What do teachers know about student privacy? Not enough, the researchers say

What are teachers expected to know about student data privacy and ethics?

Given that many of their jobs now revolve around student data, this is a simple enough question – and researcher Ellen B. Mandina and a colleague were assigned to answer. More specifically, they wanted to know what the state guidelines have to say on the subject. Was that information included in the Educational Code of Conduct? Or maybe in the curriculum requirements for teacher training programs?

“The answer is, really not,” says Mandina, a senior research scientist at nonprofit WestAid. “Very few state standards have much to do with the protection of privacy or data,” she says, without touching the FERPA or disposing of the data properly.

Mandinach thinks institutions have historically played hot potatoes that take responsibility for teaching teachers about data privacy, but its overloaded case on epidemics and digital education has brought new awareness to the issue.

Like Atlanta’s sixth-graders, Mandina says the use of data ethics has a real impact on students. Accused “Zoombombing” is based on his computer’s IP address or Dartmouth students. Innocent From allegations of fraud.

“We are in this undiscovered territory, especially since we are virtual,” says Mandina. “Our goal is to create resources and awareness for the education community and the business community [these tools] Can be widely used to help better prepare current and future teachers. ”

This week, Mandinach and her partners at the Future of Privacy Forum released two training resources for K-12 teachers: Student Privacy Primer And a A guide to working through data ethical situations. The curriculum is based on them Report Investigate how much data privacy and ethics preparation teachers receive while in college.

Juliana Cotto, policy counselor at the Future of Privacy Forum, says the training tools show teachers how questions of privacy and ethics arise in students’ daily work. As a former class teacher, Cotto recalls that her own privacy training came for an hour-long seminar on FERPA, which controls how student data can be released and displayed.

Says Coto, “We take the unique role of teachers in protecting students’ privacy at the beginning of the report. “What is privacy? What are the ethical and responsible uses of data? Here are 99 examples of what this means and how it can be leaked.”

Thinking through problems

There are cover themes in situations that have emerged in the digital age, including responding to student cyber threats on social media or dealing with abuse by students during virtual classes. But they do encourage teachers to think about more analog handling of student data, such as when they pass tests with student grades, or when they suspect a student has come to class with an infectious disease.

Mandina himself says the curriculum, run at five universities, is designed in such a way that any professor can use it outside, ignoring their own data privacy experts.

Cheryl Forbes, director of teacher education at the University of California, San Diego, says about 60 graduates from her department piloted the course during the spring semester. They range from students at the beginning of a teacher training program to students who are already head of a class.

The teacher intern especially appreciated the program, she says, because it was living the scenario already presented for discussion.

Forbes says it appealed to participants to take an insistent role and “this is what I will do.”

Forbes says there was very little education with student privacy before the outbreak, when Zoom brought schools to students’ homes and made issues like child abuse more visible. Prior to that, discussions about privacy and ethics could be limited to one instructor, such as, “Don’t talk about your students in the grocery store.”

A scenario in the course focused on what the teacher should do after seeing a student playing with a toy gun on the zoom. In fact, Forbes says, a similar situation arose at her student teacher’s school. The school called police after a teacher reported seeing a gun on the zoom at a student’s home.

Forbes recalls, “It really led to a great discussion between us as students were talking about how different communities experience police differently.” “This is a Latinx community and you are calling the police to the boy’s house? What could go wrong? There was diversity among the students [responses]. ”

The discussion is moving forward

Along with course guides, Cotto says researchers are trying to move conversations from just following privacy laws to what is best for students.

“Often, legal compliance is lacking. It’s too floor. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. ”

Mandina realized that this information also applies to teachers who are already in the classroom. After their initial look at the data ethics landscape, the researchers determined that everyone in the school who handles data डेटा from data clerks, counselors, administrators, and even school board members-must be above the surface level. Knowledge of privacy.

“My position on this and this is a recommendation that, every teacher appointed by the school district, during onboarding, should be given some kind of training only in FERPA 101 or privacy 101,” says Mandinach, “but on data privacy and data ethics in general.

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