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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Privacy Tool fr @CommonSenseEd Pushes Companies to Make Safer Sites

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If you’re an innovative educator the question of student data and privacy comes up frequently. I’ve written about the privacy policies of some of the popular players in classrooms such as Microsoft, Google, Class Dojo, and Edmodo which you can read about at this link. In many cases it is parents who have been the force behind pushing this important conversation. For innovative educators it is hard to navigate these waters.  


We know what tools support great pedagogy, but it gets murky when we lift the hood to see what is underneath in terms of safety, privacy, security, and compliance.  And, no wonder. In many cases that privacy policy you have to click to get access to the site takes more than an hour read. Without a law degree, understand what you’ve just read is a whole other story.  


The other issue here is that being compliant on all fronts is REALLY hard and takes a lot of money and human capital. It is likely that a well-meaning startup could never get on the market with all the hoops required. Additionally, we all know innovative educators love trying out the latest new product. We also are pretty good at uncovering bad intentions as well as pushing the market.  It is the innovative educators who are trying the newest tools and pushing the companies to update their platform in terms of privacy and pedagogy.  


But what about the mainstream teachers who want to use tech? They can encounter paralyzing fear when trying to determine if this latest resource is one they are allowed to use. And, how do the chief technology officers even figure it out? Do they bring a legal team together to decipher the policy and an educational team of users together to determine if there are issues? When you think about how many resources there are, this is not only overwhelming, it is an impossible mission.  


Until now.
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