News

When data, privacy, and communication converge, schools are caught in the middle

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
March 12th, 2015

Ed-tech stakeholders debate data privacy standards during SXSWedu

data-privacyStudent data holds enormous potential to inform instruction and help students take ownership of their learning, but privacy and security concerns often impede progress when it comes to using data—and developing a common set of practices and standards might help.

During a discussion at SXSWedu, panelists addressed the numerous ways in which data can be applied to teaching and learning, and they identified areas in which parents, educators, school leaders, and policymakers must work together to use valuable data while keeping sensitive information private and secure.

The idea of using educational data has become more important and high-profile in recent years, but privacy concerns have somewhat stalled the process.

States have made great strides, with planning, initiatives, and laws underway, but the education industry still is not optimally organized and often operates under outdated laws, said panel moderator Kathy Hurley, co-founder of Girls Thinking Global.

Next page: How common standards might help spur progress