Education Framework Blog

Focused on the Future of Education in America

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

###

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 as an Edtech Awards Cool Tool Finalist in Security/Privacy

We are proud to announce that EdPrivacy by Education Framework has been selected as a 2018 Edtech Awards Cool Tool Finalist in Security/Privacy.


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


“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.


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 today 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

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 >>

5 Great Questions to Ask to Help Protect Student Data Privacy

Technology has changed the way we teach, it has changed the way we communicate and it will continue to change the way we learn and grow.

But so has privacy.

No longer can we assume our children’s data is protected. We have to actually work to protect it. 

Protecting student data requires committing time, energy and resources towards the effort. It is an on-going and ever-evolving process that when applied correctly, provides real actionable insights.

Educators must remain vigilant in ensuring data privacy is protected, one app and website at a time. The sooner we acknowledge this, and act accordingly, the better off we will be.

The Digitalization of Education

The amount of online learning technologies available to students today is utterly astounding. Just look at iTunes, and you will see that they have literally tens of thousands of educational apps and websites available for immediate download.

Many of these technologies have true potential to make a difference and improve student outcomes. While others, if left unchecked, can pose real-life threats to students and schools.

It is now the responsibility of school and district leaders to determine which apps and websites are appropriate and safe for use in the classroom. But many are finding this to be quite a difficult task.

School and district leaders are adopting new learning technologies at breakneck speeds, and as a result, many are coming to the realization that not all apps and websites are created equal.

Thankfully, there are laws in place to help govern this process. However, the lack of accountability and enforcement is problematic. This kink in the system leaves many doors open to misuse and abuse, exposing students and schools to unnecessary risk.

This is a hard truth. And it needs to change.

Protecting student privacy is an on-going and ever-evolving process that demands time, attention and resources.

In order to protect student data, school leaders must proactively commit to protecting it.

It means reading through endless privacy policies, conducting privacy assessments for each and every online technology used in the classroom, and continuously monitoring those policies for changes.

It requires patience, and persistence, and time.

While this is becoming the new norm for educators and administrators, it is also a responsibility that many school and district leaders are struggling to get a handle on. Many are at a loss of where to even begin.

Protecting student privacy begins with knowledge and understanding.

Protecting student data starts with knowing what technologies are being used by students, understanding how each of the technologies are using the data, and acknowledging that you have control over which technologies make it into the hands of students.

No longer are we living in a time that it’s okay to blindly introduce new learning technologies into the classroom without first determining if they are safe to use. This means ensuring the data is secure and private for the life of its existence. So before an app or website should be approved, it needs to be thoroughly assessed.

Assessing online technologies takes a considerable amount of time and energy. However, when done correctly, assessments provide a wealth of knowledge and understanding about how the technology is being used.  

Knowledge is power. The more you get behind the data and understand what its intended use is, the better off you will be.

Protecting student privacy involves knowing what is going on with the data. 

Protecting student data starts with understanding the process, knowing what is expected of you, and asking the right questions. It also involves deciphering the data. 

Adopting new technologies typically begins with researching new apps and websites, determining their value, negotiating a deal, and ultimately signing a contract; creating a mutual legal agreement between buyer and seller laying out, in very specific terms, what is expected from both parties in black and white.

Good policies clearly define what is appropriate, and what is not when it comes to handling student information. And they include sound provisions to ensure student data is protected.

Privacy policies typically tell a story about the data. They contain nuggets of information that, when properly extracted and pieced together, reveal what is really going on with the data; how it is being used, by whom, for what purposes and for how long.

But getting to that information, making sense of it, and knowing how to keep track of it, is often far easier said than done. 

Assessing online technologies and reading through endless privacy policies is the kind of work that takes time, requires dedication and demands on-going attention. But when applied correctly, privacy assessments provide answers that help define what is really going on with the data.

Not sure of where to begin?

Start by taking stock of the learning technologies being used in your school, or district today. Determine which technologies are safe for use and which ones are not. Eliminate those that are risky or no longer needed. Monitor and repeat.

