Education agencies and organizations – from the state level to districts, down to the individual schools and classrooms – continue to evaluate how they can benefit from personalized data while maintaining the highest degree of student privacy. However, it is becoming even more apparent just how complex, multi-faceted, and rapidly-changing safeguarding education data can be.
So how are different stakeholders approaching this task?
In a series on student data privacy, various experts from the Ed-Fi Community of education leaders share examples, insights and best practices in refining individual approaches to data privacy. Read on to learn how these organizations safeguard privacy while creating positive change for key stakeholders.
With rapid growth and adoption of education technology, ensuring the privacy of student data remains a constant priority for all organizations involved. There is a committed and active community of education leaders advancing important student data principles with real-world, practical actions. Working together, the Ed-Fi Community shares best practices to help education agencies make the most of their technology in supporting student learning while never compromising the security and privacy of the student data.
An advocate for creating rich data-driven learning environments, Lenny Schad, Chief Technology Information Officer (CTIO) for Houston Independent School District (HISD), is leading a district-wide effort to implement a robust, secure technology infrastructure. Fostering new, tech- and data-savvy teaching practices requires awareness and understanding of, as well as a commitment to, the appropriate use and protection of student data. For district leaders, Schad highlights best practices for enhancing educators’ ability to use new tech tools effectively while employing privacy protections.
The new student data privacy frontier requires that almost everyone involved in schools must think differently about how they do their job – from the vendors, IT and procurement departments to classroom teachers, the superintendent and board members. Eric Wong, VP of Engineering and Chief Security Officer of Ellevation, LLC shared his organization’s approach along with practical advice to community members on how best to use and safeguard student data that support educators. According to Wong, “Security work is never done…it requires ongoing vigilance!”
Chris Moffatt, Director of Technology for Ed-Fi Alliance, shares the technical approach that the Alliance fosters within the community in order to ensure a secure foundation for Ed-Fi technology. Moffatt offers three best practices to building data security into every element of the systems that use Ed-Fi technology.
With the rapid growth of technological advancements, our job is never done. As a community of education leaders, great strides have been made, though we must remain committed to forward progress and advancements in safeguarding student data. In helping bring the community together, the Ed-Fi Alliance always wants to hear from you. What’s working, what isn’t, and what challenges do you face in protecting student data? Let’s continue working together.