Educational Technology Tools For Students

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As classrooms evolve from giant computer lab towers to tablets and Chromebooks on every desk, most states across the country have updated their privacy laws to strengthen protections for students and teachers. In Massachusetts, Lawmakers are pushing to pass a bill that would update the state’s privacy law for students in K-12 schools and change a law that hasn’t been touched since 2006.

In particular, The current version of the bill prohibits the sharing of data about students; Operators or service providers that sell or lease online services to schools will be restricted in ways.

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“This builds more trust between schools who want to use this technology and students and parents who want to know that this information will be protected,” said Amelia Vance, an attorney with the Washington-based Future of Privacy Forum. Think tank and non-profit organization specializing in data protection.

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Vance is one of several speakers who will participate in today’s mock briefing on the bill, moderated by Reps. Kate Lipper-Garabedian and Jeffrey N. Roy.

Vance will join Steve Smith, CIO of Cambridge Public Schools, who founded the Student Data Privacy Consortium. According to Vance, Smith could be seen as part of updating Massachusetts’ educational privacy laws.

“Massachusetts has really grown districts,” Vance said. “Probably the strongest privacy protection infrastructure built by Steve Smith [in Massachusetts].”

Vance said Smith’s model created a system where companies had to sign a contract agreeing to limits on data sharing. Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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“It would make life easier in the county if businesses were required to sign,” Vance said. “But these districts have led to this in a way that they don’t think is legislatively necessary.”

Felicia Vasudevan, an attorney who negotiates privacy agreements with service providers in states like Massachusetts, said having the law on the books would strengthen the process of securing student data.

“When I negotiate these deals, vendors often say, ‘Where is the law that supports this?’ And not necessarily for Massachusetts or Rhode Island,” Vasudevan said. “So the bill is important because it really supports school districts as to why they’re asking for this privacy.”

Information as defined by law includes educational records; schoolwork phone numbers and emails; regulatory records; criminal records and child support records; special education records; photos, medical records and health information; grocery purchases; including text messages; online search functionality; Exam results and grades; Other categories.

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Sharing this much data is already prohibited by the 1974 Federal Act Protecting the Privacy of a Student’s Educational Records (FERPA). Under FERPA; Although educational institutions may not legally share information that identifies a student; But both federal and state laws are vague on that definition, Vasudevan said.

“Negotiating these agreements, what is student data? What is personally identifiable? Currently, it is very broad under state law,” Vasudevan said. “One of the really important things about the bill is that we don’t have that clarity because it spells out exactly what student personal information is.”

The bill includes a private right of action that would give an “aggrieved student or educational institution” the right to civilly sue an operator or online business for up to $10,000 in damages for each violation of the proposed law.

“I think this is going to be one of the most politically contentious points in this bill,” Vance said. “We’ve seen private jurisdiction laws proposed in other states, but none of them have passed.”

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Vance said she was skeptical of the bill’s provision, which she said could be viewed as too restrictive and could discourage future business in the state.

“When people can file civil lawsuits, prices go up and companies are forced to offer their products in education,” says Vance. “For example, I know you have a lot of companies that are getting educated for the first time because of the pandemic, and if they’re not taking those kinds of precautions, they’re not going to be willing to do that.”

“Thinking about how we can incentivize and motivate vendors to meet their commitments adds teeth,” Vasudevan said.

GBH News brings you stories, Bringing regional voices and big ideas that will shape our world. Follow us so you don’t miss anything! As followers of Rick Stiggins, Make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to formative assessment or what is called “Assessment for Learning”. I’ve been doing it for years.

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“Teachers who use assessment for learning engage their students in a series of self-assessments that show learners (a) where they are headed toward learning, (b) where they currently are relative to those expectations, and (c) how each student can bridge the gap between the two.” – Rick Stiggins

Formative assessment is an integral part of the learning process and student success, and many digital tools can support this process.

This list includes a variety of features and options to help you solidify your structured assessment strategies. Many of the tools below are useful for formative and summative assessment.

ASSISTments is a forever free online math platform that makes it easy for teachers to create assignments online in their curriculum and assess student progress in the classroom or remotely. Students get immediate feedback as they work on assignments within ASSISTments, and teachers get actionable information they use to focus class time on where students need the most support.

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Edpuzzle lets you turn videos into quick reviews. YouTube Khan Academy Choose a video from the crash course or upload your own. cut the video Add a quiz anywhere and track your students’ progress. (Freemium, the basic account is free, additional services are available with paid accounts.)

Edulastic is a complete review dashboard. Teachers can create, track, and even align assessments with the CCSS. They also provide a district-wide platform for sharing district-specific assessments. (Free for teachers, district distribution requires paid license.)

An easy-to-use online whiteboard program that can be used on any device. Students can quickly create video summaries that show the main things they’ve learned and any questions they may have. (Free and paid versions)

Flipgrid is a video discussion platform that allows students to respond to questions and topics and reflect using videos. Students reply to each other; You can write comments and more. (free)

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Some say Gimkit is Kahoot on steroids. Gimkit is another quick quiz game, but with an extra element. Students earn in-game currency that can be spent on game upgrades. Watch Leslie Fisher’s review and video to learn more.

In Google Classroom, You have the option to create a question and share it with students. You can do this together or you as the teacher can simply reveal the answers to you. It’s not a robust tool for the threads I want, but it can be useful for format assessment and comprehension checks.

Formative is a very powerful free online assessment tool. With Formative, teachers can choose and customize pre-built assessments to fit their needs; They can create their own; Or you can even upload a PDF or document to create. They also provide some fantastic data to track and intervene if needed. (Free and integrated with Google Classroom.)

Google Forms is a very easy to use survey and quiz tool. You can import your form or quiz data into a Google Sheet for analysis and reporting. Both Google Forms and Sheets have a number of “add-ons” that give users more options to support your format evaluations. (free)

Massachusetts Student Data Privacy Laws Need An Update, Say Legislators, Educators Pushing New Bill

InsertLearning is a Chrome extension that lets you turn any web page into an interactive lesson. To highlight text in InsertLearning; to add sticky notes; questions, It has this awesome toolbar that lets you make videos or even discussions within a web page. Learn more about InsertLearning here: 4 ways to integrate learning with InsertLearning. (InsertLearning is a freemium app, but you get your first five lessons for free.)

Jamboard is a cloud-based whiteboard application for collaboration across multiple devices. Students collaborate; You can use this app to create presentations and organize resources from other Google apps and the web.

Kahoot! It’s a game-based learning and trivia platform that you can use to create highly engaging quizzes for your classroom. Kahoot! Very fun and addictive. You can create your own kahoots or choose from the game library. Play group live kahoots, Set challenges or assign them as homework. (free)

Mentimeter is a potential interactive presentation tool.

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