Monday, April 11, 2016

Student Data and Privacy

PBS Newshour has a great piece everybody should take a moment to view and read.  It discusses how Digital Education may be a double-edged sword.  Its argument is how technology has provided educators and companies with the means to personalize and individualize instruction like never before.  But what about the data?  Are third party companies using student data in another way?

One man in the video went as far to provide this analogy:  Imagine a person goes to get a life insurance policy.  Somehow, the life insurance company is able to access the person's records from when they attended public school - and they uncovered what the student purchased at the cafeteria, since that is linked to a database that has information about this person.  The person's life insurance policy may be affected based on the his/her eating habits from the third grade!  Sounds far fetched, but the level of identity theft is staggering.

Even more troubling is the fact that many educators truly don't understand data and student privacy issues.

We are at a point in history where more information is made available to us every minute - it is virtually impossible to consume all of this data and remain sane.  Tools and services, such as Twitter, have provided us the opportunity to filter (subscribe) to the data we want to view - but that, too, is overwhelming.

Is Digital Education a double-edged sword?  We need to be careful, remain alert, and keep our guards up.  Please visit this link to view the videos and article.

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