Education technology is constantly evolving, with educators facing a myriad of innovations geared toward preparing students for lives in a tech-forward world. Navigating the never-ending stream of new tech applications and devices is difficult enough for educators; what is even more challenging is ensuring compliance, privacy and security for students and families.
Education Technology Regulations
Elementary, middle and high schools (K-12) are all regulated by government policies focused on protecting students and their families utilizing education technology:
- Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires schools or libraries who receive government discounts on Internet access to implement measures that block or filter Internet access to pictures that are explicit, obscene or harmful to minors.
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides protections for parents regarding their children’s education records including report cards, transcripts, disciplinary files, contact info, and class schedules. Under FERPA, parents have the right to review their student’s education records and request changes (under limited circumstances). Schools are required to request written consent before releasing a student’s information to a third party.
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) pertains to websites and online services for children under 13 years of age, as well as websites or online services that knowingly collect personal information online from a child under 13.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, websites and online services covered by COPPA must:
- Request and receive parental consent before collecting information from or about children
- Not disclose a child’s information to a third party (with limited exceptions requiring parental notification)
- Enable parents to review, edit and/or delete their child’s information
- Allow parents to halt or prevent further use or online collection of their child’s info
- Ensure confidentiality, security, and integrity of data collected from children
- Delete a child’s information as soon as it is no longer necessary and ensure against unauthorized access