E-Learning, Smart Devices & Privacy: Where does the Consent Lie?

The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) is inviting all students, parents, teachers, and concerned members of the public, to join us in exploring the privacy implications of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in B.C.’s public K-12 education system.

Many school boards across the province have adopted the use of LMS, including Google’s G Suite for Education, to enrich classroom experiences. According to B.C.’s Education Plan, this “smart use of technology in schools” will help students “thrive in an increasingly digital world.”

A major concern that we share with many teachers and parents is the consent model used within the province. These LMS collect a wide array of data and personal information from each student, and while parents are provided with consent forms and additional resources, this consent model is still an all-or-nothing approach. Students who do not wish to have their personal information collected and shared will be given “an equivalent means of student participation.

In addition, these initiatives have given rise to privacy breach concerns. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation surveyed members and found that only 28% had privacy training, which translates to over 85% of users who are not adequately prepared for the responsibility of overseeing these programs.

We understand the rationale for using LMS in classrooms, but without adequate resources and training for parents, teachers, and administrators, the risks outweigh the benefits.

To assist us in our research, BC FIPA is asking the public for input.

Public Meetings

Date: November 6, 2019

Location: Richmond, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Richmond Campus, Melville Centre Side A, Room 2550 A

Time: 6:30 PM to 9 PM

Date: November 7, 2019

Locations: Surrey, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Surrey Cedar Campus, 1205 C, Conference Centre, Side C

Time: 6:30 PM to 9 PM

Space is limited. Please RSVP to sara@fipa.bc.ca