policy

Only 28% of Districts Have Enough Bandwidth to Use Digital Learning Every Day

As America’s classrooms become increasingly connected, the nation inches ever closer to reaching a major milestone: 100 percent of schools with high-speed internet access, defined as at least 100 kbps (or 100 thousand bits per second) per student.But what was once the gold standard for high speed is now barely enough to keep pace with modern learning environments, according to Evan Marwell, CEO of the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, which released its annual State of the States report Tuesday.

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There Is No ‘I’ in Interoperability

Sure—the letter “I” is used three times to spell “interoperability.” But look beyond the word, as clunky and confusing as it may seem, and focus instead on its essence and the possibilities that are inherent in its definition.What is interoperability? Simply put, it is the ability for systems and applications to interact and exchange data. When put into context for educational technology, interoperability means that all of the digital content, tools, and resources used by teachers and students work well together. Consider this example:

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Golden State GDPR: What the Edtech Industry Should Know About CA’s New Privacy Rules

On June 27, 2018, the California Legislature, in a flurry of last-minute activity, passed the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on the same day, and the CCPA is set to become effective on January 1, 2020.This is a game-changing law that will impact companies in the U.S. and globally, and moves the U.S. toward closer alignment with the European Union, where the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) went into effect in May.

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When 12-Year-Olds Can Breach School IT Systems, Who’s Responsible?

Like moths to a flame, curious and tech-savvy students have always pushed the limits of what educators deem ‘acceptable use’ of school technology. This is in no way a new phenomenon. We provide them with access to powerful, general-purpose computing devices, access to the internet, and time—and at younger and younger ages. They explore, tinker, make, express themselves, push back, pursue their interests, and act out.

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FBI Warns Educators and Parents About Edtech’s Cybersecurity Risks

The FBI has released a public service announcement warning educators and parents that edtech can create cybersecurity risks for students.Specifically, the organization notes that the “widespread collection of sensitive information” by education technology vendors, such as web browsing history, biometric data and students’ geolocation, could “present unique exploitation opportunities for criminals.”

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The Unintentional Ways Schools Might Be Violating FERPA, and How They Can Stay Vigilant

Want to throw away old student records? Make sure you don’t just put them in trash cans—shred them first. If you don’t, your institution might get accused of violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, which protects student education records in both K-12 and higher education.

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Can Federal ‘School Safety’ Funds Be Used for Surveillance Tech? Congress Is Looking Into It.

On the heels of news that the Education Department would consider if schools can use federal funds to arm teachers with guns, Congress is asking if the same block grant that could go toward firearms can also be used to purchase surveillance technologies such as security cameras and metal detectors.

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Tear Down That Wall? Why Data Walls May Cause More Harm Than Good.

At Inkster Preparatory Academy outside Detroit, students track their scores on the high-stakes NWEA Map test on the walls of their classrooms. Their names aren’t on the board—instead they have their own code—but at a glance they can see how well their peers are doing. The practice is known as “data walls,” and is designed to serve as a motivational tool. Students are told that “everyone is working to move their number” even higher, says Demetria Tumpkin, a second grade teacher at the school.

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Does It Make More Sense to Invest in School Security or SEL?

School security is a constant challenge, but tragedies such as the shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students in February bring the issue front and center. After the Parkland shooting, lawmakers from both parties saw the need for action.

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Income-Share Agreement Providers Want to Woo Higher Ed. But Will It Work?

This month the U.S. Education Department announced a proposal to remove a set of higher education regulations meant to punish college programs that turned out to be bad deals for students—specifically, ones whose graduates’ student-loan payments were higher than a specific portion their incomes.

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