The Issaquah School District promotes and encourages the use of educational technology in classrooms by teachers and students. Teachers and staff have access to a wide-variety of digital resources to support student learning. These resources vary in purpose, price, quality, and complexity and assist staff in meeting the needs for differentiation, additional practice, formative assessment, creative expression, communication, and productivity. Staff use of Educational Technology is governed by the Responsible Use Guidelines outlined in District procedure 2022P.
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When choosing digital resources to use with students, staff should:
- Ensure the resource supports the district standards,learning objectives,and instructional practices of the adopted curriculum.
- Review the quality of the resource. (alignment to standards, content, technological interactivity, assessment).
- Evaluate accessibility options and scaffolding (eg: support in other languages, text to speech options, visual supports).
- Test the resource on standard student and staff workstations to ensure that the resource works as intended.
- Review student privacy guidelines. Any system or service that collects student data, particularly from students under 13, should have robust security and privacy policies in compliance with COPPA FERPA.
- Vet the resource with your grade level or department team
- Share the resource with your building principal.
- Review the guidelines below to evaluate quality of resource
Below are guidelines for choosing online or software-based digital resources; not all categories below will apply to all tools.
Alignment with ISD curriculum and teaching practices
- Does the resource promote thinking skills?
- Does the resource support the standards (Common Core, Next Gen, ISTE Standards)?
Quality of Subject Matter
- The content is accurate and aligned with adopted materials
- The content is culturally responsive
- Is the tool easy to use for the intended age group?
- How does the tool enhance learning?
- Does the tool provide media rich, engaging material; different than what is found on the page of a book?
Quality of Instructional and Practice Exercises
- Does the resource offer more exercises than needed for the average student to facilitate mastery of the targeted skills?
- Are there a variety of exercise types and/or the exercises available in a variety of formats, as appropriate to the targeted skills/concepts?
- Are there options for other languages?
- Is there a text-to speech option?
- Are there visual supports?
- Is there adjust-ability for reading level?
- Does the resource require student accounts?
- Is personally identifiable student information collected?
- Will the resource be used with students 13 or younger? If so, does it require an account for each student?
- How will the accounts be created and maintained?
- Do the terms and conditions have statements that indicate that no student data is shared with other entities without explicit permission from Issaquah School District?
- If the resource allows for students to communicate directly with each other or people outside of Issaquah School District, are the communications moderated by the ISD stat member using the resource? Can posts or comments be deleted or reviewed for appropriateness where needed?
- Has the tool been reviewed by Common Sense Media? What concerns were noted in the review? Privacy Evaluations of Ed Tech Tools by Common Sense Media.
COPPA does not preclude schools from acting as intermediaries between operators and parents in the notice and consent process, or from serving as the parent’s agent in the process of collecting personal information online from students in the school context when parents have provided permission for student Internet use. ISD’s use and sharing of student data is solely for education purposes.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows the disclosure of “directory information” for the purpose of using online tools or applications. As long as the application does not require more than directory information AND participating students’ families have not opted them out of sharing directory information, staff may share directory information for educational purposes. See more at FERPA Sherpa – Educator’s Guide to Students’ Privacy.
Issaquah uses a variety of software systems in the classroom, including some that are hosted outside the District’s facilities in “the Cloud”. When used appropriately and thoughtfully, these tools can help create a rich, flexible and engaging learning environment for ISD students. Additionally, experience accessing materials in the Cloud in a responsible and effective manner is important part of students becoming good digital citizens.
ISD supports COPPA and insists that websites the District uses adhere to this law. It is important that all Issaquah staff members who work with children are aware of and follow COPPA and other state and federal regulations related to student Internet access and related data use.