National Nonprofit iKeepSafe Partners with EdTech Innovator BrightBytes to Help Districts Address Privacy and Safety in the Digital Era
New digital tool will help districts and educational agencies utilize technology to support best-in class privacy and security practices
SAN FRANCISCO – April 26, 2016 – Leading online safety and privacy nonprofit alliance Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), announced today its selection of edtech innovator BrightBytes to partner on a new digital tool to help schools, districts, and other educational organizations assess and improve their current policies and procedures in light of a rapidly evolving digital privacy and security landscape.
“Educators and families are excited about the role new technologies are playing in schools today, but they also want to know that student information is being kept private and secure, and that schools are taking steps to create a safe and healthy digital environment for students,” said iKeepSafe CEO Marsali Hancock. “At the same time, schools and districts need a simple way to organize information about their current policies and practices, so they can make decisions on where to focus time and resources to cohesively improve digital privacy, safety, and security.”
As technology is more widely adopted in schools, policymakers have begun to reexamine the rules and regulations governing student data privacy and security. In the last two years, nearly 300 bills have been introduced across 30 states and at least 60 have been signed into law. To support local education agencies (LEAs) as they navigate the implementation of these new laws and policies, iKeepSafe and BrightBytes have developed the Digital Privacy, Safety & Security module. This module takes stock of the technologies and practices in use across districts and states, and organizes the information into a simple-to-use dashboard that shows where policies and procedures are strongest, and where development efforts should be focused. After the initial assessment, users can access research-based content and exemplars from across the country to help fulfill their privacy and safety responsibilities. Through the new module, iKeepSafe and BrightBytes aim to not only ensure school systems comply with new laws, but also go beyond compliance to create a healthy, positive digital culture.
“The Digital Privacy, Safety & Security module has been instrumental in ensuring that schools and districts across Ventura County are not only providing a positive digital environment for students, but also are prepared to prevent and respond to digital incidents,” said Steve Carr, Chief Technology Officer of Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE), which has adopted the new module. “The module allows all stakeholders to understand their roles and responsibilities when it comes to creating a safe and secure digital environment for our students. We know that this is a journey, not a destination, and we appreciate the flexible and iterative nature of the module. ”
iKeepSafe, a trusted non-profit with over a decade of experience promoting healthy online behavior, has worked with a unique and diverse group of privacy experts and district leaders to develop, evaluate, and refine content designed to help schools easily assess and monitor their privacy and security practices and responsibilities. The module, powered by BrightBytes’ award-winning Clarity platform, takes education leaders through a comprehensive system based on the extensive research conducted by iKeepSafe that helps them build a clear picture of their current efforts, identify strengths and weaknesses, and determine areas in need of improvement. In addition, the module provides resources to create actionable, collaborative plans for building and maintaining policies and programs.
“To ensure that schools continue to effectively leverage technology to support student learning, we are excited to partner with iKeepSafe to offer a practical module that helps give schools, districts, and other education leaders confidence in knowing that they are providing a safe, secure environment for their students and teachers to engage in innovative, authentic learning,” said Rob Mancabelli, CEO and cofounder of BrightBytes.
To date, BrightBytes has partnered with one in five U.S. schools to help tackle problems such as student dropout rates and technology efficacy. Through its flagship Clarity platform, BrightBytes provides educational leaders with the data to make informed decisions about students, staff, stakeholders, and systems, and to drive learning outcomes.
The Digital Privacy, Safety & Security module, an easy to use and affordable software platform, is now available to districts, regional education agencies and states. To learn more about the module, request a customized demo or view a recorded webinar developed by BrightBytes and iKeepSafe, featuring presentations from Marsali Hancock and Steve Carr: Creating a Healthy Digital Environment: A roadmap for balancing your tech & learning goals with your privacy & security responsibilities.
About iKeepSafe The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), established in 2005, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit international alliance of more than 100 policy leaders, educators, law enforcement members, technology experts, public health experts and advocates. Through this network of support, iKeepSafe tracks global trends and issues surrounding digitally connected products and their effect on children. This research drives the continuous creation of positive resources for parents, educators and policymakers who teach youths how to use new media devices and platforms in safe and healthy ways.
About BrightBytes BrightBytes is a learning analytics organization that translates complex analysis and educational research into fast actions that drive student learning. Their flagship platform, Clarity, measures modern learning outcomes and provides visualized results that are educative, engaging and actionable allowing organizations to make evidence based decisions that improve instruction and advance student achievement.