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Two Women Talking

A Balancing Act: Data Benefits vs. Parent Concerns

by Laura Devaney

eSchool News

Article excerpt

How do parents really feel about data?

New data from the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) reveals a majority of parents participating in a survey said they support using student data to inform educational practices, but they remain concerned about student data privacy and security issues in schools. The survey asked parents to identify their goals and describe their concerns about technology use and student data.

Our take

Communicating to Alleviate Parents’ Privacy Concerns

Data from the Future of Privacy (FPF) indicates that while parents are interested in using student data in support of better educational outcomes, they have some concerns. Parents see power in using data to help personalize learning and target opportunities for learning improvement, but concerns about privacy remain, representing opportunities for communication and education. How can you help to alleviate their concerns?

Ongoing education and communication is critical. School systems can never over-communicate about what they are doing to ensure student data privacy, as well as the role that parents themselves play in ensuring that both student, and family, data is protected. Having a process in place to ensure communication across a variety of channels—both online and off—and educating instructors to be able to answer parents’ questions can help to minimize concerns. Opportunities for two-way communication should also be provided to allow input and an opportunity to remain aware of new issues or concerns.