WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) today released a comprehensive new student privacy resource, Student Privacy Communications Toolkit: For Schools & Districts. Designed to help school and district leaders communicate about student privacy, particularly with the accelerated adoption of educational technology platforms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Privacy Toolkit includes both high-level best practices and guidance, as well as template communications materials such as letters, text messages and consent forms for a range of scenarios and audiences.
“As schools prepare for another semester of uncertainty and continue to collect sensitive health data and rely on new technologies, is critical that there is a plan in place to ensure student data is used ethically and equitably,” said Amelia Vance, FPF’s Director of Youth and Education Privacy. “Whether schools are building a plan from scratch or refining student privacy policies that have been in place for years, we hope that this toolkit can help leaders articulate the value of student data to diverse audiences, inform privacy practices, raise awareness of the risks and challenges that come with increased data collection, and take steps to help safeguard student information, ultimately creating a culture of privacy within their own school communities.”
While developed with school and district leaders in mind, the Student Privacy Toolkit includes guidance, information, and insight of interest to all education stakeholders, such as:
- A student privacy primer, covering the different types of student data, how that data is used, and the key policies, practices, and procedures that schools and districts should implement to create a culture of privacy.
- A roadmap for developing an effective student privacy communications strategy, including best practices to establish trust and promote transparency, as well as a guide to creating an effective student privacy website.
- Tips for talking to parents about student privacy, including template letters, consent forms and sample parental and student notices that are specific to new student privacy challenges posed by online learning.
- Resources for effectively engaging with educators, including around the use of video classrooms and the need to vet any new edtech apps or tools with the school before introducing them into the classroom.
- Guidance for including students in privacy discussions, including key questions to ask, a template Responsible Use of Technology policy, and other resources to use to encourage students to become informed and empowered digital citizens.
The Student Privacy Toolkit is an extension of FPF’s ongoing commitment to providing new and timely resources for educators navigating the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the start of the school year, FPF launched its “Privacy and Pandemics” professional development series for educators, also accessible through YouTube.
Additionally, FPF partnered with the National Center For Learning Disabilities (NCLD) to develop Student Privacy and Special Education: An Educator’s Guide During and After COVID-19 and with the National Education Association (NEA) to develop recommendations for the use of video conferencing platforms in online learning.
FPF maintains a comprehensive list of student privacy and COVID-19 resources on its student privacy-focused website, Student Privacy Compass.
To learn more about the Future of Privacy Forum, visit www.fpf.org.
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The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a nonprofit organization focused on how emerging technologies affect consumer privacy. FPF is based in Washington, DC, and includes an advisory board comprising leading figures from industry, academia, law, and advocacy groups. FPF’s Youth & Education Privacy program works to protect child and student privacy while allowing for data and technology use that can help young people learn, grow, develop, and succeed. FPF works with stakeholders from practitioners to policymakers, providing technical assistance, resources, trend analysis, and training. FPF’s Youth and Education Privacy team runs Student Privacy Compass, the one-stop-shop resource site on all things related to student privacy.