Educator’s Guide to Student Privacy
Technology tools and apps are making it possible for educators and students to collaborate, create, and share ideas more easily than ever. When schools use technology, students’ data—including some personal information—is collected both by educators and often the companies that provide apps and online services. Educators use some of this data to inform their instructional practice and get to know their students better. It is just as essential for educators to protect their students as it is to help them learn.
This guide is meant to help teachers utilize technology in the classroom while protecting their students’ privacy.
This project is brought to you by:
Closing thoughts for educators
We live in a period of constant change that affects everyone—families, government, business and, of course, education. It’s an exciting time and, although rapid change can sometimes be hard to adjust to, it’s a fact of life that’s not going away.
For the most part, change is good, especially when it increases our productivity and improves outcomes and helps engage our students. But as we adopt new technologies, we must also think about how they affect the safety, security and privacy of all stakeholders—especially our students.
Sometimes it makes sense to pause, if even for a moment, to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect our students. But it’s also our responsibility as educators to embrace innovation and encourage our students and our colleagues to try new approaches and embrace new tools. It’s a challenge, but it’s not beyond our reach.
ConnectSafely Educator’s Guide to Social Media explains how educators can use social media in the classroom withou risking their professional reputation.
FERPA|SHERPA provides service providers, parents, school officials, and policymakers with easy access to materials and resources to help guide responsible uses of student’s data.
Student Privacy Pledge is a list of twelve commitments K-12 school service providers agree to in order to safeguard student data privacy regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information.
ConnectSafely, FPF, PTA Parent’s Guide to Student Data Privacy assists parents in understanding the laws that protect student data and helps parents understand their student’s rights under the law.
Department of Education PTAC is a resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems and other uses of student data.
CoSN Privacy Toolkit for School Leaders provides school officials with 10 essential skills areas, outlining the responsibilities and knowledge needed to be an educational technology leader.
Data Quality Campaign provides information on state laws annually, as well as other useful privacy review tools and resources.
About the Authors
Kerry Gallagher (@KerryHawk02) is the Director of K-12 Education for ConnectSafely.org, in addition to her full-time role as Digital Learning Specialist at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. St. John’s is a 1:1 iPad school serving 1500 students grades 6-12. Kerry taught middle and high school history in Bring Your Own Device public schools for 13 years. Kerry has a Juris Doctor from Massachusetts School of Law.
Larry Magid (@LarryMagid ) is CEO and co-founder of ConnectSafely.org, a technology journalist with CBS News, San Jose Mercury News and other outlets and for 19 years a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has a Doctorate of Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Kobie Pruitt (@FERPASherpa) serves as the Education Policy Manager at the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF). He operates as the program manager for FPF’s work in student data privacy and ed tech. Kobie works with advocates, industry leaders and privacy experts to promote the growing need for education privacy standards. Prior to working at FPF, Kobie was a Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). He handled an issue portfolio that included education, financial services and homeland security. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the University of Pittsburgh, School of Business Administration.
Completed with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.