Educators and policymakers are increasingly realizing the potential in using student data to make informed decisions. But even with all that potential, balancing technology advances with the need to protect student privacy and data is a major challenge. CoSN's Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative is here to help inform your efforts.
CoSN is grateful to the following sponsors for their support: Filewave, HP, McGraw Hill, Microsoft, and Pearson for the partnership of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal
CoSN’s newest privacy initiative is the Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal. This initiative will allow school system leaders from across the country to communicate their privacy efforts to parents, communities, and other stakeholders while ensuring that the school system is adhering to best practices and taking steps in the right direction. Visit the TLE website to learn more.
10 Principles to Guide the Use and Protection of Student Data
CoSN and the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), along with 32 leading national education organizations, released 10 principles for protecting and guiding the use of the personal information of America’s students. This announcement marks a historic, first-ever effort by major national education associations to articulate commonly held principles around the use and safeguarding of student data. DQC and CoSN will continue to encourage organizations to sign on to the principles.
To view and learn more about the principles, please visit the website.
Protecting Privacy Toolkit
The Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning toolkit is an in-depth, step-by-step guide to navigate four major federal laws: the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA); Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); Protecting Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA); and related privacy issues.
The toolkit is organized in the form of a decision tree and addresses FERPA and COPPA compliance issues as well as smart suggested practices that reach beyond compliance. It also includes definitions, checklists, examples, and key questions to ask.
The Toolkit was created with the help of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, which is based at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, sponsored by Microsoft, and endorsed by the Association of School Business Officials International.
CoSN and the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) teamed to produce two infographics that empower school leaders to discuss the critical issue of student privacy. Parents and community members are justifiably concerned and confused about privacy in schools. How should you lead a discussion with these stakeholders about privacy? The infographic breaks down what's important and de-mystifies the issues.
Available in English and English-Spanish, the customizable infographics answer key questions such as: What data is collected and why? How does education data support student success and school improvement? How is education data protected?
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Additional Resources to Complement the Toolkit
- 10 Steps Every District Should Take Today
- Security Questions to Ask of an Online Service Provider
- Suggested Contract Terms
- The New CoSN Privacy Online Course