  • Conduct a technology audit.
  • Remove any technologies that are no longer in use, and eliminate any apps and website that might potentially pose threat or harm to students.
  • Monitor privacy policies for changes.
  • Repeat.

      Protecting student data privacy starts with asking the right questions.

When conducting privacy assessments, it is important to consider the following criteria: data privacy, data deletion, data security, data integrity, and data retention.

It also helps to  ask the right questions. 

Below, I have briefly outlined the 5 criteria that make up a privacy assessment. I have also included some great questions to ask when assessing online technologies for your school or district.

(While it's worth noting that these questions only represent a small sample of what really needs to be asked, they provide general guidance as to what you should be looking for.)


5 great questions to ask when assessing online technologies in school: 

1.       Data Privacy: The ability to keep track of data and understand what happens to it during its lifespan.

Ø  Example of a Data Privacy Question:


o   “What information is collected from students and for what purposes will it be used?”


2.       Data Deletion: The ability to remove data upon request.

                Ø  Example of a Data Deletion Question:

o   “Can parents review &/or delete the personal information collected from their children?”


3.       Data Security: The ability to protect the data from unwanted or unauthorized users.

Ø  Example of a Data Security Question:

o   “Are security policies and procedures in place to protect against risk? When student data is transferred, is it encrypted?”


4.       Data Integrity: The ability to maintain the accuracy & consistency of data over its entire life-cycle.

Ø  Example of a Data Integrity Question:

o   “Is student data backed up on a regular schedule?”


5.       Data Retention: The ability to understand that the data is only to be used for its intended educational purposes and should be otherwise disposed of when no longer needed. 

Ø  Example of a Data Retention Question:

o   “Will the data collected only be retained for as long as it serves an educational purpose?”


Protecting student privacy begins with knowing what is expected of you.

Designating someone to be responsible for reviewing privacy policies, conducting privacy assessments and monitoring policies for changes will help any school or district get ahead. 

In closing, I’ll leave you with some best practice recommendations for protecting student data privacy from The US Department of Education:

  •  When negotiating technology contracts, it’s important to pay close attention to the fine print.
  •  Make sure the agreement explicitly describes how the provider may use and share student data.
  •  Maintain awareness of other relevant federal, state, tribal, or local laws.
  •  Be aware of which online educational services are currently being used in your district.
  •  Have policies and procedures to evaluate and approve proposed online educational services.
  •  When possible, use a written contract or legal agreement.
  •  Know that extra steps are necessary when accepting Click-Wrap licenses for consumer apps.
  •  Be transparent with parents and students.
  •  Consider that parental consent may be appropriate.

Source: http://ptac.ed.gov/  

Privacy Assessments Suck (...But They Don't Have To!)



If the title resonates with you, then it is likely that you have a role in ensuring the privacy and security of online technologies in the classroom. I’m also guessing that it’s a task that you secretly loathe.

Its okay, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. Privacy assessments suck. They do. They really do.

They are long, painstaking and seemingly never ending. But they are necessary. 

And despite their ability to nearly bore us to tears, privacy assessments play an important and integral role in protecting student data. They hold the answers to the questions that we seek deep within their folds. 

It’s getting to that information that is the true challenge.

Privacy Assessments Take Time  

The process of assessing online technologies is not difficult, but it’s also not particularly easy. 

More than anything, it’s time-consuming. 

Conducting a thorough assessment of a single app or website can take upwards of 30 minutes or more. Multiply that by the hundreds or thousands of apps a school or district uses, and you have an unrealistically difficult and labor-intensive mission before you.

The current go-to method involves spending countless hours reading through privacy policies (end user license agreements, terms of service contracts, etc.) to determine whether they fit the safety and privacy standards of a state, school or district. 

Efforts like these demand time, time and more time. And that is one thing that educators and administrators are already running short of.

But the work doesn’t stop here. The assessment is only the beginning.

