Colorado student data privacy bill on its way to becoming law

Joey Bunch, The Denver Post,  Thursday, May 5, 2016

The prohibition includes assembling a profile through algorithms that could make a student personally identifiable, while still allowing companies to get the information they need to develop software that benefits education. "We applaud the leaders that worked to bring together all sides and develop a data privacy policy that aims to protect our students while ensuring the valuable data necessary to advance policy is not stifled," Gov. John Hickenlooper said.

New Education Law Opens Door to Education Data

Lauren Camera. US News,  Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The new federal education law allows states and school districts to press the reset button on an array of education policies, and some advocates are urging policymakers and education officials to take advantage of the opportunity to effectively use student data to improve learning and teaching.

The Privacy Vs. Security Debate Is Alive and Well in Higher Ed

Aletha Noonan, EdTech,  Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hackers have it out for higher ed. In 2015, cybercriminals disabled networks or stole student data at some of the most established institutions in the country, attacking community colleges and Ivy League universities without discrimination. And already this year, major cybersecurity breaches have compromised the names, Social Security numbers and student ID numbers of thousands of higher ed students and staff.

Schools are helping police spy on kids’ social media activity

Karen Turner, Washington Post,  Saturday, April 23, 2016

Schools in Florida are renewing a program that monitors their students' social media activity for criminal or threatening behavior, although it has caused some controversy since its adoption last year. But Bradley S. Shear, a privacy and social media lawyer based in Bethesda, Md., expressed concerns about the unintended consequences of using software like SnapTrends. He's uncomfortable with the collection and storing of information on students. "Is this data then gonna be tied to a student's permanent school record? Does the company have proper policies in place that delete this data after a certain period of time? These are some questions that need to be asked," he said in an interview with The Post.

Clever’s new badges help K-2 students access apps on its education platform

Ken Yeung, Venture Beat,  Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Education technology company Clever has created a simpler way for students in K-2 classrooms to log into their computers, a process that it says will cut down on the time teachers have to spend before actually diving into the day’s lesson plan. Called Clever Badges, it lets students take physical badges and scan them with the computer’s camera to instantly gain access. Right now, there’s a conflict between privacy and accessibility — everyone wants to protect individual user data, but it’s difficult for young students to use complex passwords to secure that information. In fact, Clever said that weak passwords are often used, or are even written on a chalk board. Clever Badges are intended to overcome this issue.

Evaluating the Privacy and Security of Ed Tech

Bill Fitzgerald, THE Journal,  Thursday, April 14, 2016

When working with educational technology, responsible decision makers in schools recognize the need for solid security and privacy practice in software applications. However, defining an acceptable level of privacy protection, or an adequate level of security, can feel imprecise. While some of the loudest conversations about privacy and security try to reduce the issues to binary choice, the reality is often more nuanced.

Student Data Privacy – Resources to Find the Balance

ExcelinEd / Education Dive,  Tuesday, April 12, 2016

There is a renewed focus on ensuring that our schools’ technology services are secure and that sensitive student information – including test scores, grades, health evaluations, and disciplinary actions and so on -- is protected.

Parents, be wary of schools' data mining

Ken Williams and Robert Hammond, OC Register,  Monday, March 21, 2016

What is generally unknown by parents, and far more egregious than the data release requested in the Morgan Hill lawsuit, are similar data-mining requirements by federally and state-authorized Common Core programs. Data collected include personal mental health assessments, learning systems inducing psychological conditioning and politically correct thinking.

Common Sense Media to Grade EdTech Company Privacy Practices

Matthew Johnson, Danielle Naftulin and Jay Vaughan, Lexology,  Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Last week, Common Sense Media ("CSM") announced that it is undertaking an ambitious initiative to evaluate and grade the student data privacy practices of EdTech companies that provide products, apps, or services for use in K-12 classrooms. CSM's announcement indicates that they have established a working group of approximately 40 US public school districts, including a core group of populous districts such New York City Department of Education, Fairfax County (VA), Denver Public Schools and Chicago Public Schools. In consultation with these districts, CSM intends to develop the go-to resource for evaluating EdTech privacy practices.

Section 508, WCAG 2.0, Oh My!

Tracy Mitrano by Tracy Mitrano, Mitrano & Associates
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

About accessibility for higher education in the United States: I am concerned that our institutions have two sets of standards with which to comply and how higher education might respond to that fact. The first are section 508 standards of the Rehabilitation Act... The other set is that of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or “WCAG” 2.0.