Education Framework Blog

Focused on the Future of Education in America

Education Framework Talking Student Privacy at EdSurge Tri-State Tech for Schools Summit


We are pleased to announce that we will be participating in the EdSurge Tri-State Tech for Schools Summit where we will be discussing student privacy and parental consent with education leaders and administrators from in and around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. 

We are attending with the intention of better understanding of the real issues keeping Tri-State administrators up at night, and will be sharing our student privacy and parental consent solution, EdProtect, with those looking for a better way to manage their privacy obligations.  

Friday, February 26, 2016
7:30am – 3:00pm (EST)
Ramapo College of New Jersey

For full event details, please visit here >>

Student Privacy: A Parent’s Perspective

As Edtech software developers, we often look at student privacy from the perspective of our users–school districts, teachers, and state boards of education. However, it’s important to remember that every piece of data isn’t just a record or potential liability; it’s the information of a student that needs to be protected at all costs.

While most students are unaware of what’s at stake, parents are increasingly becoming concerned about student privacy issues and demanding solutions. Today we share the perspective of one such parent. Nick Reese is a father of four in Bend, Oregon, and was kind enough to share his thoughts on student privacy. Take it away, Nick:

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As a parent in his late 30s, I straddle technology that didn’t exist for my parents when I was in school and will be commonplace by the time my kids are parents themselves. I’m far more comfortable with technology that my parents will ever be; my dad refuses to learn how to program phone numbers into his cell phone, instead continuing to carry a laminated card with important phone numbers in his wallet. And yet, I’m not digital native; my first exposure to the Internet was at university just as the dot-com boom was gaining steam. These days I feel more and more like my father every time I read about things like Tinder, Snapchat, Vines, Oculus Rift, Uber, smartwatches or the next new great thing: thanks, but I’ll stick to what I’m used to.

My kids, on the other hand, are full-on digital native. My fourth and third graders were issued iPads at school and put together Keynote presentations for fun. My first grader makes videos of himself playing video games and puts them on YouTube. My preschooler can’t read but works my iPhone like Steve Jobs, but with a greater affinity for goldfish crackers.

Of course, it’s not just me. Almost every industry is experiencing this same shift. Getting medical care, buying stocks, shopping for groceries, booking a flight, even renting a movie–everything has changed. Some industries are embracing or even leading the shift, while other industries are a bit more like me: supportive, but not leading the way.

The world of education is very much in this second bucket. For every innovation like iPads in the schools or using social media to engage parents there are still methods of doing business my parents would recognize, like endless permission slips, printed newsletters and paper forms. Unfortunately, the way schools handle digital privacy and security is still the product of the old way of thinking. In an era where even security-minded retailers and government agencies find themselves in the news for data breaches while software companies keep concocting new ways to package and sell user information, the way schools handle data privacy is almost laughable if it wasn’t so frightening.

Paper forms with sensitive information and signatures get transported by six-year-olds in backpacks to be stored… somewhere? While textbooks are vetted by boards of education, I have no idea what level of vetting each app gets, who is doing the vetting, what these apps are and what info they are collecting. I know there are laws about this, but who is enforcing them? Who pays when my kid’s social security number winds up all over the Internet? How much do for-profit companies know about my kids, and what do they plan on doing with that information?

These should be simple questions I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get answered, or even have to ask. Luckily, companies like Education Framework and others are making it easier to help schools solve these problems while bringing parents into the loop. While I’m sure this is one of those growing pains of technology adoption that will be solved by the time my youngest child graduates, parents now shouldn’t have to let their kids be the test subjects. Parents, schools, software developers, teachers, industry groups and lawmakers need to get together now and make education a leader in privacy and data protection, not a follower.

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Thanks, Nick!

At Education Framework, we believe now is the time to make a commitment to protecting student data. Learn more about how our tools make ensuring student privacy simple and sign up for a free demonstration today.  

6 Tips to Help Keep Kids Safe Online


"Play your part for a better internet!"

In honor of Safer Internet Day - February 9 - Naked Security by Sophos offers 6 tips to help keep kids safe online:
 
1. Learn how to choose proper passwords.
2. Don't use the same password twice. 
3. Set a lock code on your phone, and use it.
4. Don't mess around with other people's stuff.
5. Only upload it if you're ready for everyone to see it. 
6. Logout when you're done.