Privacy Assessments Require Ongoing Maintenance 

Once apps and websites have been approved for usage in the classroom, they need to be added to a school or district-wide approved usage list. Then, they must be continuously managed, monitored, and maintained to make sure nothing has changed since the original agreement. 

This task, alone, takes a considerable amount of time and resources. But  it is a particularly important step in the process because app and website providers have the right to change their terms of service at a moment’s notice. Not understanding and/or recognizing this could potentially put students and schools at risk.

Thorough privacy assessments tell us exactly what we need to know. They create a visual map of what is happening with the data. They hold the keys to the answers we seek regarding data collection, data integrity, data retention and data deletion. 

Privacy Assessments Bring Value

Love them or hate them, privacy assessments bring real value to schools and districts. When applied correctly, they provide clarity and understanding. 

Assessments are helpful in creating a big picture view of what’s really going on in the classroom. They provide insight and knowledge, and bring transparency to the decision-making process. This, in turn, is extremely useful in making school and district curriculum improvements.

Keeping data safe, secure and protected involves keeping a close eye on it – from the moment it is created, through its’ entire life cycle, until it is no longer needed and ultimately disposed. Knowing and understanding what is happening with the data is is your best bet at regulating and controlling it. 

Determining how to do this, especially when dealing with multiple vendors for varying lengths of time is another challenge that educators and administrators are having to address. 

So if privacy assessments are so important, how can we minimize the pain of conducting them?

Answer: the right tools.

Privacy Assessment Management Tools Help

The shift in technology usage in schools has prompted a change in the way schools operate. No longer is it just about finding the latest and greatest learning tools for use in the classroom, but understanding whether they are safe for use by students. 

But the process to determine this is neither simple nor efficient. 

That's why we exist. 

At Education Framework, we specialize in helping educators and administrators better manage their student privacy obligations. We develop solutions that provide insight, understanding and actionable data that, in turn, lead to safer technology purchasing decisions.

And best of all, we do the privacy assessments for you! Each and every one of them. So instead of focusing your time on reading endless terms of service agreements, you can shift your attention to improving the quality and safety of the online technologies used in your school or district. 

With our tools, you can conduct assessments in a fraction of the time, understand the safety and privacy of apps and websites, monitor policies for changes, share analytics with other education leaders on your team, and most importantly, make school and district-wide improvements based upon the information you have at the ready. 

Our Privacy Quality Scoring System helps educators and administrators know, at-a-glance, the safety and privacy of apps and websites, and then dig deeper to fully understand the reasoning behind the scores they were given. Our Policy Change Monitor lets you know if and when a privacy policy has changed, so you can act accordingly and ensure student data privacy is protected at all times. 

Tools like these are extremely helpful in proactively protecting student data. Designed to simplify and streamline the process, they bring efficiency, transparency and accountability to the conversation. They also save countless hours and resources.

Conclusion

Privacy assessments play an extremely important role in protecting student data, but they demand time, commitment and dedicated resources. When approached correctly, they provide answers that help educators and administrators make safer technology decisions. 

Those education leaders that take the time and conduct thorough privacy assessments have a greater, more comprehensive understanding of the health and safety of the online technologies used in their school, and are better positioned to make informed decisions about technology usage in the classroom.

Utilizing the right tools also helps... and will certainly make the process a whole lot easier, saving you both time and money!

So if you're looking to save yourself the hassle and eliminate the suck that goes with conducting endless privacy assessments, contact us...we're here to help!

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!

What Is Student Data Privacy?


School and district leaders know they need to protect student data, but effectively adopting and implementing a student privacy plan that includes parent, educator, administrator and policymaker input and approval, is a lot easier said than done. Efforts like this require dedicated time, commitment, clearly defined roles, a concrete understanding of what student data privacy actually is, and if you're lucky, tools to help you get the job done right.


While there are a myriad of checklists, to-dos and best practice recommendations available to help educators and administrators up their game, there is still much uncertainty surrounding this issue. But it's no surprise considering that there is, ironically, no set definition for student data privacy. And despite it being a relatively self-explanatory term, it is still complex and more-often-than-not, fraught with confusion. 


