Louisiana district hits stringent student privacy law head-on

A few years ago, Louisiana passed one of the strictest student data privacy laws in the country, creating an atmosphere of trepidation for teachers and school districts using educational technology in their classrooms.

In response, many school districts in Louisiana — including Lafayette Parish School System — have tried to educate their staffs about how to abide by the law without shying away from the digital resources they find valuable.

“It’s a very sensitive topic in our state, so we try to be extremely careful,” LaShona Dickerson, the technology director at Lafayette Parish, tells EdScoop TV.

Dickerson has spent this school year raising awareness around privacy and safety issues with teachers, especially when it comes to the terms of agreement for edtech tools they’re using in the classroom.

Already, she says, her work is paying off.

“I see teachers being more mindful about the resources they’re bringing into the classroom. They are asking more questions about, ‘Is this okay or is this not OK?’” she says. “They are reading the terms of agreement, and if they don’t understand the terms of agreement they’re calling my office.”

“That’s extremely important,” she adds, “and that’s a big win not only for the district, but certainly for the students.”

Learn more about Dickerson’s efforts to prep teachers on privacy issues, as well as the “issue that’s most dear to [her] heart” — personalized learning:

What kind of impact are you seeing from that project so far?

What advice would you offer to others considering this type of project?

What edtech issues do you feel are most important for educators and technology directors to pay attention to this year?