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Manual or Online Student Registrations: Which is Safest?

 

We know that safeguarding your students’ data is a high priority. From birth dates to phone numbers to home addresses and grades – student records are a treasure trove of sensitive information. But if your school or district still relies on manual processes over online student registrations, you are exposed to a gamut of risks. 

Switching to an online registration solution reduces risks like misplaced student files and data entry errors. It also helps both parents and staff make the registration process paperless, secure, and efficient.  Continue reading Manual or Online Student Registrations: Which is Safest?

What is Your Waste Reduction Plan?

According to NYC Government, a district with 10,000 students, teachers & staff, amounts to 28,000,000 sheets of paper.  How can you reduce waste and reduce garbage disposal while decreasing costs?

Sometimes, recycling is forgotten. Sometimes, recycling just isn’t enough. If you’re wondering how to decrease your districts’ waste, create a plan and work the plan with multiple reminders that there’s only one Earth!  Continue reading What is Your Waste Reduction Plan?

Green Schools…it’s a ‘thing’; what is it exactly?

Have you been hearing about a “Green School”?  Well, it’s a ‘thing’ and it’s growing quickly.

When teachers and students aren’t calling out sick repeatedly – it equates to a better education for the students.  This is one impetus for the “Green School” idea.

It’s been said that going green with your district’s buildings and lawns provides for a healthier environment.  We all know that healthier environments perpetuate healthier people.  Today, the idea of going green is more than recycling. Continue reading Green Schools…it’s a ‘thing’; what is it exactly?

Student Data Privacy: Is non-compliance worth the risk?

Student Data Privacy Awareness is Growing

As recently discussed at the 2019 ISTE Conference in Phila, Kim Nesmith, Louisiana Department of Education ed tech, pointed out that there have been rapid changes in technology nationwide, leading to different tools and solutions available to protect student data. At the same time, she said, hundreds of school safety bills and guidelines across safety commissions, boards, and state legislatures are being circulated, some of which push for increased student surveillance.

What Could Happen if You Don’t Comply?

What exactly are the consequences if you aren’t so diligent?  In Louisiana, there is a hefty financial penalty or prison time for anyone that collects personal student data and personally identifiable information (“PII”) since a student data privacy law passed there a few years ago. That makes things very challenging.  The upside is it creates an awareness of protecting students’ privacy and how important it really is but then the downside is facing an uphill climb when trying to manage information.  In this state, if you download an app or create an online account providing PII on a site, you are open to consequences.  Currently, Louisiana is the only state that has such harsh restriction Continue reading Student Data Privacy: Is non-compliance worth the risk?

Millions of Students Have No Home Internet Access

Not every family or student has access to the internet at home.

Are students and parents at a disadvantage due to communication barriers?

Let’s take a look: In 2015, the Pew Research Center analyzed data from studies on internet access and found that the problem is mainly in low-income families.  Among households with an annual income under $50,000, 31.4% don’t have broadband internet access. For households with an annual income of over $50,000, the number is much smaller—only 8.4% lack access to broadband internet.  In addition to lower-income families, it has been found that minority students are also at an internet ‘disadvantage’. Continue reading Millions of Students Have No Home Internet Access

The U.S. Department of Education is using Cloud Computing Software

What has motivated the US Department of Education (DoE),  to use cloud computing software?

The DoE has begun storing confidential and sensitive education documents via the “cloud” for several reasons.  There is mounting pressure to keep private student data private.  Financially, it also makes sense. While cloud-based services are not required of each institution within each state, any district implementing such a system would save time, money and other resources.  Since truly personal information is housed at the institutional level, secure cloud computing services would guarantee the safety of that information, as well as its accuracy for future funding plans. Continue reading The U.S. Department of Education is using Cloud Computing Software

4-Day School Week: Weighing in the Pros and Cons

The concept of the 4-day school week is in play around the country.  Some school districts have made the change while some are in trial runs.  It sounds like a great idea.  But is it?

25% of US School Districts have in some way have switched to a shorter ‘work‘ week.  This could be a no brainer method to save money on building utilities, transportation costs and more.  As the saying goes, all clouds have a silver lining.  But does this silver lining have a cloud?

Let’s start with the Pros

  • Shorter week means more rest for students and staff
  • More restful students, teachers, and other staff means less stress = more productivity
  • Less need for transportation (less expense)
  • Decreases food costs
  • More time for students to study
  • The 5th day can be an option for teachers to take a class or schedule parent/teacher conferences

Continue reading 4-Day School Week: Weighing in the Pros and Cons

Classroom Size Reduction (CSR): Do smaller classrooms correlate to higher achievement?

Do classroom size reduction, (CSR) programs help students?

This topic has been highly analyzed and debated for decades; do smaller classrooms correlate to higher achievement? In reference to Schanzenbach, D. W. (2014), “Does Class Size Matter?”, it’s been stated that size DOES matter, especially with mid to lower-income students.  CSR has been associated with lowering the achievement gap in students.  It’s also been instrumental in recruiting efforts.  Teachers with a well-prepared plan will see better results in CSR. Continue reading Classroom Size Reduction (CSR): Do smaller classrooms correlate to higher achievement?

2-Factor Authentication: Should my district adopt this data security measure?

Many districts are adopting a 2-factor authentication process.  Why?

We all know what cybersecurity means.  Today, passwords for sensitive data is just not enough.  To avoid legal penalties and protect their districts’ privacy, education data managers must make data privacy a priority.  There are federal and state data protection policies administrators must follow that to protect student data privacy.  A strong strategy for cybersecurity will always include implementing two-factor authentication for all users.

Continue reading 2-Factor Authentication: Should my district adopt this data security measure?

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