Wholehearted support for student privacy protections and for using data to personalize learning

spp_signatory square_lgI welcomed President Obama’s announcement of a proposed new Student Digital Privacy Act aimed at preventing companies from selling sensitive student information collected in schools and using the data to engage in targeted advertising to children. President Obama’s statement, “Data collected in the classroom should only be used to teach our children, not to market to our children” is in alignment with DreamBox Learning’s commitment to privacy and our mission to unlock the learning potential of every child while we cultivate a life-long love of learning.

The proposed legislation will be modeled on California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA). Following the announcement, James P. Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, a children’s advocacy and media ratings group in San Francisco, said, “You can’t have all this potentially positive use of technology in schools without privacy protection for students, their families and teachers.” I agree. Both learners and learning guardians will be well served by a more balanced discussion about the responsible use of data to support good teaching and learning.

Our ongoing commitment to student privacy and student achievement

At DreamBox Learning, we believe that all students and families will benefit from the comfort and confidence that result from well-conceived policies on privacy protection. In fact, we were one of the first companies to sign a binding pledge to protect student privacy and safeguard information as soon as it was available. The Student Privacy Pledge, led by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) and the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), has been signed by 75 leading education technology companies to offer privacy protection to students and families.

This pledge signifies that we intend to honor the values that guide our work at DreamBox. We remain deeply committed to partnering with educators and parents to utilize learning analytics that inform instruction and to support the transformative growth and learning for all students. Research has shown that the use of academic data is one of the most powerful tools we have to maximize student potential, and we must be dedicated to leveraging it to enable progress for learners at every level. This proposed legislation is a way to accomplish both.

Jessie Woolley-Wilson