Why edtech leaders should guide teachers on data privacy

Marlo Gaddis started her education career in the classroom, so she knows that teachers need to be adept at finding resources to augment the learning experience. Now serving as chief technology officer for the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina, she told EdScoop she sees her role as essential in supporting that task.

“As teachers who sometimes don’t have a lot of the resources that they need, we start getting really good at finding resources,” Gaddis says in a video interview at the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday. “One of the things that I can speak to specifically is that there’s nobody really teaching teachers how to vet resources appropriately.”

Teachers often do a great job of ensuring that the resources they use meet various standards, Gaddis says, but when it comes to a complex issue like data privacy, they can miss things along the way.

“Sometimes we’re not vetting for the right things,” Gaddis says. “We have a lot of great products that are doing great things for instruction, however they may or may not be safe for our students.”

In Wake County, district officials are working together to establish a better understand of the “compelling why” — why teachers and administrators need to be hyperaware of student data privacy as they vet educational resources, Gaddis says.

“Ultimately, cybersecurity and data privacy is not a technology issue. It’s a human issue,” Gaddis says.

Gaddis on her top priorities:

Gaddis on emerging technology:

Gaddis on the future of her role:

This video was filmed at the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on April 2, 2019.