Overviews & Introductions

These concise publications are convenient guides to important issues.  They contain practical guidance for teachers and administrators. They represent the range of tools avilable to educators.

Online Learning Consortium & Virtually Connecting. "The Politics of Academic IT Policy: From Redling to Digital Redlining." New Orleans, 21 April 2016.

“Digital Redlining, Access, and Privacy.” Common Sense Media. 24 May 2016. https://www.commonsense.org/education/privacy/blog/digital-redlining-access-privacy

Oakland County ISD: Podcast Series. "Data Mining and Students: a conversation with Chris Gilliard and Hugh Culik." February 19, 2015

Oakland County ISD: Podcast Series. "A Look at Data Mining from Two Perspectives: a conversation with MSU's Jeff Grabill and Bill Hart-Davidson."


The United States Department of Education now offers a guide to students' legal rights under FERPA.  A useful video is available at http://ptac.ed.gov/, but note that it does not deal with the consequences of schools sharing data with third-party providers who are not then subject to the same limitations. Some of those issues are recognized here: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=308c4ee7-8f01-44dd-b5e6-b455619786f2.  A specific discussion of third party transfers is available here:


A discussion of parents' awareness of educational data gathering and its relationship to FERPA is available here:



Fordham Law School, Center on Law and Information Policy. "Privacy and Cloud Computing in Public Schools." 2013

     "As public schools in the United States rapidly adopt cloud-computing services to fulfill their educational objectives, and transfer increasing quantities of student information to third-party providers, privacy issues become more salient and contentious.  The protection of student privacy in the context of cloud computing is generally unknown both to the public and to policy-makers.  This study thus focuses on K-12 public education and examines how school districts address privacy when they transfer student information to cloud computing service providers."


Keller, Michael and Neufeld, Josh. Terms of Service: Understanding our Role in the World of Big Data. Al Jazeera America. 46 pages. Free online and to download. [free graphic novel about privacy, surveilance, and personalization] Available at http://projects.aljazeera.com/2014/terms-of-service/#1


Until recently, Radical Reference has provided reference services to activists, journalists and researchers. Fortunately, many of their resources are still available at www.radicalreference.info . An example of a popular approach to educating students about surveillance is their Zine called "We Are All Suspects":


Brian Marchant's "Looking Up Medical Information Online? These Companies are Tracking You" provides vivid illustrations of how our searches are tracked and sold to data brokers.  



Introductory Readings

Note that the field is changing rapidly with essential works appearing almost weekly.  The following list is a beginning point for following these emerging discussions. We apologize for its glaring omissions, but these can serve as keystones to mapping out a more thorough reading program.  We encourage you to follow Chris Gilliard's Twitter(www.twitter.com/hypervisible) for guidance on this stream of scholarship.

Executive Office of the President, Big Data: Seizing Opportunities Preserving Values 46, 53(2014)

Johnson, Jeffrey A. "The Ethics of Big Data in Higher Education." International Review      of Information Ethics 21 (2014): 4-10. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.


Koenig, Thomas and Rustad, Michael. "Digital Scarletters: Social Media Stigmatization of the Poor and What Can Be Done" offers a detailed explanation of "the ways that increased Internet and social media usage is a catalyst for advancing equality but also can devalue the uneducated and the poor. The Internet has lifted the veil of individual privacy, so that information about factors like race, class, gender, sexual orientation, obesity, physical handicaps, unpopular opinions, and nonmainstream clothing styles become easily visible to employers, potential employers, college admissions personnel, law enforcement officials, welfare providers, loan companies, landlords, merchants, and many other societal decision makers."  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2605173

Pasquale, Frank. The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information. Harvard University Press, 2015.

Reidenberg, Joel, M Cameron Russell, Jordan Kovnot, Thomas B. Norton, and Ryan Cloutier. "Privacy and Cloud Computing in Public Schools." Fordham Law Archive of Scholarship and History. Center on Law and Information Policy, 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 5 Nov. 2014. http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/clip/2/.

Simon, Stephanie. "Data Mining Your Children." POLITICO. N.p., 15 May 2014. Web. 5 Nov. 2014. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/data-mining-your-children-106676.html.

Open Technology Institute. Big Data and Discrimination: Collected Essays. Open Technology Institute. N.p.: New America, 2014. Web. 5 Nov. 2014. http://www.newamerica.org/downloads/OTI-Data-an-Discrimination-FINAL-small.pdf.

Watters, Audrey. The Monsters of Education Technology. Amazon: Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. 2014.



Information from the following organizations guides the description and analysis of the interactions between education and technology. These can be followed on our Twitter account, but the sites themselves are invaluable:

Common Sense Media

     Common Sense Media

EPIC: Electronic Privacy Information Center


Math Babe


Data & Society


Fordham Law School: Center on Law and Information Policy


Berkman Center for Law & Society


PewResearchCenter for Internet, Science, and Tech:


Electronic Freedom Foundation


Hack Education: the history of the future of education


Data & Society




Danah Boyd



Tools for Protecting Privacy

Getting Started: four simple tools that offer a quick assessment of your own privacy practices.