Privacy Pitfalls as Education Apps Spread Haphazardly

Those apps that we download, get our students to sign up for and use – how much do we know about their security? About how they use the student data?The article below highlights an issue  we have not thought about before as we try to keep up with the massive potential as well as challenges that integrating technology in a mindful way poses.

When reading about the big school boards in the U.S. (who actually have someone called the Chief Technology Officer for the districts) and how they are trying to get a handle on teachers using un-vetted apps in the classroom (as the app companies are marketing directly to the teachers, often offering their product for free at the beginning), it occurs to me that the challenge will be how to foster an atmosphere of open, spontaneous exploration while still keeping student privacy and safety in the foreground. I can see how a top-heavy vetting process could get cumbersome and be a deterrent for teachers who are already reticent to use the technology.

Or perhaps we could demand the onus of privacy and safety be put squarely on the educational software companies- perhaps they cannot call themselves an educational app without meeting certain criteria in the realm of data security?

Any ideas? This will definitely go on the agenda of our next IT meeting.

Apps and other software can put powerful teaching tools at teachers’ fingertips, but concerns abound over data security, effectiveness and marketing.

Source: www.nytimes.com

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