Education Framework Blog

Focused on the Future of Education in America

The Foundation of Protecting Student Privacy: Find a Way!

I recently came across a post by George Couros (@gcouros) that really struck a chord. 

It said:  "Somebody, somewhere, is doing the same thing you say you can't do. They are just finding a way."


This statement poignantly speaks the truth...especially when it comes to managing education technology and protecting student data privacy. 

It addresses the issue that times have changed and, so too, must our approach.

The associated article goes on to say that no longer is it acceptable to simply respond with: "This doesn't fit within our infrastructure." (a.k.a "no"), but, instead, to restructure the way that decisions are made for the organization by asking 4 simple questions:

1. What is best for the kids? 

2. How does this improve learning?

3. If we were to do ______________, what is the balance of risk vs. reward?

4. Is this serving the few or the majority?

Now let's consider these questions in terms of protecting student data privacy...

1. Does having a system in place to properly vet the apps and websites upfront help ensure that students, and their data, are safe, secure, private and protected? (i.e. Is this best for kids?) 

YES!

2. Does having the right technologies in the hands of students improve learning? 

YES!

3. If schools were to implement a procedure for protecting student data privacy, is there a balance of risk vs. reward?  

YES!

4. Does this sort of action affect the majority?  

YES!

When it comes to protecting student data privacy, it's important to seriously consider questions like these (among others) to determine whether the effort is worth the time and energy. 

And what is comes down to is that - yes! - investing in protecting student data privacy is a worthwhile effort, for the sake of the student and the school.  

And while this seems pretty logical and easy to understand, the reality is that many schools and districts are doing very little to, if nothing, to ensure student data privacy is protected. 

That's why I love this quote so much! It brilliantly addresses what it wrong with the system today. Some education leaders are willing to get to the source of the issue, while others, not-so-much.

The key point here is that in order to succeed, you must try, you must attempt, you must put one foot in front of the other. You must do something! 

And for every person that says it can't be done, someone, somewhere is doing it and proving that there is, in fact, a way. 

Find a way and making a difference!

(Beautifully, brilliantly said, George!)  

You can read his original post here >>