February 28, 2013

Student privacy - will it exist in the future?

There are a lot of things happening in education that are making me not just ponder, but really worry about this question.

As I work with students in our online learning environment, which we use as an enhancement to our face to face classes - I am constantly trying to remind them of their online personas. Students absolutely need to understand that what happens and is said online is as and sometimes more important than what happens in real life. It only becomes more important because of its wide reach and permanence.

However, are we handing too much of their information and data over to the "Education Industry"?

Our district is moving to PowerSchool for attendance - owned by Pearson Education. Should Pearson have that kind of data access? Then, our district is pushing support for us to use My Big Campus - another Pearson product - for out LMS system.

Is it just my paranoia, or are there real ethical issues with their direction?
Should I be worried how the textbook and standardized test publisher is going to use this data, whether we know it or not?

I would love some comments on the topic.

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