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EdPrivacy by Education Framework Recognized For Efforts in Protecting Student Data Privacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

EdPrivacy by Education Framework Recognized for Efforts in Protecting Student Data Privacy

BEND, Oregon - April 25, 2018 - Bend-based enterprise software development company, Education Framework, has been recognized for their ongoing effort to protect student data privacy in school districts across the country. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently named Education Framework a 2018 Technology Innovation Showcase Company, highlighting how new approaches in technology advance K-12 education and inspire school leaders to explore and embrace innovative solutions. Additionally, their online student data privacy management service, EdPrivacy by Education Framework, was named a “Cool Tool” in The EdTech Awards by EdTech Digest as the Best Security and Privacy Solution for 2018.

EdPrivacy by Education Framework is a comprehensive online student data privacy management solution for US K-12 school districts. It streamlines the privacy management process and helps ensure that third party online technologies (apps/websites) are respecting and protecting personally identifiable student information (Pii).

The NSBA Innovation Showcase highlights companies based on innovative approaches to challenges across the K-12 curriculum, administrative operations and communication channels. As one of the chosen solutions, EdPrivacy by Education Framework will be featured in NSBA’s magazine for school leaders, American School Board Journal, and participate in a webinar hosted by NSBA’s National Connection program in the coming months.

The EdTech Awards recognize the biggest names in education technology – and those who soon will be. Victor Rivero, editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest, overseeing The EdTech Awards, said: “The innovators, leaders, and trendsetters represented here are dauntless, dedicated, and determined in their work. Thus, we very proudly recognize, acknowledge, honor, and celebrate the biggest names in edtech – and newer talents shaping the future of edtech.”

"We are extremely proud of the recognition.” said Jim Onstad, President & Co-Founder of Education Framework. “As parents of school-aged children and student privacy advocates, this effort is near and dear to us. This [recognition] further supports our mission to protect the privacy of every student in America, and is testament to our efforts, our team and our collective vision.”

About EdPrivacy by Education Framework

EdPrivacy by Education Framework is the world’s first online student data privacy management system designed to help K-12 school districts proactively protect student Pii. With over 5500 vetted technologies available for immediate review to partner districts, the EdPrivacy service is a comprehensive database of information that simplifies and streamlines the privacy management process. Helping educators and administrators better understand the privacy and safety of the online technologies used in their districts, EdPrivacy actively engages parents in the privacy conversation and manages the privacy process with transparency and accountability. Education Framework is headquartered in Bend, Oregon. To learn more or to request a demo, visit EducationFramework.com.

Contact

For Education Framework Katie Onstad, 541-915-8840 katie@educationframework.com

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EdPrivacy by Education Framework Named Winner of The Edtech Awards Cool Tool for Best Security/Privacy Solution

 

We are thrilled to announce that EdPrivacy by Education Framework has been named winner of the 2018 Edtech Awards Cool Tool for Best Security/Privacy Solution. 


The EdTech Awards 2018 were announced to a global online audience of millions of educators, technologists, students, parents, and policymakers interested in creating a better future for education.


Established to recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate the most exceptional innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in education technology, The EdTech Awards are the largest and most competitive recognition program in all of education technology, recognizing the biggest names in edtech – and those who soon will be.


“We celebrate who’s who and what’s next in edtech,” said Victor Rivero, who as Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest, oversees the awards program.


The EdTech Awards recognizes people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere.


"This award means the world to our team. We have worked very hard to create a solution to a problem that continues to plague administrators across the nation. Winning the Cool Tool Award for Security/Privacy confirms that we are not only on the right track, but we are doing the right things, for the right people, for the right reasons. I'd like to express our most sincere gratitude to EdTech Digest for the recognition and give a big shout out to all the educators that have supported us along the way and helped shape this service into the resourceful tool that it has become." - Jim Onstad, President & Co-Founder / Education Framework Inc.



FINALIST / WINNER LIST – https://edtechdigest.com/2018-finalists-winners/


EdPrivacy by Education Framework - Best Security / Privacy Solution




Full press release posted below...


https://i0.wp.com/edtechdigest.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ED-TECH-Awards-Horizontal-RGB.png?resize=375%2C212&ssl=1



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



FINALISTS REVEALED FOR THE EDTECH AWARDS 2018


Top leaders, innovators, and trendsetters announced to millions interested in creating a better future for learning with the help of technology.


