5 ways our district streamlines edtech ecosystems

Student data privacy has been at the forefront of district leaders’ minds well before the pandemic. However, since COVID-19 shifted schools and classrooms online, it’s not surprising that tech usage has reached an all-time high. Districts are accessing 1,400 edtech tools per month on average, and cybersecurity attacks in our nation’s schools are also increasing.

As an Education Technology Specialist at one of Colorado’s fastest-growing districts, District 49, I was tasked 5 years ago with the responsibility to ensure our district complied with federal and student data privacy laws. Both state and federal laws require vendors and school districts to facilitate safe online learning experiences. However, when the pandemic hit, our district was forced to rethink our approach beyond compliance to further vet our edtech tools and make protecting student data privacy a regular practice of our edtech ecosystem.

For the process to work, I knew we would have to work collaboratively, across departments and buildings, to confirm that our teachers and students were using digital tools that delivered value without exposing student data to risk.…Read More

How to maintain secure access and data privacy

Cybersecurity is a priority concern for most people accessing the internet. Unfortunately, students aren’t thinking about cyberattacks when they access sites for curriculum, research, and entertainment from their 1:1 devices–devices that are now so prevalent since the pandemic.

Schools’ exposure to cyberattacks has also greatly increased due to expanded remote and hyperflex learning.

Join eSchool News and a panel of experts to learn the latest strategies and tools schools are using to help keep student data safe and ensure students’ digital access is secure.…Read More

4 ways to improve your district’s data privacy

With K-12 school districts using cloud collaboration platforms more than ever before, the approach to data privacy in schools is looking a lot different than what administrators are used to.

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 are keeping students and staff connected. These apps have forever impacted the way education is delivered in school.

School districts suffer from data leaks—when a student or staff member shares data outside of the school district’s domain. At the same time, school districts have become one of the most targeted organizations for cyberattacks. Regardless of whether these incidents are malicious or inadvertent, they should not be happening in the first place.…Read More

3 ways to strengthen your student data privacy compliance strategy

Cyberattacks and data breaches are infiltrating K-12 communities. To proactively thwart these attempts to steal student data, states such as New York are passing legislation that requires school districts to adhere to stipulated student data privacy compliance regulations.

With so much on their plates already, creating, implementing, and monitoring an effective data privacy compliance strategy is a time-consuming and stress-filled task for most school district leaders.

As the Director of Instructional Technology at a New York school district, I have been leading our data compliance efforts, and I very much understand the significant challenges schools are facing. To help other districts navigate this unpredictable landscape, I have put together the following recommendations:…Read More

Promethean Announces iKeepSafe Student Data Privacy Certification in the U.S. for ClassFlow Software

 Promethean®, a leading global education technology company, today at TCEA 2021 announced its ClassFlow platform had received iKeepSafe certification renewal. The certifications for FERPA, COPPA, and California (Student Privacy – CSPC) mean that ClassFlow has been assessed by iKeepSafe and meets iKeepSafe’s rigorous standards. iKeepSafe assesses and certifies for compliance with U.S. federal and state privacy laws, helping to eliminate privacy concerns during remote, hybrid, or in-person teaching.

Promethean’s ClassFlow enhances remote learning as a cloud-based lesson delivery service with advanced collaboration tools for student engagement. ClassFlow keeps remote, hybrid, and in-person students interested in interactive lessons, activities, quizzes, and thousands of immersive resources, lessons, and activities from educators worldwide. It also helps teachers deliver dynamic lessons to students’ devices and brings interactive classroom displays to life for effective hybrid learning. As ClassFlow is cloud-based, it can be accessed anytime and anywhere.

iKeepSafe privacy certifications ensure that edtech products are compliant and demonstrate responsible privacy, safety, and security practices. ClassFlow received the following certifications:…Read More

Research Shows the Need for More Support to Protect Privacy and Advance Digital Equity

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) today released a new report — with accompanying survey findings — that reflect the urgent need to provide improved student privacy support to teachers, parents, and students. Almost half of teachers report they have received no substantive training on data privacy, and only four in 10 parents say their schools discussed their data protection practices. Despite that, parents and teachers report favorable opinions of the continued use of education technology even after the pandemic ends.

The report, titled “Protecting Students’ Privacy and Advancing Digital Equity,” is based on significant data collection and outlines steps education leaders and policymakers should take. These include prioritizing privacy-focused teacher training and proactively communicating with parents about how schools are protecting their children’s data. Additionally, leaders can reduce inequity through closing the digital divide while protecting privacy, and scale up the good practices of special educators, a standout from their peers, to protect all students. The recommendations were shaped by surveys and focus groups commissioned by CDT. View the findings here.

“It can be easy to overlook hard-to-see issues like digital safety and student privacy during a time of crisis like COVID-19,” said CDT CEO Alexandra Givens. “But as our research shows, safety and privacy are vital concerns, and the vast majority of teachers and parents support more online learning even after the pandemic. It’s critical that policymakers, schools, teachers, and parents work together to protect students.”…Read More

One district’s approach to student data privacy

Every school district is faced with a choice about how to protect student data. As districts have implemented more technology to support digital learning, student data privacy in schools has become a critical issue.

It can be a huge undertaking to vet and manage the privacy policies of all of the online resources used in a district. Even with good intentions, most districts do not have adequate protection and are vulnerable to a data breach. These breaches are becoming more common as districts struggle to keep up with technology.

Related content: 5 ways IT directors handle student data privacy…Read More

Encrypt Email and Attachments

Today, and in the coming days, data privacy will become even more important as the need to collaborate and share data securely increases. For many, data protection is not a choice, it is a legal and operational requirement.

To better support organizations hit especially hard by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Virtru is offering the following through June 30, 2020:

  • K-12 Education institutions and organizations supporting the defense and intelligence mission may receive unlimited complimentary licenses.
  • Any Healthcare, State and Local Government, or Nonprofit organization may take advantage of up to five complimentary licenses.

For more information visit https://www.virtru.com/covid-19/…Read More

How one district handles student data privacy

Every school district is faced with a choice about how to protect student data. As districts have implemented more technology to support digital learning, student data privacy in schools has become a critical issue.

It can be a huge undertaking to vet and manage the privacy policies of all of the online resources used in a district. Even with good intentions, most districts do not have adequate protection and are vulnerable to a data breach. These breaches are becoming more common as districts struggle to keep up with technology.

Related content: 5 ways IT directors handle student data privacy…Read More