Three Ways LearnPlatform Helps You Protect Student Data in Your District


Back to school, end of year, middle of the semester — there’s no wrong time to evaluate edtech management practices and improvement opportunities in order to develop plans that will continuously drive success. Amid conversations centered around curriculum implementation, instructional goals and aligning edtech with intended outcomes, schools and districts must also focus on student data and the mechanisms they have in place to ensure its protection.

Protecting student data collected by digital tools is one of the most important jobs for learning organizations in 21st century education. With the connectedness enabled by the digital world and explosive edtech market growth, districts have opened students up to a whole new world of informational access. But with this access, comes challenges and potential security risks.

Over the past few months, our team has shared content designed to help our community stay informed about developments on cybersecurity in schools by providing an overview of the “who, what, how and why” on student data privacy" and sharing steps toward ensuring better data protection. Each article included an environmental scan of current use cases and ways federal and state legislation are evolving to match the rapid growth and capabilities of digital education solutions.

As technology continues to advance ― for example, many platforms are now able to capture, track and evaluate hundreds of thousands of pieces of data to make informed decisions in real time that can eventually lead to building a behavioral profile for individual IP addresses ― uncertainty still exists about the ownership of such data. One thing remains clear, however: companies whose consumer base is comprised of children must be held to a higher standard when it comes to data use and transparency. Stakeholders in the education system must work to ensure that all districts have the tools to protect student data privacy and to improve practices quickly enough to keep up with ever-advancing technology.

A new SETDA report, 4 Cybersecurity Concerns for State Leaders, identifies student data privacy as one of the four key areas leaders must address. Among other advisement, the report includes recommendations for districts to work closely with vendors to make sure purchases comply with privacy policies, incorporate student data privacy reviews into the vetting process for new tools and develop a system of governance based on state laws.

Each of these is an important job for state and district administrators that can be made easier and more effective through the use of a comprehensive edtech management system, like LearnPlatform.

LearnPlatform is a data-driven, decision support system for states and districts to help organize, streamline and analyze their classroom technology. Using LearnPlatform gives education organizations the ability to inventory and select digital learning tools, establish and maintain regulatory compliance, and measure outcomes to gain meaningful, actionable evidence to ensure learning ecosystems are safe and cost-effective.

Here are a few of the benefits of LearnPlatform that can help a school or district like yours take steps toward keeping student data safe and secure:

1. LearnPlatform provides districts with more information when finding, selecting and comparing new edtech products. Administrators can use the platform to vet thousands of tools to ensure they are fully compliant with federal and state regulations, as well as any customized privacy standards set forth by the district. With more information at your disposal, you can improve your ability to select the best digital solutions for not only driving student outcomes, but maintaining student data privacy. 

2. LearnPlatform acts as the first line of defense for protecting student data by providing the IMPACT-Ready™ designation, a single reference point to verify that product providers have made a commitment to ensuring student data protection, along with committing to data interoperability and providing transparency into their accessibility. When you see the IMPACT-Ready designation on a company's LearnPlatform page, you will immediately know whether a product meets the minimum acceptable standards in these areas, saving you valuable time in the vetting process and enabling you to speed up procurement.

3. LearnPlatform allows you to create custom approval and privacy statuses for any tools in your digital library. Custom statuses help you ensure that students are using only the safest products, as teachers can see which solutions are approved (or unapproved) for use in your district and which ones meet your district’s student data privacy standards.

School districts across the U.S. use an average of 548 edtech tools per month and keeping track of all those tools, much less ensuring all collected data is fully protected, can seem like a monumental challenge. But, working with our comprehensive platform gives district leaders a leg up, allowing them to more easily stay informed of the latest legislation and industry standards to ensure they’re best positioned for success.

Let LearnPlatform help make a difference protecting student data in your district, by signing up today. And please, don’t hesitate to contact the LearnPlatform team if you have any questions about ensuring that your providers are doing the utmost to protect students data.