The finalists for The EdTech Awards 2018 have been announced to a global online audience of millions of educators, technologists, students, parents, and policymakers interested in creating a better future for education.


Now in its 8th year, the US-based program is the largest and most competitive recognition program in all of education technology, recognizing the biggest names in edtech – and those who soon will be.



“We celebrate who’s who and what’s next in edtech,” said Victor Rivero, who as Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest, oversees the awards program.


The EdTech Awards recognizes people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere.


Featuring edtech’s best and brightest, the annual program shines a spotlight on cool tools, inspiring leaders and innovative trendsetters across the K-12, Higher Education, and Skills and Workforce sectors.


The EdTech Awards recognize people—and the products they produce and lives they shape— with three main honors:


  • The EdTech Cool Tool Awards

  • The EdTech Leadership Awards, and

  • The EdTech Trendsetter Awards.


This year’s finalists include:


FINALIST LIST – https://edtechdigest.com/2018-finalists-winners/



Finalists have been selected from thousands of entries.


The edtech ecosystem is now more than 15,000 companies strong, with hundreds of thousands of educators using technology to enhance, improve, and transform their everyday work.


The EdTech Awards were established in 2010 to recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate the most exceptional innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in education technology.


More than US$50 Billion has been invested worldwide across the global edtech landscape in just the last several years.


Past winners include Blackboard, ClassLink, Coursera, Discovery Education, DreamBox Learning, Edmodo, Edthena, Flipgrid, Freshgrade, Promethean, Scholastic, Schoology, SMART Technologies, Smithsonian Learning Lab, and zSpace, among others.


This year’s finalists and winners were narrowed from the larger field and judged based on various criteria, including: pedagogical workability, efficacy and results, support, clarity, value and potential.  


Victor Rivero, who as Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest, oversees The EdTech Awards, said:


“Congratulations to the finalists and winners of The EdTech Awards 2018 and may their resolve inspire others. The innovators, leaders, and trendsetters represented here are dauntless, dedicated, and determined in their work. In this age of rapidly accelerating technological growth, it might be easy to lose sight of what moves everything forward: the indomitable power of the human spirit. But in no other field is the human spirit more alive than education, where educators and supporting technologists are literally shaping our future. The work of the educator is often undervalued and overlooked, but educators and technologists supporting them play a leading role in our world. Thus, we very proudly recognize, acknowledge, honor, and celebrate the biggest names in edtech – and newer talents shaping the future of edtech.”


Further information about The EdTech Awards is available here:

https://edtechdigest.com/


For more, see #EdTechAwards and follow @edtechdigest here: https://twitter.com/edtechdigest


EdPrivacy by Education Framework selected for NSBA 2018 Education Technology Innovation Showcase


We are extremely proud, honored and excited to announce that our student privacy management solution, EdPrivacy by Education Framework, has been selected by The National School Boards Association (NSBA) for the 2018 NSBA Education Technology Innovation Showcase. 

April 7-9, 2018 in San Antonio, TX. Booth #102

Read press release here >>   (Full press release also posted below)

NSBA Announces 2018 Education Technology Innovation Showcase

March 22, 2018

Alexandria, Va.  (March 22, 2018) – The National School Boards Association (NSBA) announced today the six companies selected for its annual Technology Innovation Showcase.

“NSBA has worked at the intersection of education technology policy and practice for more than three decades to bring entrepreneurs, school board members and district leaders together to discuss innovative solutions that can support public education,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA Executive Director & CEO. 

The 2018 Technology Innovation Showcase includes the following companies:

Align Us, Inc.: The interconnected team-productivity tools are built on a modern, private, social collaboration platform to ensure all staff have the same opportunity to understand the mission, vision and strategy established by district leaders and how it relates to their daily contributions.

EdPrivacy by Education Framework: The world’s first student data privacy management system that helps K-12 school districts proactively protect student data, engage parents in the privacy conversation and manage privacy obligations with transparency and accountability.

