Issues with EdTech

No access to information

Families don’t even know what platforms their kids are using at school, let alone what data those platforms are collecting. 

Families are kept in the dark. On average, school districts use 2,591 EdTech products. But very few schools or school districts make available a comprehensive list of the products they use. A 2021 action by the Student Data Privacy Project revealed that fewer than 10% of school districts even responded to parent requests for a list of the EdTech platforms used by the school, the data they collect, and how that data is used, despite being required to do so under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Shifting the burden. EdTech companies typically either (1) do not respond to requests for information or (2) simply direct requests to schools.  Many parents report being kicked from person to person when attempting to obtain information relating to their kids’ use of digital technologies in the classroom. They’re denigrated as “luddites” or “difficult” when they ask even simple questions or seek basic information. And they’re seldom more informed or empowered at the end of their efforts. Parents should not bear the burden of obtaining this critical information: EdTech companies should be tasked with providing it to parents—before children ever even log on, and routinely thereafter.

Families deserve access and control. Parents and students have a right to know what EdTech products are used in their schools, what information is collected about them, and how that information is used. They have a right to be able to review, correct, and delete that information at any time, to make decisions about how that information is used, to revoke their consent at any time, and to exercise these rights before their information is compromised. The stakes are too high to accept anything less.