Education Interview of the Month: Greg Smith Interviews Faith Boninger on Student Privacy

Lewis and Clark College Emeritus Professor of Education Gregory A. Smith interviews Faith Boninger on student privacy issues. Boninger is a Research Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-author of Asleep at the Switch, Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking

Asleep at the Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking

Digital technologies used in schools are increasingly being harnessed to amplify corporate marketing and profit-making and extend the reach of commercializing activities into every aspect of students’ school lives. In addition to the long-standing goal of providing brand exposure, marketing through education technology now routinely engages students in activities that facilitate the collection of valuable personal data and that socialize students to accept relentless monitoring and surveillance as normal.

Learning to be Watched: Surveillance Culture at School

Schools now routinely direct children online to do their schoolwork, thereby exposing them to tracking of their online behavior and subsequent targeted marketing. This is part of the evolution of how marketing companies use digital marketing, ensuring that children and adolescents are constantly connected and available to them. Moreover, because digital technologies enable extensive personalization, they amplify opportunities for marketers to control what children see in the private world of their digital devices as well as what they see in public spaces.

Hack Education: Inequality, 'Brand Ambassadors,' and the Business of Selling (to) Classrooms

Submitted by elaine on September 13, 2017

The Evergreen School District in Washington has told its teachers to stop using Donors Choose to raise money for classroom supplies and projects. According to KATU2, “The Washington State Auditor’s Office advised the district that a policy needs to be put in place to ensure that the money is properly handled, and that the items are designated as district property and put in the district inventory.”

The Answer Sheet: Personal Data is Collected on Kids at School All the Time. Here’s Help for Parents to Protect Children’s Privacy.

Submitted by elaine on May 18, 2017

Whether you know it or not, there is a remarkable amount of personal information about children now being collected by schools and their vendors that is then shared with government agencies, for-profit companies and other entities, all without parent consent. What kind of data?  There’s the basics — name, email address, grades and test scores — but also plenty more, including Internet searches and whether a student speaks out of turn in class.

Educating. All Our Children: Tyranny of Testing Companies: Privacy or Proprietary?

Submitted by elaine on May 31, 2016

My last post was an alert to parents about the ways the “educational” uses of technology are gathering data on our kids, not (as claimed) to advise their teachers on better ways to teach them, but to make it easier to market to kids – not just to sell to them, but to shape their ideas about what they want .

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