FilterED by GreyED Solutions: This framework-aligned, data analysis tool enables districts to diagnose the current state of technology, teaching and learning across their organization. School leaders obtain the evidence, data and context needed to prioritize, implement, measure and monitor ongoing technology initiatives.

MathBRIX: With initial funding from the National Science Foundation, cloud-delivered visual games and activities help children ages 3–8 “see” the big ideas behind math. They emphasize higher-order thinking skills and concept acquisition, areas often overlooked in early elementary instruction.

Muzology, LLC:  Learning experts and hit songwriters combined efforts to harness the power of music to boost academic outcomes and make learning fun. Muzology’s gamified, web-based platform uses music videos to trigger memory, emotion, motivation, and attention, four critical areas of the brain related to successful learning, in its first algebra-readiness offering.

PAIRIN:  The PAIRIN Readiness Management System™ provides a baseline measurement that integrates soft skills and hard data to match students to optimal programs, careers and jobs and offers comprehensive resources to help students further develop those soft skills through coaching.

Submissions were solicited from start-up companies providing innovative approaches to challenges across the K-12 curriculum, administrative operations, and communication channels. Reviewers included educators from NSBA’s “20 to Watch,” a recognition program that honors emerging education technology leaders.

“The showcase serves as a reminder for school leaders to question previous practices, explore new offerings and keep an eye on future developments as technology capabilities enable educators to approach old challenges with new tools,” said Ann Flynn, NSBA’s Director of Education Innovation.

The 2018 class will be featured in an exclusive area of the exhibition and participate in a Tech Innovation Showcase panel during the National School Boards Association Annual Conferencein San Antonio, April 7-9, 2018. Later this summer, they will be featured in NSBA’s magazine for school leaders, American School Board Journal, and participate in a Technology Leadership Network (TLN) webinar hosted by NSBA’s National Connection program.

Today’s TLN addresses cybersecurity for school board members and highlights innovation at district site visits and through its annual recognition programs including the Digital District Survey and “20 to Watch.”

# # #

The National School Boards Association is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA believes education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential. The association represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. www.nsba.org

California Superintendents Tech for Schools Summit

Education Framework Inc. will be participating in the 2016 EdSurge California Superintendents Tech for Schools Summit
 
WHEN: Tuesday, July 26, 2016
7:30 am – 3:15 pm

WHERE: Computer History Museum
1401 N Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043

The California Superintendents Summit is a state-wide event for senior education and IT administrators providing an inside track on emerging tech and trends. 

The focus of this particular event is on student data privacy (SOPIPA) and the Equity of Access with the new Williams Act Compliance, going digital and leaving no one behind, piloting products in schools and creating change around edtech.

Education Framework plans to share their student data privacy and parental consent solution, EdProtect, with interested attendees and discuss techniques that school and district leaders can use to simplify the student data privacy management process; saving time, money and increasing the safety and privacy of student data.

Interested in attending? Register here > (It's free for educators!) 

Bonus: There is also a welcome reception at Google the night before. 

WHERE: Google 
1345 Shorebird Way
Mountain View, CA 94043

WHEN: Monday, July 25, 2016
6:00 pm 

Hope to see you there!

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.  

Secret to Student Privacy

In previous posts, I’ve shared tips to help you better understand the rules and laws governing student privacy. I’ve provided resources to guide and assist you in navigating the student privacy quagmire, and I’ve offered recommendations to help you proactively manage your student privacy obligations with transparency and accountability. Today I address the importance of educator buy-in; a key component to consider when creating, designing and implementing a successful student privacy program in your school or district.

Managing student privacy is no simple task. Implementing a successful student privacy initiative takes a lot of work. It involves considerable amounts of time, commitment, and resources - three things most schools and districts are already running short of. But despite any perceived limitations, it is vital that educators understand the importance of student privacy and make concerted efforts to ensure student information is safe, secure and protected.

Investing in protecting student privacy is a worthwhile endeavor.

