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Navigating the Student Privacy Landscape

[Participate and share : Interactive lecture]

Tuesday, June 28, 10:45–11:45 am
CCC 203

favoritesDr. Emil Ahangarzadeh  favoritesBill Fitzgerald  favoritesAdam Rosenzweig  
Awareness of student data privacy has grown in recent years. This session highlights distinct perspectives on privacy: Rafranz Davis brings a district perspective; Adam Rosenzweig speaks to vendor's perspective; and Bill Fitzgerald describes what privacy evaluators look for. Learn strategies for navigating the privacy landscape.

Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Laptops, tablets, or smartphones will be useful to look up resources, but not required for the session.
Focus: Technology infrastructure
Topic: Safety, security and student data privacy
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: Teachers : Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility
Students : Technology operations and concepts
Administrators : Digital citizenship
Additional detail: Corporate member presentation, ISTE Professional Learning Network pick

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Over the last few years, awareness of student data privacy and information security within educational technology has grown. While significant improvements have been made, no one feels that the job is done, or that the issue will recede into the background.

Despite the increased attention on privacy, much confusion remains about the legal requirements governing privacy, data handling practices that help protect student privacy, and ways of assessing different levels of risk.

This session pulls together three distinct perspectives on these issues. Rafranz Davis is the Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning at Lufkin ISD in Texas. Adam Rosenzweig is the Senior Impact Manager at Schoolzilla. Bill Fitzgerald is the Director of the Privacy Initiative at Common Sense Media. In this session, they will discuss different strategies for navigating the privacy landscape from their different perspectives.

In addition to discussing the technical and legal implications of security and privacy, this session will also discuss how privacy impacts pedagogy, classroom environments, learner agency, and social justice issues. The links between student data privacy, data collection, and what this means for learners and learning over time have remained largely unexplored, and this session will highlight elements of this larger conversation.

In this session, people will learn about:

* Tools to evaluate the privacy and security of educational software;
* Specific definitions of privacy;
* How to assess potential privacy risks of an application;
* How to evaluate privacy concerns with the potential for learning improvements;
* How to communicate directly and clearly about privacy and security issues;
* How different stakeholders within the field of Educational Technology view and address privacy;
* How to do parental consent well, and the implications that parental consent can have for student privacy;
* What is covered (in general terms) by COPPA, FERPA, and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

This session is designed to help unify the different concerns held by different stakeholders within educational systems that use technology. All stakeholders have a role to play in using technology responsibly.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

* Define how privacy issues affect (or don't affect) learning goals;
* Have an increased understanding of the potential legal requirements around using educational software with students within PK-20;
* Have a clear method of communicating with parents, students, vendors, and other interested stakeholders about privacy issues;
* Make more informed decisions about the privacy implications of the technology they use in their teaching and learning.

The subject of student data privacy can be highly contentious. Often, these conversations are fraught with people talking past one another, with the actual terms of the conversation mired in inaccurate or unclear definitions. No one benefits from these conversations - and learners benefit least of all. As we will address in this session, privacy doesn’t need to be complex, and conversations about privacy can be both detailed and professional. Most importantly, when we define what we mean when we discuss privacy, we can make concrete recommendations about how to improve our practice, and design better learning environments.


A. Session and Speaker Introductions - 5 minutes
B. Defining Privacy - 8-10 minutes
C. High level overview: COPPA, FERPA, PPRA, and FTC Guidelines - 10-15 minutes
Commonly (mis)used terms: de-identified, anonymous, and aggregate data
Assessing Risk - 8-10 minutes
Communicating About Privacy - 8-10 minutes
Audience Question and Answer - 10-15 minutes

During our presentation, we will be monitoring and responding to a backchannel. During the presentation, we will make time to document and respond to audience questions. Additionally, questions that require additional followup beyond the time available during the presentation can be addressed via blog posts or links to existing resources. This presentation is intended to be a starting or middle point of a larger and ongoing conversation about student data privacy.

Supporting research

Data privacy has been in the news pretty consistently for the last several years. Stories like this are relatively common:

The White House has addressed the issue:

The Federal Department of Education has launched the Privacy Technical Assistance Center to help districts:

In 2015, 46 states introduced 182 bills on student data privacy:

Teachers, administrators, parents, teachers, and learners all need clarity on what privacy means, and how privacy impacts learning. There are an increasing number of voices weighing in on privacy issues. However, there is a scarcity of easy, accessible tools to help people decipher and understand the various facets of the issue.



favorites Dr. Emil Ahangarzadeh, Santa Ana Unified School District

Education management executive with ten years of administration experience and six years of classroom teaching experience. Expertise and specializations include organizational effectiveness, technology integration, English learner and compensatory education leadership, STEM education, 21st Century skill development, and professional development facilitation. Specialties: education administration, curriculum development, adult learning, training and professional development, project management, production and event management, language acquisition, technical writing, enterprise technology management, program evaluation, and video production.

favorites Bill Fitzgerald, InnovateEDU

favorites Adam Rosenzweig, Beyond 12