Georgia district cautious on cybersecurity, privacy for education apps

School district technology leaders need to embed cybersecurity and privacy in how they make decisions about applications, Debbie Durrence, the chief data officer for Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, says in a recent video interview with EdScoop.

“Over the last several years, cybersecurity and privacy have become embedded in what we do every day,” Durrence says. “[We are] thinking about how do we have the best tools in the hands of our teachers and our staff, but [also] the right tools that we ensure have the right security and privacy measures in place.”

Durrence says that distinction is one that “is changing the way” her district — and other school districts across the country — think about providing edtech to students, teachers and staff.

The technology office, Durrence says, has looked carefully at the contract requirements of edtech applications, specifically “what vendors want to do” before selecting the technology it will use. That marks a shift, Durrence says, from a world in which teachers and staff can find applications on their own to accomplish what they need.

“It’s been very easy for teachers [and] staff to go find applications, but we need to make sure those are very secure and safe for our students to use,” Durrence says.

Durrence on her top priorities:

Durrence on emerging technologies:

Durrence on the future of her role:

This video was filmed at the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on April 1, 2019.