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This Week in Student Privacy: 11/25

ClassDojo Revises Privacy Policy Following Privacy Concerns
ClassDojo, an app used by teachers to track and manage students’ behavior in class, has recently garnered media attention for its privacy practices. Last week, New York Times reporter Natasha Singer raised questions about how teachers are using ClassDojo in their classrooms, its effectiveness as a classroom discipline tool, and how consent is obtained from teachers and parents. Soon after, ClassDojo released this statement, addressing concerns from the article (some of which it saw as inaccurate) and announcing its updated privacy policy — “starting in January, the company intends to keep students’ behavioral records for only one school year.” For more information on ClassDojo and this story, visit The New York Times, EdSurge, Marketplace, and EducationDIVE.

The Data Quality Campaign Releases New Resources
The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) recently released three new resources on education data, including the Campaign’s annual report, “Data for Action 2014: Paving the Path to Success.” DQC resources are available to download on the DQC website, free of charge.

President Obama & Secretary Duncan Convene Summit of K-12 Superintendents
Over a hundred primary and secondary school superintendents joined the White House for a ConnectEd summit on November 19, where these district leaders pledged to “improve connectivity, foster access to devices and digital content, and mentor other districts in the transition to digital learning.” The summit also showcased new resources districts could use to pursue these goals and explored some specific advances in connected learning, including President Obama’s announcement “that online learning platform edX, which had already agreed to provide free online Advanced Placement courses for high school students, will in the future also seek to provide certification for students who successfully complete the courses.”

Additional Articles/Resources

  • Randy Sabett of Cooley LLP wrote a Q+A/Guide addressing the potential implications of California’s recently passed Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA).
  • The New York Times’ Natasha Singer reports on the growing trend of college admissions officers’ monitoring applicants’ social media profiles, and how students have grown more aware of their digital footprints, especially when it comes to the college application process.
  • University of Texas at Austin Student Body President Kori Rady “illegally leaked the personal information of roughly 140 UT students in a May 5 email, according to university interpretation of federal law” eliciting mixed reactions from students. While some felt indifferent about the data leak, others expressed concern that their addresses and GPAs had been released.
  • The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights advised schools to be mindful of the digital divide in ed tech, cautioning that “disparities [based on race and income] persist regarding the number and quality of computers or mobile devices in the classroom, speed of internet access, and the extent to which teachers and staff are adequately prepared to teach students using these technologies.”
  • Researchers at Arizona State University received funding to study the creation of a “postdigital textbook.”

This update was compiled by Hannah Offer. Hannah is a senior at the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences and a research assistant for the Student Privacy Initiative.

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Student Privacy Initiative

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