The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) has explored and compiled a variety of timely security and privacy resources via the Future of Privacy Forum. ILTPP recognizes the need for better education on privacy concerns raised throughout this global state of affairs. The information listed below includes public guidance linked for the benefit of both educators and parents.
The Security and Privacy Risks Associated with Videoconferencing
During this time, relying on videoconferencing to communicate with other educational staff and your students is essential. Whether it be Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams, teachers are striving to foster active participation and engagement across the classroom while maintaining continued learning.
Videoconferencing places schools and districts in a vulnerable position with hackers making targeted cyber threats and exploiting security weaknesses. This risks students’ medical, academic, and personal records. Learn more about how to battle this ongoing threat.
Why Should Classroom Teachers Care About Student Data Privacy?
Student data consists of attendance, grades, health records, and even personal records. Access to this data has expanded from just the administrator and educator to technology vendors providing services and products to the school or district. Concerns are floating around ensuring these companies are housing the data safely and restricting their use of the data.
To protect their students, teachers need to be made aware of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to guarantee these technologies used in classrooms are being utilized in ways that follow both state and school policies. These devices include computers, mobile devices, software, apps, websites, and programs. Learn more about vetting and understanding the use of these tools with The Educator’s Guide to Student Data Privacy.
Best Practices of Using Social Media for Online Learning
Using social media for online learning can assist with remote learning in a lot of positive ways. However, schools should create policies regarding whether their educators may use it for remote learning. Requiring parents to be notified about information posted on these platforms and the evaluation process of their children is essential. FERPA protects students’ rights to personal and academic data, which should be taken into deep consideration when utilizing a platform created for a public, general audience. Learn more about gaining parental consent and if social media is the right route for your remote learning strategies.
Student Privacy 101 Video Series
The “Student Privacy 101” video series includes:
- An introductory video that previews the challenges and opportunities around collecting and safeguarding student data in the digital age.
- A short video on legal compliance, providing concise information about the requirements and role of the FERPA.
- A brief overview of the most common privacy risks and how to avoid them.
- A discussion on transparency, including advice on collecting community feedback, and engaging and informing parents about a school’s data collection practices.