or conversations about policies.

Lastly, while voluntary, the "K-12 School Service Provider Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy" is an initiative recently highlighted by President Obama that calls service providers to make a commitment to protect student privacy and be transparent about their privacy practices and protections. A current list of service providers and vendors that have voluntarily signed the pledge is available at http://studentprivacypledge.org/