It is important to give student privacy the attention that it rightfully deserves. This starts with fostering the belief that protecting student privacy is, indeed, a valid, pressing and necessary cause, worthy of our time and consideration. It involves cultivating a mindset where everyone understands that protecting student data is no single person or department’s responsibility – instead, it is everyone’s responsibility. It requires establishing clearly defined roles, and thoughtfully laid out plans that incorporate transparency and accountability measures into your everyday thinking. And it demands putting teachers on the front lines as the guardians of student information, while providing them with the support, training and tools they need to learn, grow and excel. Because without teacher understanding, support and essential buy-in, there is little likelihood of success.

Teacher empowerment is crucial to success.

Teachers play a critical role in implementing successful student privacy initiatives, no ifs, ands or buts about it. Teachers are the first touch point for parents and students. They are the ones with the greatest understanding of what’s really going on in the classroom; their fingers directly on the pulse of learning. They know which apps and websites are being used, who is using them, and how they are being used. They see first-hand who they help and who they hinder. And they understand, be it good, bad or ugly, the value that each piece of technology brings to the table. They are the ones with the knowledge. Yet, despite the value that teachers offer, they are often left out of the planning conversation. 

It's ironic that many decisions affecting technology usage in schools are often made outside of the classroom, at the administrative level, and absent of teacher input. But just as IT directors, school and district administrators, state and local policymakers, and even parents have a uniquely qualified perspective when it comes to protecting student privacy, teachers do too. Theirs, in particular, should be of legitimate concern, with administrators and policymakers giving weighty consideration to their point-of-view. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. This discouraging disconnect is a weakness that jeopardizes privacy efforts in schools and districts across the nation.

Protecting student privacy is everyone’s responsibility.

It is time that we start looking at the big picture when it comes data use in our schools. We can no longer presume that someone else is taking responsibility for protecting student data, because more often than not, they're not. The sooner we all acknowledge that, the better we will be.

It’s important that everybody with a stake in education – students, parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers, come together to ensure concrete efforts are in place to protect student privacy. This means properly vetting apps and websites before they are approved for usage in the classroom. It means thoroughly reading privacy policies, understanding what information is being collected from students, and knowing exactly how the data is being used. It also means staying current with local, state and federal laws and regulations, and establishing clearly defined objectives that outline what is acceptable in your state, school or district, and what is not. Communicating this information clearly is key to minimizing confusion.

It’s also important that schools and districts engage participants from the onset by providing clearly defined plans and procedures. This fosters unequivocal understanding of the vision from the start, and minimizes any confusion or misinterpretation throughout its application. Providing regular communication, like posting real-time updates via an easy-to-access school or district website engages parents, teachers and administrators in the privacy conversation and ensures privacy efforts are being addressed at each and every level. Through the creation of easy-to-read guidelines and clearly defined protocols, schools and districts empower their thought leaders to share in the privacy responsibility.

The importance of educator buy-in

A successful student data privacy initiative is built upon a foundation of trust and communication, with integrity, transparency and accountability at its core. It requires dedicated time, energy and resources to thrive and succeed. But in order to function properly, it also needs educator advocacy. 

Giving teachers a say in this matter goes a long way towards making inroads to change. It helps them be a part of the solution, instead of a source of the problem. But in order to do this effectively, teachers need the necessary tools to help them learn, improve and prosper; ones that allow them to make thoughtful, calculated decisions based on empirical data. It’s really that simple.

The secret to properly protecting student privacy is putting teachers in the driver’s seat. This ensures that privacy is being considered from the boardroom to the classroom, with the student at the center of the discussion. It's time for schools and districts to reevaluate the role that teachers play in safeguarding student data and empower them to be the gatekeepers.  The sooner this occurs, the better off we will be. 

Do you agree? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I encourage you to post your comments below.

2016: The Year of Student Privacy


If we had to use one word to sum up the current state of student privacy, we would have to go with “complexity.” Technology has become more and more entwined in our schools and into students’ lives; pilot programs like iPads will soon become standard at every school and grade level. Elementary school children who used to learn the Three Rs are now learning things like programming, robotics and engineering. Rote memorization has been replaced with gamified learning. And what would be early-adopter technology for this year’s kindergartner, like wearable tech and virtual reality, may be a standard educational tool by time she becomes a sixth grader.

