Facilitated Online Course: Protecting Student Privacy

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Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning
Educators, students, and parents are now benefiting from the exciting opportunities available as a result of new instructional technologies, including cloud-based technology services and mobile applications. These technologies enable rich, data-powered classroom experiences and the anytime, anywhere learning that education technologists and educators have envisioned for many years.
However, as schools turn to cloud services for applications, content and data analytics, and online assessment, keeping student data private and secure becomes more difficult. This eight-week course is designed for school district leaders who need help in understanding existing privacy laws, defining best and necessary practices around privacy, and communicating effectively with their communities.
The eight -week facilitated version of this course will offer additional benefits, including:
  • structured conversation and workshop led by a knowledgeable and experienced facilitator
  • weekly live and asynchronous discussions with colleagues dealing with the same issues
  • a plan and strategy to develop local privacy policy and practices
  • preparation for the Trusted Learning Environment program application
By the end of the course, you should have the tools you need to begin building or improve upon a compliance framework to protect the privacy of student data. 9 CEA Credits toward CETL® recertification.

Steve Smith, has twenty+ years of CIO/CTO experience in both rural and urban, large and small, school districts in New England, the last ten years as CIO of Cambridge Public Schools. Recently Mr. Smith has spent a great deal of time navigating student privacy and security issues. He has represented both Maine and Massachusetts on the National Forum on Education Statistics and has contributed to Forum's Education Data Privacy, Civil Rights Data Reporting, Longitudinal Data Systems, SCED Working Group, Virtual Education, Facilities Data Management, Technology Suite, and Metadata working groups. 

class full - Registration closed

Course Schedule
October 16 - December 4, 2018
5:00 - 6:30 ET

Oct 16, 2018


  • What is Data Privacy All About?
    • How did we get here?
    • Key concepts and primary privacy concerns
  • What is Data Security All About?
    • Exploring “Reasonable” Measures
  • The Role of Leadership
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Oct 23, 2018

Legal Requirements:

  • Federal Privacy Laws:
    • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
      • Untangling the Definitions
  • Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
  • State Legislation
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Oct 30, 2018

Determining Your School System’s Needs

  • The Trusted Learning Environment Program:  Assessing Privacy Gaps and Readiness
  • Identifying Your Stakeholders
  • How and When Can You Share Data?
    • Defining Education Records
    • Defining Directory Information
    • Disclosing and Sharing of Education Records
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Nov 6, 2018

Data Security:

  • Security Breach 101
  • Incident Response Planning
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Nov 13, 2018

Business Practices

  • Evaluating and Contracting with Online Service Providers
  • Establishing Security Standards for Providers
  • Security Questions to Ask Online Service Providers
    • Unpacking the answers
  • Suggested Contract Terms
  • Click Wrap Agreements
  • Demystifying the Negotiation Process
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Nov 20, 2018

Parent Rights

  • Providing Notification and Obtaining Parental Consent 
  • School Officials Exception
  • Directory Information Exception
  • Data Access and Correction
  • Revisiting the Acceptable Use Policy
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Nov 27, 2018


  • Assessing (or creating) Your Privacy Policies
  • Communicating Privacy Practices
  • Explaining How Education Data Support Student Success and School Improvement
  • Providing Assurances to Parents
  • Professional Development
  • Modeling Privacy Fundamentals for Students
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Dec 4, 2018

Putting it Together: 

  • Designating a Privacy Officer
  • Prioritizing Security
  • Identifying the Applicable Laws and Adequate Legal Counsel
  • Implementing School Norms and Policies
  • Privacy Training
  • Engaging with Parents and Other Community Stakeholders
  • Preparing for Your Trusted Learning Environment Application
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

A minimum of 10 enrollments are required for this course, and the maximum enrollment is 25 so as to encourage active discussions.

class full - Registration closed


Course Pricing Member Non-Member
Educator $599 $799
Corporate $799 $999



If you are a CoSN member and have a group interested in taking a course, we are happy to work with you to make arrangements for a private facilitation. You may also be interested in our ability to customize a virtual group presentation to meet your needs. Additional consulting may be available to assist your School District in modifying their policies to comply with privacy laws and best practices. For more information please contact us.