To put it simply, student data privacy is the idea of safely, securely and privately introducing online technologies into the classroom - in the form of apps, websites, surveys, assessments, etc. - without risk of compromising personally identifiable student information (PII). But it also so much more than that. 


Student data is protected under federal law (COPPA, FERPA, PPRA) and requires thorough knowledge and understanding of data collection, data use, data retention, data deletion and data integrity for all online technologies used in a school or district. It means reading endless privacy policies to know precisely who has access to student data, for what purposes and for how long. And it demands ongoing maintenance and monitoring to ensure there haven’t been any changes to the privacy policies that could compromise PII.   

Knowledge is Power

Protecting student data privacy starts with knowing precisely what technologies are being used in the classroom. Conducting a comprehensive audit of the technologies currently in use is a necessary first step towards establishing a baseline understanding and gaining a big picture view of the technology usage in a school or district.

Once there is an understanding of what technology is being used in the classroom, the next step is to conduct a thorough privacy assessment for each and every online technology to ensure student data privacy is indeed private and protected. 

For many, this step can be quite daunting, especially when considering the sheer volume of online technologies available to schools today. But with the right tools, this process can be relatively straight-forward, simple and streamlined.

Education Framework Inc. tackles student data privacy with the goal of protecting student PII while providing a great resource for industry leaders to connect with parents and their communities.

The Rise of Student Data Privacy 

Student data privacy has been a rapidly growing administrative pain point over the past few years. The massive push for 1:1 and other digital learning initiatives are major factors in this, but the equally explosive growth of new learning technologies created by third party vendors has changed the way we view student privacy. No longer can we assume that student privacy is safe, secure and protected, especially when it can be accessed by so many different entities, at different capacities, for different periods of time. Because of this, it is imperative that education leaders establish user controls that determine precisely who has access to what student data, for what purposes and for how long.


Besides the exponential growth of technology in schools, it's worth noting that there are a few contributing factors that have led to the rise of student data privacy as an immediate and necessary need, all of which are tied to the increased usage of digital media and online technologies:


1. Parents are technologically savvy. Parents are technology users themselves, so naturally they’re becoming better acquainted with security and privacy issues, especially when it comes to online technologies and services they use every day.

Many parents, especially those that are actively involved in their child’s online usage at home, want to know precisely what technologies they are using in school. More importantly, they need reassurance that they’re child’s privacy is being considered and respected.

Parents want a window into their child’s technology usage in school. Providing a way to communicate this information in a clear and concise manner helps connect the dots and bring parents into the loop, engaging them in the privacy conversation. This approach goes a long way towards building trust, as it conveys that their point-of-view is valued.

2. Technology forces transparency. One of the most unique ways the Internet has affected our society is the quick transmission of information. Education leaders have never been more powerful or in a better position to make informed decisions than they are today. 

With the right tools and approach, educators and administrators can discover safe learning technologies for students, measure growth, use actionable data to make classroom, school or district-wide improvements, and communicate with parents and communities in a way for all to understand. 

Student data privacy is about accurately and authentically conveying what technologies are being used so that stakeholders, community leaders, and parents can easily understand the health, safety and vitality of a school or districts' student privacy efforts. It is also about providing reassurance that students, schools and districts are safe from risk.

Transparency engages all interested parties and allows everyone to work together towards a greater good. Automated student privacy protection is one way for school and district leaders to adopt transparency measures and gain greater control of student privacy efforts, without heavily increasing the administrative workload. Utilizing tools that do much of the work for you - in an open and transparent way - are helpful in saving time and ensuring student privacy is, in fact, protected.

3. The right tools make things a whole lot easier. Knowledge is one of the most powerful benefits of the Internet age. Twenty-five years ago, when there was no Internet, student privacy was hardly a consideration. When technology usage started to go mainstream, particularly in schools across the country and around the globe, we simply couldn’t fathom where we’d be today. But with all this technological growth and opportunity has come an overwhelming need to increase privacy protections.

