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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorLast week, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) announced a K-12 school service providers Pledge to safeguard student privacy. A small leadership group supported the launch by signing the Pledge. Over the next several months, SIIA and FPF will solicit additional support from school service providers and work to make educators and parents aware of the Pledge and the industry's commitment to protect student privacy.

SIIA and FPF built the Pledge around a dozen commitments regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information, including not selling student information, not targeting advertising based on student behavior or profiles and using data only for authorized education purposes. These are all things most school service providers are already doing. The Pledge is a proactive effort to focus attention on "good behavior," detailing industry practices that not only meet but go beyond existing federal requirements. It is also meant to encourage service providers to more clearly articulate their practices. Transparency and clarity can go a long way in building trust among educators and parents. Learn more at http://studentprivacypledge.org/?page_id=45

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Voice from the Industry

Ann McMullan, Educational Technology ConsultantWhen Data Is a Win-Win

October brings one of those rare opportunities when various forces in the K-12 education eco-system come together to do good for themselves, for each other and, most importantly, for the students we all serve. Project Tomorrow’s annual Speak Up survey is a win-win on multiple fronts.

  • At the classroom level, the survey provides teachers and students with an opportunity to have their voices heard.
  • The data provides schools and school districts with a sense of where they are in the advancement of digital learning compared with schools and districts across the nation.
  • State education agencies benefit from having as many districts as possible respond to the call for participation in Speak Up.
  • The edtech vendor community benefits greatly from the reports produced by Project Tomorrow.

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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Vicki Smith BighamOoh, Fall is in the air, and Snoop is loving it. It sure makes it challenging to be at my desk working when I want to be outside—but alas, those bills keep coming in, so I must keep working! But with the weekend upon us, we can all get outside and enjoy the season. But first-check out this week's scoops....

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New Report on Student "Permanent Records" Separates Perception from Reality

The linking of student data across agencies and over time-also known as "student records"-can be leveraged in powerful ways to improve student success, but lack of clear information about these practices has led to growing privacy concerns. A new report seeks to clear up the confusion by putting to bed many misconceptions about student "permanent records." The key takeaway: public educational institutions and agencies have not created a single, lasting repository where individual students' educational histories could be accessed at a keystroke.

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Leading K-12 School Service Providers Announce Pledge To Advance Student Data Privacy Protection

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) today announced a K-12 school service providers Pledge to safeguard student privacy built around a dozen commitments regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information. An initial leadership group of major school service providers are joining SIIA and FPF to introduce and sign the Pledge. The group is made up of some of the leading names in education technology, including Amplify, Code.org, DreamBox Learning, Edmodo, Follett, Gaggle, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Knewton, Knovation, Lifetouch, Microsoft, MIND Research Institute, myON (a business unit of Capstone), and Think Through Math. SIIA and FPF will continue reaching out to educators, parent groups and companies over the next several months to promote the pledge and garner participation from other school service providers.

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