A new special report in Education Week shines a light on how difficult the task of protecting student data has become.

Titled “‘There Are So Many Issues’: Why Schools Are Struggling to Protect Student Data“, it details latest privacy breaches and vendor vulnerabilities and describes fallout from cut corners because of the pandemic. All of which lead to “a broad range of considerations, from students’ own smartphones, to classroom applications discovered and embraced by teachers, to district-level data systems, to state testing programs.”

The number of education tools and applications accessed per month by school districts increased from 952 just before the pandemic to 1,327 soon after, according to statistics from LearnPlatform Inc., a Raleigh, N.C.-based firm. By last school year, the figure had increased to 1,449.

“There were a large number of very well-intentioned companies that offered educational tools at the beginning of the pandemic,” Siegl said.

Haimson, of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, said her group is concerned about “the explosion of apps” used in schools, saying that “parents aren’t being informed about what data is being collected by private companies, how it is being used, and how it is being protected.”

“Even in states where there are privacy laws on the books, they’re not being enforced,” she said.

The article argues student data privacy is too important to simply be left to districts. Enabling state, provincial or even national technological infrastructures for student data governance is one of the challenges Unison was created to solve.

Learn how the sorts of role-based permissions control uniquely enabled by Unison’s approach can help ensure school districts, states & provinces and even whole countries leverage their student data for the good of learners while carefully managing who gets access to what, and when. Contact us.