Protecting Student Privacy

The Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning initiative provides tools for school system leaders around compliance, communication, and leading practices for privacy within educational data. Educators and policymakers are increasingly realizing the potential in using student data to make informed decisions. But even with all that potential, balancing the benefits of technology advances with the need to protect student privacy and data is a major challenge. CoSN is here to help inform your efforts.

The Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning toolkit is an in depth, step-by-step guide to navigating the complexity of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and related privacy issues.

The toolkit is organized in the form of a decision tree, or flowchart, and addresses FERPA and COPPA compliance issues as well as smart suggested practices that reach beyond compliance; it also includes definitions, checklists, examples, and key questions to ask. Download the Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning toolkit here.

The Toolkit was created with the help of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, which is based at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. This Toolkit was sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and endorsed by The Association of School Business Officials International.

Sponsored by:

Resources now Available to Complement K-12
Education Privacy Toolkit

Two freestanding resources are now available to accompany the privacy toolkit. 
These complementary resources include: 

Security & Privacy of Cloud Computing

In 2013 CoSN released an EdTechNext report on Security & Privacy of Cloud Computing. This document framed many of the privacy issues that school leaders face and serves as a good first step in understanding relevant privacy and security issues at a high level. Visit our Resources page to access our members-only EdTechNext reports and other resources.

Cloud-based Ed Tech & Student Privacy

Cloud-based educational technologies possess the potential to bring innovative and personalized learning to schools if they are considered alongside the important of protecting student privacy. The Student Privacy Initiative under the auspices of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University released a paper describing the key aspects of a diverse—and heated—law, policy, and implementation debate that is taking place in the rapidly evolving cloud-based ed tech landscape.

The report, Framing the Law & Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014, provides policy and decision-makers at the school district, local government, state government, and federal government levels with greater information about and clarity around the avenues available to them in evaluating privacy options. Download the report to learn about the authors’ recommendations in how to navigate this complex landscape.