Largely unexamined in the large-scale shift to digital learning in education are the accompanying ethical considerations. Indeed, the issues and tradeoffs that school leaders and teachers face in using technology in schools and for education — whether free or for a fee — are more complex than they have ever been.
Like financial institutions, retailers, and Fortune 500 companies around the world, school districts are increasingly finding themselves and the personal information they hold about students, faculty, and staff targets of costly cyberincidents, including phishing schemes, malware intrusions, and denial of service (DoS) and ransomware attacks.
While increased access to technology has been instrumental to the growth of the OER movement, educational technology choices (often made by schools – and their vendors – on behalf of students) can serve to amplify and/or mute key features of openness. Indeed, the often unspoken relationship between OER and educational technology can be fraught with misplaced assumptions, red flags, value conflicts, and licensing complications.
I’m pleased to announce the beta launch of the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center at: https://www.k12cybersecure.com. The K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center website will be the new home of the K-12 Cyber Incident Map and related cybersecurity resources and commentary.
Often with their parents’ encouragement and supervision, young children are increasingly relying on mobile apps—even services that may not have expressly been designed for them—for learning. While parents have an expectation of privacy for their children when they use these apps, a new study suggests that parents’ trust may be misplaced.
Of note, some of the brands engaged in tracking may be quite familiar to readers…
Q: According to NAEP 2017, does home access to a computer (or tablet) and the internet make a difference on the math performance of 4th and 8th grade students?
A: Maybe not.
According to recent research by EdTech Strategies, more than 25 percent of school district websites embed user tracking tools that report sensitive user data back to Facebook. In the wake of a high-profile data-privacy scandal involving the social media company, schools and education organizations are taking a closer look at how and why they engage with Facebook.
Student data privacy advocates say the storm clouds around Facebook from the evolving Cambridge Analytica scandal are a reminder that schools, educators, and students should be asking tough questions about the third-party services on which they rely.
While OER typically reside in the public domain or have an alternative license that specifies how a resource may be reused, adapted, and shared, the use of an open license is in itself insufficient to addressing the broader sustainability and ethical questions facing the OER movement. It is for that reason that I and my co-authors (Lisa Petrides of ISKME and Eddie Watson of AAC&U) are pleased to introduce the CARE Framework for OER Stewardship.