Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Student Privacy: The Next Frontier - Emerging & Future Privacy Issues in K-12 Learning Environments

22 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2015 Last revised: 4 Aug 2015

Paulina Haduong

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Zoe Emma Wood

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Sandra Cortesi

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Leah Plunkett

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center)

Dalia Topelson Ritvo

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Urs Gasser

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Date Written: May 20, 2015

Abstract

Building off several prior working meetings which mapped and considered the implications of the new and rapidly evolving ecosystem of networked technology being used with education (“ed tech”), the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Student Privacy Initiative convened a conversation in May 2015 among multiple stakeholders, including, but not limited to, K-12 educators, district administrators, academics, policy makers, and industry representatives. This working meeting was envisioned as one in a series of conversations which deepens our understanding of emerging and future privacy issues in K-12 learning environments, both formal and informal. Future conversations may focus on specific topics within the broader spectrum of issues relating to student privacy; this particular working meeting prioritized practicality over theoretical discussion, emphasizing the evolving experiences of K-12 administrators, educators, and students.

In order to evaluate the challenges and opportunities fostered by the next generation of ed tech, participants were asked to consider the following four layers of the ed tech ecosystem, each of which informs the others in myriad ways: Technological Infrastructure: What kind of technology can be considered “ed tech”? This layer encompasses cloud infrastructure, the Internet of Things, sensor networks, and other new technologies that facilitate connected learning environments (which transcend the traditional classroom set-up, disturb hierarchies, and foster peer-to-peer interactions) and other educational innovations within brick and mortar classrooms, thereby shaping the collection and use of student/educational data. Data: What kinds of data are being collected, and how/by whom are they being used? This layer includes the opportunities afforded by learning analytics (the aggregation of data about learners, offering the potential benefit of individualized learning trajectories and the potential challenge of limiting or discriminatory “tracking”), as well as other uses by educators, administrators, and other stakeholders of individual and cohort-wide student data previously unimaginable in both its breadth and depth. Organizational Structures: Where does learning take place today? This layer maps the institutional forms of current and future educational institutions, from traditional schoolhouses to informal learning environments, which can be situated within the context of schools, cities, libraries, and elsewhere -- and are perhaps best understood as part of the connected learning ecosystem. Norms and values: How do we want ed tech to be used in the classroom, and what are our expectations for/desires of privacy? This layer reflects those principles, policies, pedagogies, and practices that do or should animate the goals, implementation, and stakeholder experiences of twenty-first century digital education in its various iterations.

Keeping these layers in mind, discussion ranged widely across numerous themes, reflecting the participants’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This report seeks to summarize the conversation’s main themes and highlight suggestions for future action. In the following section, the main themes and observations are considered, including issues dealt with explicitly and at length, in addition to those that more quietly (and perhaps implicitly) surfaced at multiple points during the day. And although the third section concerns suggested areas for moving forward, these are meant to be understood as key highlights, and not a comprehensive summary.

Suggested Citation

Haduong, Paulina and Wood, Zoe Emma and Cortesi, Sandra and Plunkett, Leah and Ritvo, Dalia Topelson and Gasser, Urs, Student Privacy: The Next Frontier - Emerging & Future Privacy Issues in K-12 Learning Environments (May 20, 2015). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2638022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2638022

Paulina Lanchi Haduong (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Zoe Emma Wood

Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sandra Clio Cortesi

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Leah Plunkett

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center) ( email )

Two White Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States

Dalia Topelson Ritvo

Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Urs Gasser

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/ugasser.html

Paper statistics

Downloads
339
Rank
72,860
Abstract Views
1,190