Reposted from CoSN:
The Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal initiative will allow school system leaders to communicate their privacy efforts to parents, communities and other stakeholders and assure the school system is adhering to best practices and taking steps in the right direction.
“When looking at the evolving digital tools and ongoing related activities in classroom settings, we agree with parents: They need assurances that student data are protected,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “That is why school system technology leaders and our diverse education leadership partners are putting forth this national program that builds a culture of trusted learning in all K-12 school systems.”
Over the next six months, the four national education organizations will collaborate with 28 U.S. school systems to create the seal and establish criteria for schools nationwide to follow. When formed, the TLE Seal will be available for adoption to all K-12 school systems, irrespective of size, location, socio-economic profile or governance form (i.e., public, private or charter).
Reposted from the New York Times:
Protection of student data is gaining attention as schools across the country are increasingly introducing learning sites and apps that may collect information about a student’s every keystroke. The idea is to personalize lessons by amassing and analyzing reams of data about each student’s actions, tailoring academic material to individual learning levels and preferences. “For many younger companies, the focus has been more on building the product out and less on guaranteeing a level of comprehensive privacy and security protection commensurate with the sensitive information associated with education,” said Jonathan Mayer, a lawyer and computer science graduate student at Stanford University. “It seems to be a recurring theme.”
To help schools evaluate companies’ security practices, the Consortium for School Networking, a national association of school district chief technology officers, published a list of security questions last year for schools to ask before they sign purchase agreements with technology vendors. “It is a huge challenge because there hasn’t been the time and attention and investment placed in security that school districts need,” said Keith R. Krueger, the group’s chief executive.
Although a federal privacy law places some limits on how schools, and the vendors to which they outsource school functions, handle students’ official educational records, these experts say the protections do not extend to many of the free learning sites and apps that teachers download and use independently in their classrooms. In an effort to bolster confidence in their products, more than 100 learning companies recently signed on to a voluntary industry pledge on student privacy. The signers agree, among other commitments, to “maintain a comprehensive security program that is reasonably designed to protect the security, privacy, confidentiality and integrity of student personal information against risks — such as unauthorized access or use.”
Reposted from Innovate My School:
“By now the phrases ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) and latterly ‘Bring Your Own App’ (BYOA) are familiar with the majority of us, and integral part of our technological knowledge. Using our own mobile devices and applications are commonplace on a daily basis. Being able to use wireless devices such as mobile phones and tablets to access social media sites and applications, beyond the reach of the main network and allowing access from remote locations, has opened the door to a wealth of information adding greater dimensions to support teaching and learning, in conjunction with and, alongside more traditional methods.
More recently, ‘Bring Your Own Network’ (BYON) has started to emerge. Initially more likely to have been around in the corporate world, but nevertheless something those of us in the education world need to be aware of, BYON is when staff or pupils use their mobile phone cellular connectivity to set up a personal hotspot. Simply put, this means that they can bypass the main network and access websites, apps and other services that are banned by IT filtering systems by creating personal area networks (PANs), as an alternative to the schools main network.
Acceptable use policies (AUP) are widely in place that are signed by both staff and pupils allowing a school to regulate, establish governance and acceptable usage standards (i.e., that specify conditions that must be followed for BYOD and BYOA). It may be time to rethink those conditions and amend your AUP: “Even a BYOD policy written as recently as 2012 may not make specific mention of personal hot spots and their use”, wrote Andrew Wright in Computer Weekly.”
has released its Smart Home Survey, which was conducted in July by Harris Poll. The results show that 52 percent of the more than 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed feel that having a “smart” home is at least somewhat important to them.
Those who felt that way said they see three main benefits to connecting features and appliances in their home to the Internet. Sixty-two percent of Americans ranked security and home monitoring as the biggest benefit to having a smart home. Another reason is to cut costs (40 percent said) and so is convenience (35 percent said).
Read more here.