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2015 National Student Privacy Symposium

The panelists and attendees of the 2015 National Student Privacy Symposium sponsored by the Data Quality Campaign were diverse -- policy-makers, tech. industry representatives, researchers, parents and educators. Wide-ranging disussion and exchange of ideas and perspectives about critical concerns around uses of student data, privacy and security was both informative and raised complex questions for us to grapple with. Long-term concerns about data accumulation are growing. Digital or Data Literacy? We don’t know ourselves how our data is used, sold or combined. So how can we effectively inform our students’ decision-making? For students? Cultivate understanding about how data accumulates over time. Make sure to build students' awareness of the need to think critically about information shared and who it is shared with!

Here also are few Waterlogued photos from a long walk around the beautiful Washington Mall and my sincere appreciation goes to sponsors for providing my travel scholarship to Washington D.C.

Some Key Discussion Points....

   Kati Haycock: President of Education Trust

  • We need data to know where we are, where we are making progress, and where we are not. We need to data to monitor gaps in opportunity that need attention. Not just gaps in achievement but opportunity as well. Data helps dispel myths--& identify schools, districts, states whose progress we can celebrate and learn from.  Data helps us determine what is working and what is not. Good data, together with technology, can help us personalize the learning experiences of our students - but also let us know when such customization isn’t working. Ensure personalization is accelerating learning of all groups of children. Put tools to good use to accelerate learning of all children not just some.

The Potential Risks of Student Data Collection and Use

  • Risks in data use today with the cloud & re-identification are evident.  Privacy and security are primary considerations. There is a delicate balance between interest of individual vs. interest of collective in getting benefits from data-sharing while minimizing cost. There are different core concerns and tension between the two. What do 3rd parties do with the data? This is not just a concern with outside actors but education inside actors, i.e. student profiling.

  • Greater transparency is needed about how information is used. Perspective from parents critical in developing, designing and distributing data driven tools. Approach our practices with privacy & security as moments to cultivate shared privacy outlook instead of opportunities for legalese!

  • Terms of service are written to protect liability, not to protect us. Pearson monitors twitter for posts about tests. Google scans student email (possibly for marketing). Administrators have used students' laptops remotely in to monitor behavior. An Asst. Principal’s fake Facebook profile was used to track students’ behavior.

National Student Privacy Parent Survey:  Survey Release and Discussion

  • Evidence of Benefit (Direct to Their Child), Privacy & Security: "The closer to the individual classroom and their own child, the more strongly parents support data collection and use. As data use becomes less directly tied to students, parents still want to comprehend the benefit to the classroom."


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