Just as adults’ personal lives and data increasingly inhabiting online spaces, so are students. While this shift brings many benefits and the possibility of learning tailored to individual students’ needs, it is also brings new challenges. Students create an electronic trail of information that creates an obvious concern: How can they enjoy the better learning outcomes technology makes possible but still maintain control of their data and be protected?
Nearly two years ago, a debate ignited over student information from multiple states and regions being collectively stored with the data repository InBloom. Critics charged that the not-for-profit service provider could potentially sell, misuse, or otherwise put at risk student data it held for schools. Surprised by the backlash, InBloom was ill prepared to explain its services to parents. Critics didn’t trust a third party whose name they didn’t recognize and who didn’t provide any service they could see, or track to a direct benefit for their child’s educational experience.