The high demand for data-driven tools is giving ed tech websites, applications and software their time to shine. The big question is, are these tools protecting the information that teachers and students share?
The short answer is, yes and no.
In a survey of over 1000 ed tech vendors, Common Sense Education found that only 52 percent of the vendors require encryption of login and personal information. They either didn’t require encryption (20 percent) or were not built to support it (25 percent.) This is surprising, since the practice of adding these features is quite simple.
This lack of encryption was from vendors of all sizes, as well, small to huge can all be at fault. While it should be a priority for vendors to have their sites encrypted, there are things that educators and administrators can do to keep their tools encrypted.
Best Practices to Insure Ed Tech Apps are Secure
For the more tech-savvy, like district IT departments, can benefit from Observatory from Mozilla. It gives security protocols of websites, and can be helpful for encryption purposes.
Another step is to check the Student Privacy Pledge, which is signed by at least 325 ed tech companies that promise to safeguard student privacy. Using these companies’ products would secure your system with you doing barely any work.
Knowing what you’re using and how to use it is the most important part. Be diligent of what sites and apps students have access to, and make sure to encrypt your data.