While technology will always move faster than legislation, all levels of government are feverously working to spell out the rules for how we treat student data. As with any legislation, there are many different interest groups with different ideologies and priorities. A simple question like “Who is responsible for student data?” will be answered very differently by state legislators, local school boards, teachers, parents and technology companies; each wants control while shielding themselves from any liability.

And liability is a reality. Right now your student data is at risk with grave consequences. We live in an age where Fortune 500 companies are routinely hacked, exposing the sensitive data of millions of customers for all to see and steal with the click of a mouse. If all the resources of companies like Target, Sony and Home Depot can’t protect their data, what hope does the average overworked, underfunded school district IT department have? Not only do they need to protect from outside threats (or mischievous students); they need to protect the data from their software vendors who may want to collect it for marketing purposes. Short of reading hundreds of ever-changing Terms of Services for every app and software your district uses, you have no idea how your vendors use the data they collect, where they store it, when they delete it, who has final control over it or perhaps even how to access it. 

Because of all this complexity, we believe this is the year student data becomes one of the most important issues facing a school district. The choices schools, legislators and technology companies make over the next 12 months may end up being the foundation for what is considered standard in student privacy.

We created EdProtect to give schools the choice of the highest level of student data privacy possible. Because we’re not just developers; we’re parents. We’re as excited by all the new technology in schools as anyone, and wholeheartedly believe in the power of technology to help our kids learn. But we’re also increasingly concerned about the security of student data. And we’re not alone: 87% of parents surveyed are worried their child’s information can be stolen, with 85% responding that their willingness to support technology in schools must be coupled with efforts to ensure security.

Whether you are ready or not, this is the year your school needs 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.

Student Privacy 101: The low down on the laws of the land


Long gone are the days when protecting student information meant locking a filing cabinet. Today, with students using hundreds of different apps over the course of their education, software providers obscuring how they use data in complicated Terms of Service contracts, and an ever-shifting legal landscape, it can be extremely difficult for administrators, teachers and parents to know exactly what they need to do to protect their student data.

Over the next few posts we’ll be exploring the different factors affecting the world of student data. Our goal is to demystify the subject of student data privacy and help bring you up to speed so you can address this serious topic in your school district.

Today we’re starting by taking a current snapshot of the legal landscape. Federal laws like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) work to ensure student data is only used for authorized purposes; protects that data from further disclosure or other uses, like marketing or being resold to others; and mandates that it is destroyed when no longer needed for the authorized purpose.

While these laws lay a foundation for educators and online operators to follow, they don't necessarily cover all aspects of data collection and deletion. For this reason, many states are now creating their own, more specific student data privacy laws to define what is and what isn't acceptable when it comes to the collection of student information in their respective states. 

Over the past two years, nearly every state has introduced its own legislation addressing student data privacy. In 2014, California passed the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA), the first of its kind, which has since been used as the model for much of the legislation being introduced by other states.

Many of these are focused on creating greater transparency and accountability for educational data, clarifying the data and privacy activities of third-party service providers, and giving parents the ability to have a say in the management of their children's privacy. They generally fall into two types of approaches: prohibitive rules that seek to limit or halt certain types of collection or uses; or governance rules that seek to establish procedures, roles and responsibilities. In addition, numerous bills have established fines and penalties for data misuse and breaches to ensure accountability.

However, for everyone with a stake in education - teachers, parents, school & district leaders, and state & federal policymakers - the new challenge is knowing what all this actually means and understanding how to properly implement an effective plan to manage student privacy. Thankfully, there are resources available to help. 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is a terrific resource for understanding your legal requirements and what steps you need to take to establish compliance. The Privacy Toolkit in particular provides a useful centralized depository of materials to guide schools and districts looking to improve the security and privacy of their student data. 

In addition, groups like the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) seek to create change from the industry side by encouraging members to sign the Student Privacy Pledge, committing to use student data in a responsible way. The pledge is intended to hold school service providers accountable and encourage effective communication with parents, teachers and education officials about how student information is used and safeguarded. 

