Advancing School Leadership on Data Privacy Day – and Beyond

On January 28, we recognize Data Privacy Day for the benefit of all students and learning environments worldwide.

Led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), this international occasion is an annual commitment to growing the awareness of and strengthening student privacy practices. It is also about creating and fostering trust in all school systems.

Everyone in education plays a critical role in ensuring the protection of personal information – and CoSN is proud to be at the forefront.

Through our Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning leadership initiative, we have developed a number of resources to advance district technology leadership. These include:

  • Protecting Privacy Toolkit: The step-by-step guide takes educators and education leaders through a decision tree to help address compliance issues related to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Created with the support of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, the kit also includes definitions, checklists, key questions, and suggestions on improving existing privacy practices.
  • Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning Online Course: As part of our Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO, the nine-module online professional development course covers current privacy laws, required and recommended practices around student data privacy, and frameworks for communicating clearly and effectively with parents and communities about privacy.  
  • Privacy Practices Infographics: These customizable resources, created with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and available in English and Spanish, empower school leaders to better discuss student privacy issues with parents and communities. 

You can learn more about our initiative and these resources at: cosn.org/privacy.

We also continue to partner with the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) and the education community at-large to advocate further adherence to the Student Data Principles. Supported by approximately 40 major national education organizations, the 10 foundational principles are a commitment to protecting and guiding the effective use of students’ personal information. You can read more about the Principles and their supporters at: studentdataprinciples.org.

Our work will only expand in 2016 with the launch of additional resources and professional guidance. An exciting, historic initiative on the horizon is the Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal. The Seal will allow school system leaders to show and share with parents and community members how they are carrying out best privacy practices to positively transform learning. Stay up-to-date at: cosn.org/tle.

We hope Data Privacy Day will propel continued, collective progress on this front and help to accelerate success through e-learning cultures.

We encourage you to take a moment to explore all of the positive work and activities on CoSN.org, @CoSN, and through #PrivacyAware. 

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