Recently PTAC (Privacy Technical Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Education) released a new publication, Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Requirements and Best Practices. You can get the full publication here.
FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects personally identifiable information (PII) from student records from unauthorized disclosure. But with new technologies and services, those guidelines have a lot of exceptions and nuances; this new report aims to clear up confusion and provide updated guidelines in the face of new tools. The report shares advice and information to help schools protect student privacy while using software, apps, and web-based tools.
Lightspeed Systems solutions (including My Big Campus, Mobile Manager, and our Web Filter) are such technologies, classified by PTAC as Online Educational Services. We stay on top of these issues, and the new report doesn’t require any changes in our policies. We are, and always will be, committed to protecting student privacy and data and complying with all regulations when schools use our solutions.
Because of the variety of services and the wide range of district needs and circumstances, the report offers “It depends” as the answer to both “Is student information used in Online Educational Services protected by FERPA” and “What does FERPA require if PII from students’ education records is disclosed to a provider.” That answer, “it depends,” requires districts to have policies in place and overall knowledge of services being used in order to make an informed decision about which way the “it depends” goes.
Some good advice provided in the report includes:
Be aware of which online educational services are currently used in your district
Have policies and procedures to evaluate and approve online educational services
While it is necessary to collect some information to effectively provide our learning solutions, we go to great ends to protect students and to treat their data with care:
Read more on Student privacy with online educational solutions…
We want to make our customers happy — and we know that goes far beyond just delivering great solutions. And that’s why we’ve launched this new site for our Lightspeed Systems customers!
Read more on Welcome to the new Community Site!…
We had a great webinar last week, hosted by Tech & Learning and featuring three of our customers who shared tips, tricks, and lessons learned from their own 1:1 programs.
Thanks to our great panelists!
Read more on Pathways to Mobile Learning Success (Webinar Recap)…
At Lightspeed Systems, we make it a point not to pursue feature comparisons, simply because they are just too difficult to maintain and they don’t capture the big picture of our solutions.
Read more on My Big Campus vs Other Learning Management Systems…
When we started developing My Big Campus years ago, it was just as a feature to our Web Filter: we wanted to be a smarter filter in a Web 2.0 world, keeping kids safe without over-blocking all the dynamic web content we knew could be valuable to learning.
Read more on My Big Campus – Changes for the New Year…
Mike Scheid, Technology Integration Specialist at Cherry Hills Christian School in Colorado, is passionate about mobile learning. He successfully implemented a 1:1 mobile program at his school and was kind enough to share his experience with other educators and IT specialists in the recent Center for Digital Education Special Report Webinar: Mobility and the Cloud. (Listen to the archived recording HERE!)
Read more on Six Key Factors of a Successful Mobile Learning Program Implementation…
We’re republishing this old blog post (with some new information), as many of you are in the midst of online testing right now. One of the top questions we hear is: How can I ensure bandwidth for our testing?
Read more on Bandwidth Management and Online Testing…
Charles Motter, Assistant Principal at Cumberland County School District in Virginia, helps his teachers to become better educators by showing them what it’s like to be a student.
When teachers participate in professional development, they naturally take on the role of a student because they’re the ones learning. But Charles Motter’s approach is to show his teachers how exciting class can be by giving a comparison between a more traditional classroom and one that’s made more engaging with My Big Campus. It’s an important piece of the puzzle: giving teachers a glimpse into what it’s like to be in their own classroom.
Read more on Professional Development & My Big Campus: Turn Teachers Into Students…
Today’s internet is a media-rich dynamic environment. High speed connections available anytime and anywhere have become the norm and end users expect performance when browsing the web. Technologies that attempt to scan in realtime the contents of a webpage at best introduce latency and at worst can break the functionality on a website. We have taken a different approach to this problem so that schools can maintain the security that they need without compromising performance.
Read more on Web Filtering with a Dynamic Education-Focused Database…
I haven’t blogged in a while but as I was reading this article, “School Web Filtering Needs an Extreme Makeover,” I found myself nearly jumping up and down yelling “Yes!” and “What about us?” and “Hey! We do that!”
Read more on School Web Filtering ALREADY GOT an Extreme Makeover…