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Student Data Privacy – 9 Things You Should Implement


In the Internet age, teachers are increasingly using technical tools and applications to engage and motivate students. They use interactive learning platforms, gather communities on social media, and create educational spaces for students. Sometimes teachers even become bloggers, creating their own program, promote themselves using services like the Twitter growth service, and invite students to get knowledge based on personal developments.

But everyone knows that such programs collect personal data. Moreover, we all understand how important the protection of personal information is in the modern world: the volume and significance of data are growing exponentially, and the scope of their application is expanding.

So, today we will talk about steps you need to follow to secure students’ information.

Why does student privacy matter?

Previously, before the active introduction of online technologies, student data included only information about attendance, medical records, and grades. But today, schools and universities are increasingly adopting technologies that can transfer personal data to application and software providers.

This is why teachers need to be aware of how to shield this data from unethical use. It is also important to consider school, district, and state laws to know which technologies can and cannot be used, and how to regulate student data.

9 Student Privacy steps to Implement

There is a huge plus in the use of social media and EdTech technologies: in this way teachers can share best practices, develop digital literacy among their students and create more interconnected school communities among the army of followers. Any risks to student privacy can be managed through informed use.

So what can you do to secure students’ data?

#1. Comply with FERPA, COPPA, and PPRA policies

What laws do you need to know and comply with?

  • FERPA, which protects access to student data and its use in education.
  • COPPA, which requires educational institutions to have a transparent data privacy policy. This means that schools and software providers are prohibited from using the data for commercial goals.
  • PPRA, which describes the restrictions on information obtained through surveys funded by the federal budget. For example, surveys about the impact of drug and alcohol use or sexual behavior on students.

#2. Use parental consent/denial forms

If you plan to use tech and soft that are expected to collect data, get parental consent.

#3. Check educational apps for legal compliance

Review the institution’s policy for new tools. If the software you’re going to use has not yet been approved, ask the responsible person for a review. Once the app is approved, you can use it right away.

#4. Check privacy settings

Consider creating a separate account for professional use. Also, be sure to check your privacy settings on any personal social media accounts. For example, set your personal Twitter account to Protected mode so that only those who follow you can access your tweets. This also applies to Facebook.

#5. Block access to Personal Identifiable Information using IAM

Pay attention to the IAM to ensure that only authorized teachers, staff, and certain providers have access to PII data. The fewer people have access, the less the likelihood of problems and data violations.

#6. Provide precise data management

The easiest way to ensure data confidentiality is to give service providers access to exclusive data. For example, a textbook vendor shouldn’t have access to student home addresses and phone numbers. This way, unnecessary information will not fall into the wrong hands.

#7. Use random data whenever possible

Create unique usernames that are not tied to a specific user, which makes students anonymous, and therefore doesn’t allow tracking what data belongs to them.

#8. Review providers carefully

Modern schools actively cooperate with providers of technological solutions, which are increasingly being introduced into the educational process. But at the same time, both schools and teachers themselves should be responsible for ensuring the protection of student data. The school must prove that it has complete control over the collection, use, and storage of information and that the provider doesn’t use it for indecent purposes.

#9. Consult the administration if you want to use a non-educational application

If you would like to use a non-educational app such as productivity, note-taking apps, photo, video, or audio editing tools, please consult with the administration and follow current school rules. The main thing is to comply with the policies.

Wrapping up

Technology advances rapidly, and new applications, as well as the pursuit of more personalized learning, are making student privacy an increasingly complex and acute issue. This is why everyone must work together to solve it.

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