Careful Tech Vetting Process Key To Safeguarding Student Data
The application of technology in the traditional classroom is no longer a novelty issue – it’s an expected part of the course curriculum for young parents who want their students to be prepared for an interconnected, online world.
This comes with a ton of security issues. The private data of young students is a massive currency on the dark web at the moment. If EdTech programs aren’t strong enough at protecting students’ private data, there are many out there who will blow through badly-secured EdTech programs to steal their data and sell it to the highest bidder.
Schools and districts are currently being targeted at an alarming rate by hackers who can turn a massive profit off of student data. The only way to combat this and combat it with any efficacy is to vet the EdTech applications and programs used in classrooms for security issues. By taking these extra steps before students enter their data, administrators can beat hackers to the punch and safeguard their student populaces and their data.
An Example Of EdTech Vetting That Is Helping Keep Students’ Data Safe
The Houston Independent School District’s director of educational technology, Kristy Sailors, has a massively important job to do. Before any EdTech application or program is green-lighted for use by her school system’s 29,000-person staff, she must vet each program for extremely high standards in data encryption and data storage.
Using a previously-built resource toolbox full of examples of approved EdTech applications, Sailors picks through each potential application to ensure that they are safe enough to keep hackers from turning them into data goldmines.
She developed her own safe-app rubric to test multiple aspects of each application. If the application fails her extremely high standards for usage, the application is rejected and must meet said standards before ever being used in the Houston Independent School District’s classrooms.
She also places very little stock in online reviews of such applications. Companies can pay for positive reviews and skew the data, leaving security issues unaddressed and put student data at risk. Sailors’ efforts have done well to safeguard student data and ensure their privacy is an utmost priority before they engage with any EdTech application.
What This All Means For Student Data Security And Privacy
Because young students usually aren’t worried about their own data privacy and security, they’re the catalyst for hackers to swoop in and steal their data. If EdTech programs aren’t built to safeguard young students from themselves, hackers will target these applications and steal data at will.
Furthermore, work done by people like Kristy Sailors puts student privacy and data security at the forefront of the EdTech conversation in schools. Teachers get briefed about the dangers of these applications when improperly used or secured.
Developing clear guidelines for usage and adoption in the classroom keeps potential data security breaches at a minimum. If these standards aren’t addressed before EdTech adoption, teachers could unwittingly lead hackers to their treasure trove of student data. Proper adherence to security guidelines and properly-vetted applications are crucial in keeping student privacy and security as well-protected priorities.