Tools like EdProtect take it one step further and actually manage the process for you. Designed to protect students from data abuse, it ensures that schools and districts are in complete compliance with various federal and state regulations, engages parents in the privacy conversation, and lessens the risk of costly fines and penalties associated with the mismanagement of student information. Resources like this are crucial for helping administrators, IT staff and teachers proactively manage their student privacy obligations with transparency and accountability.

To learn how EdProtect makes your job easier, sign up for a free demonstration today.

Student Privacy Pledge Reaches New Milestone

Introduced by The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and The Software & Information Industry Assocation (SIIA), the Student Privacy Pledgedesigned to safeguard student privacy regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information, has reached a new milestone - over 200 signatories. 

Endorsed by President Obama, the National PTA, and the National School Boards Association, the Pledge is a list of commitments school service providers have made to affirm K-12 student data is maintained in a secure, private and responsible framework.  

The Student Privacy Pledge will hold school service providers accountable to:
  • Not sell student information
  • Not behaviorally target advertising
  • Use data for authorized education purposes only
  • Not change privacy policies without notice and choice
  • Enforce strict limits on data retention
  • Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children's information
  • Profide comprehensive security standards
  • Be transparent about collection and use of data
It further states the critical importance of effectively communicating with parents, teachers and education officials about how student information is used and safeguarded. 

We, at Education Framework, signed the Student Privacy Pledge just after it was initally introduced in October 2014. We appreciate the efforts of both FPF and SIIA for bringing attention to a critical and time-sensitive issue, and encourage all school service providers to take the necessary steps to ensure student data is safe. We are especially thankful to all our fellow signatories for making the ethical & cognitive decision to proactively protect student data. 

For more information on how to support the Pledge, please visit: www.studentprivacypledge.org.


Flood of State Student Privacy Laws Complicate Game Development

Good read from the developers perspective...via gamesandlearning.org |  - Nov 12, 2015


Smaller edtech companies and developers not up to date on their state’s student privacy policies probably have a lot of catching up to do.

Since the Federal Trade Commission updated a law prohibiting the collection of children’s personal information at the end of 2012, legislatures in nearly every state have released a wave of new legislation meant to ease anxieties over the unwanted release of student data, especially for marketing purposes.

For now, an edtech company that tracks student data for any reason has to stay nimble while complying with varying state laws, and tread carefully with their client’s information.

Even without a lawyer, developers are trying to stay current. “The main overhead we see from all of the various laws is that someone has to pay attention to them,” said Brent Milne, vice president of research and co-founder of Woot Math, makers of personalized algebra games.

“Having to engage, individually, with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of districts on data handling and many other topics can be extremely challenging for smaller teams,” Milne said, “but that is really one of the fundamental challenges of the education market: the fragmentation of the market and the heterogeneous requirements, all with federal, state, and district level concerns.”

This fragmented challenge applies across the board, according to Milne, not just to privacy requirements. It’s one reason why the market is “favorable to a few large publishers and very challenging to smaller developers.”

What’s still unclear is the role marketing has to play within educational apps. Most edtech companies steer clear of any association between student data and marketing. However, at least one commercial group, the Software and Information Industry Association, is trying to create a law that would allow some use of data — the Safe Kids Act authored by U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Steve Daines (R-MT).

The bill was met by mixed reaction from those who want to ensure there is no data generated by apps in school that can be used for commercial purposes.

“The bill does not go far enough in protecting children from potentially harmful commercial influences. Websites, apps, and software assigned to students by their schools should be free of all advertising, regardless of whether the ads are contextual or based on data-mining students during each one of their internet sessions,” said Josh Golin, Executive Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “Schools should not be allowed to sell or offer up their students’ data, time and attention to marketers for any reason.”

Despite the debate over the federal initiative, app industry supporters caution that the lack of a single national privacy standard is becoming a major impediment to building news educational tools.

“Companies and developers need clear definitions about what type of marketing is OK and what isn’t OK.” said Sara Kloek, director of policy initiatives for ACT | The App Association, who helped found ACT’s privacy site, Know What’s Inside, which has more than 400 participating companies.

“With dozens of student privacy bills introduced across the country," she said "app developers should continue to be transparent about their data and marketing practices so teachers, parents, and students are not surprised by what’s inside the apps.

Read full article here >