Feb 022016
 February 2, 2016  Posted by  Laws, U.S., Youth & Schools

Michael Feldstein writes:

Have you ever witnessed a Ferpa freakout? Maybe you’ve had one yourself, as you worried about whether trying a new digital tool in class might violate the federal law that protects student privacy.

Georgia Tech had a Ferpa freakout a few years ago. The university, which had pioneered the use of public wikis for classes in the 1990s, shut down all course wikis because its lawyers believed that they violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly known as Ferpa. In their view, simply making public the fact that a student attended the university (by, for example, having a student’s name appear in a public course-related wiki) violated the law. Needless to say, consternation followed. In a Chronicle article at the time, one of the creators of Georgia Tech’s wiki program lamented that the university’s take insulted the intelligence of students by assuming that they weren’t capable of managing their own privacy.

Read more on Chronicle of Higher Education.

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