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Opinion: Lawmakers Need to Consult Teachers When Legislating EdTech

Opinion: Lawmakers Need to Consult Teachers When Legislating Ed Tech

One teacher gets the importance of regulating student data, but asks legislators everywhere to consult with teachers on how they use technology in the classroom to better draft policy reform on the subject.

One teacher gets the importance of regulating student data, but asks legislators everywhere to consult with teachers on how they use technology in the classroom to better draft policy reform on the subject.

According to an article on TheHill.com, history teacher Kerry Gallagher understands the importance of protecting student data as technology becomes more available and used in the classroom.

"Protecting student privacy is, of course, a paramount concern for teachers like me. Because the role of technology is essential in all of our lives, it is also increasing in our children's classrooms. This means we are creating more data and we must ensure that data is safeguarded," she said, according to the article.

But she urges lawmakers to talk to teachers to get a better understanding of how technology is used in the classroom before changing or adding legislation.

"If policy makers don't know how teachers in their states and districts are using technology and data, they should ask. Teachers have valuable insights, and getting their perspective will lead to more thoughtful and meaningful legislation," she said.

In Gallagher's classroom, students learn "digital fluency" to "prepare them for today's increasingly tech-driven job market." They use face-to-face video chats to chat with experts across the country and the world and create multimedia projects that "bring history to life," she said.

All in all, her students get an engaging and purposeful education and her work gets easier. "I can use one app to send out text message reminders about approaching assignment deadlines and another to create vocabulary study decks students can access on their smart phones from anywhere," she said.

So, she said, she does understand the need to focus on and legislate student privacy and as a teacher, her students safety is absolutely a priority. But she hopes that with any new federal law and regulation made, "Congress and state legislators do it with much-needed teacher input."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

04/27/2015

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