Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pedagogy (and Privacy) First

It is the cry of teachers everywhere: Pedagogy first, technology second!

While there is a strong truth in that education mantra, there is a missing element: Privacy.

A month ago I co-authored a piece for EdSurge with Ross Cooper titled Should I Download That App? A Ten-Question Checklist for Choosing Tools Worth Your—and Your Students'—Time. The ten questions in the article are meant to help classroom teachers and school and district leaders stay focused on pedagogy and district goals ahead of flashy apps and tools.


The initial reactions from educators and tech experts were both positive and critical. Some hailed the post as a great list to ensure that learning was the primary goal of any technology use in school. Others were critical that we left out the omnipresent issue of privacy. (Perhaps they only skimmed the ten bolded questions rather than reading the entire article. Time is precious. We understand.)

We didn't leave privacy out.

Although privacy was not mentioned in the ten questions – since the article's focus was pedagogy – it was most definitely covered. To leave out privacy is unthinkable.



Lucky for us, EdTech K-12 picked up our post today and shared out the ten questions to help preview the release of a tool still in development at the U.S. Department of Education to help teachers tackle the same ever-present challenge: to download or not to download? 


While this article helps emphasize the importance of pedagogy over technology, it doesn't reference our mention of privacy either. I hope the U.S. DOE's tool includes privacy. I'm sure it will.

The good news is that classroom educators who are looking for guidance on how the student data privacy laws apply to their classroom practice have a resource on the way. Stay tuned.

As part of my work with ConnectSafely and in partnership with the experts at the Future of Privacy Forum a ten question guide to student data privacy is coming on May 23. It is designed especially for classroom educators who love their students, love what technology helps their students do, and want to keep both pedagogy and privacy top of mind.

Keep an eye on the ConnectSafely and FERPA|SHERPA on May 23. With both pedagogy and privacy in mind, it is still possible and important to use powerful technology tools available to prepare our students to the multi-faceted careers that await them.

Coming on May 23!
When using tech with students, let's put both pedagogy and privacy first.