An (Accessible) Future We Can All Be Proud Of

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Sunday, November 29, 2015

So how to celebrate International Day for People with Disabilities? Let’s begin with that which is obvious to fix: web accessibility. As I have commented upon before: we have standards that work but have lacked a hardy political will to put them in place. In the E.U. that wind is now shifting a bit. The European Commission has signaled very recently (since my last post on this subject) that it is now inclined to act. Once the E.U. promulgates a directive, it will then be up to member states to transpose that directive into national or “local” law.


Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Monday, November 16, 2015

Standards for body worn cameras on campus law enforcement. The CJIS Security Policy is a model whether one is investing in campus policy body cam video or not. It covers the general and fine points of policy governance, technical controls, training, education and awareness. Cloud computing procurement and contracts with vendors are interwoven into its directives rather than, as is the case with so many of our higher education ventures, an initiative that gets bolted onto policy written when on premise services were the norm. Although titled a “security policy” it weaves privacy practices into it. Surprisingly devoid of government speak, the prose is clear and organized.

The Learning Analytics Landscape: Tension Between Student Privacy and the Process of Data Mining

Jojo Manai, Carnegie Foundation,  Monday, November 09, 2015

Data mining is a powerful technology for recognizing useful patterns in complex data. It has repeatedly provided proven results in information systems. Its use has benefited many sectors, such as banking, retail, marketing, biology, medicine, telecommunication, and others, resulting in significant advancements for these industries. Lately, higher learning institutions have also been taking advantage of data mining techniques to further the field of education.

Security Awareness Month

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Monday, October 19, 2015

Higher education can play a leadership role in the area that needs attention the most: International Internet governance. Higher education institutions around the world have their missions in common. To be sure, there are varying levels of nation-state influence in those institutions, and let’s not kid ourselves, not least in the United States. But still, that modicum of what makes higher education unique – the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and imparting that thirst in the pedagogy we teach – contains a kernel to exploit in the best sense. Higher education can facilitate a necessary conversation about international Internet governance. It can become the locus, physical and virtual, where issues can be raised and negotiations can take place. Integrity of its missions is a mantle and bully pulpit. Let’s start thinking about how to use those opportunities to preserve that which higher education helped to create: the Internet.

Colleges called the new data warehouses

Corinne Lestch, Fedscoop,  Friday, October 16, 2015

Colleges and universities have to become more adept and resourceful about using the vast quantities of student data that they are collecting every day, the Education Department's chief privacy officer said. “Colleges are data factories,” Kathleen Styles told the P20W Education Standards Council’s 2nd annual Data Symposium and Summit on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “Different parts of campus need to be talking to each other about the data they’re collecting.”

Government’s Cyber Education Programs Need Reboot

Jack Moore, Nextgov,  Monday, October 12, 2015

...a new report from the National Academy of Public Administration on the federal government’s role in cybersecurity education. Broadly, report recommends the encouragement of more hands-on education and incident-based training at the colleges and universities that help fill the pipeline of cyber talent for the federal government. Tweaking the two programs would make it easier for college-age students to plot out career moves, according to Karen Evans, the former administrator of the White House Office of E-Government and Information Technology and a member of the report’s study team.

To Body Cam or Not, That is the Question

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Monday, September 28, 2015

Body cameras on institutional law enforcement have become all the rage nationally... Higher education is not an exception in this landscape. Sometimes cities within cities, universities and colleges require law enforcement just as they require physical power plants, facility, food and service management.

Will big data make kids smarter?

Fred Churchvill, Tech Target SOA Blog,  Saturday, September 26, 2015

Unfortunately, at the moment, the field of education is “almost a data-free zone,” according to Henry Kelley, former chief scientist at the Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (EPSA), saying that the space is plagued by small sample sizes, flawed methods and a lack of testing methods that generate needed data. But big data is making an entrance nonetheless.

Cloud Computing and Research Data

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review the Business Associate’s Agreement (BAA) because there is vendor variation among them. Not all BAAs are alike. Some fully meet legal requirements to protect the institution, and others not so much. It is critical to test the veracity of the statements and commitments made in BAAs with third-party audits, for example a successful ISO audit w/27018 controls as a decent proxy for HIPAA privacy and security rule requirements. Careful attention to the quality of these documents will lower institutional risk and raise the bar among vendors. These efforts will continue an on-going process of harmonizing standards in cloud computing contracts. Make sure your legal counsel has seen the BAA, been in contact with the leading attorneys who set the bar for appropriate or consult NACUA or ACE documents designed for this purpose.

Using Student Medical Records: Department of Education Issues New Guidance

Paul Lannon, Holland & Knight,  Wednesday, September 02, 2015

When is it legal and proper for higher education institutions to use student medical records other than for a student's healthcare? In answering that question, institutions have to balance students' privacy interests, including federal rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), against legitimate institutional needs. Finding the right balance is not always easy, as highlighted by recent well-publicized cases. Too much access may facilitate misuse or discourage students from seeking campus-based medical services, while too little access may deprive an institution of information important to satisfying a legal obligation or responding effectively to a health or safety emergency.