Educational development is no longer only about exploring and discovering the best learning solutions for students, but it’s also about finding technologies that are safe for use in the classroom. 

Automated solutions are the best way to capitalize on this theory, which is why Education Framework Inc. exists. We help position school and district leaders as experts in managing student data privacy by providing services that produce information at the ready. With over 1100 (and counting) online technologies assessed to date, we’re able to help educators, administrators and IT leaders make quick, yet safe and informed technology decisions for the classroom. All while minimizing the risk of exposing student information.

Food for Thought 

While there are plenty of factors that have led to student privacy’s rising value, these macro elements are the key reasons why protecting student data privacy is more relevant and important than ever before. 

Educators, administrators and IT leaders who establish themselves as pioneers in this space are positioning themselves to be helpful resources for their communities and models for other education leaders to follow. More importantly, those that take the necessary steps to ensure privacy is protected will be education leaders that parents will appreciate and trust.

Transparency and the Art of Protecting Student Privacy | SEEN Magazine

I have written a thought leadership piece for SEEN Magazine that discusses the importance of transparency in protecting student privacy. For sake of brevity, I have posted an edited version below that hits on the finer points.


School improvement efforts have driven data collection to new and alarming heights in recent years. Many argue that data is essential for improving students’ achievement in schools and preparing them for success in life, while others feel this holds true only if privacy, safety and security considerations are integrated from the start and implemented throughout.

Data, when collected and used correctly, brings value to schools and students; when amassed in a cloak of secrecy, without clear and discernible goals, screams trouble. Transparency plays an important role in protecting student privacy. For schools, focusing on areas of safety, security and trust are key to implementing effective student privacy initiatives.

Data Collection And Privacy

Schools today collect and use student data for various purposes. The general understanding is that data helps teachers and administrators make informed decisions based on empirical evidence. In a nutshell, data helps educators determine what is working and what is not.

Safeguarding student information starts with establishing clear lines of communication and employing transparency measures from the get-go. In order to eliminate confusion and foster greater support for the overall effort, it is vital that school and district leaders share what they are doing in a way that’s upfront, open and honest. Additionally, providing the proper services, support and training gives students, parents, and educators the tools, knowledge and skills they need to confidently handle this new responsibility.

Transparency And Accountability

Parental backlash is a real and pressing issue that educators are grappling with these days. Widespread concerns over the extensive amounts of data being collected in schools by private and public agencies have prompted many parents to speak out in opposition. While some are demanding to know what information is being collected from students, others are seeking a clearer understanding of the intent, its safety, and its security.

As parents press for greater transparency, and lawmakers push for greater accountability, school and district administrators, IT directors and school board members are finding themselves uncomfortably caught in the crosshairs. This is forcing education leaders across the nation to quickly and seriously reconsider their current approach to managing student privacy.

Safety and security

The conversation surrounding student privacy often comes down to safety. Parents need assurance that their children are safe while at school, both physically and virtually. They want a greater understanding of what is going on in the classroom, what digital tools are being used, what information is being collected from them, for what purposes and for how long.

Schools are no exception. Focus on physical protection of students has come to include digital security protection against cyber threats and intrusions. In response, schools and districts are reallocating resources to ensure adequate safety and security systems are in place.

Trust And Understanding

Trust plays a key role in managing student privacy because it is the proverbial glue that binds everyone and everything together. When supported by trust, successful privacy initiatives are engaging, empowering and effective.

Building trust starts with providing clearly defined goals and objectives that serve as a guide to understanding. In order to believe in the vision, participants need a comprehensive understanding of the big picture. Providing this offers a sense of ownership and some semblance of control.

Takeaways

Protecting student data is an ongoing and continual effort that demands attention, communication, collaboration, cooperation and understanding on broad and comprehensive levels. Taking precautionary steps in advance, openly communicating privacy plans and employing transparency and accountability measures from the start will help ensure privacy is protected and students are safe.