June 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Parental Demands and Accusations | Scales on Censorship

One mother accuses a librarian of “stunting her daughter’s intellectual growth,” while another says lack of policing child’s book choices gave her son nightmares.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A true gift from SHEG: DIY digital literacy assessments and tools for historical thinking

You may remember Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) for its groundbreaking and utterly depressing report, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning. In the November 2016 Executive Summary, the researchers shared: When thousands of students respond to dozens of tasks there are endless variations. That was certainly the case in our experience. However, at each level—middle […]

With Smart Toys, Kids’ Privacy Is at Play

A recent FBI public service announcement warned that common features such as microphones and cameras “could put the privacy and safety of children at risk.”

Age-Appropriate Reading? | Scales on Censorship

Religious-themed books in school libraries; informing patrons of privacy policies.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

LinkedIn: an underused K12 search tool?

For a variety of reasons, filters included, social search tools are underused in schools. We usually encourage use of our subscription databases and share effective strategies for leveraging search engines like Google, but in my experience, Twitter, Scoop.it, Pinterest and other tools also offer rich opportunities for learning, discovery, sharing and searching. While LinkedIn is […]

Congressional Hearing “How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy” Will Be Streamed Live Feb 12

“How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy” is scheduled to take place before the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee on Thursday, February 12, 2015, beginning at 11:15 a.m. EST/8:15 a.m. PST.

Adobe’s Lax Security Raises Concerns About Student Privacy

Privacy around what students read, along with other personal data, may be at risk due to software giant Adobe’s transmission of the data without encryption. Student rights are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the confidentiality of student records.

Librarians, IT Experts Respond to Adobe Spying Accusations

Adobe this week confirmed reports that it has been logging data on the reading activity of people who use the free Adobe Digital Editions service, and that the company has been transmitting those logs to its servers as unencrypted text files, raising privacy and security concerns.

Missouri Extends Protection of Library Records Data to Digital Materials

Missouri library patrons can now rest assured that their library records for checkout of digital materials will remain private, thanks to a new state law.

Google Admits to Data-Mining Student Email

In a sworn statement filed in federal court, Google has admitted to scanning student emails to serve students targeted advertisements. Although Google does not display ads in Apps for Education, Google “does scan [student] email” to “compile keywords for advertising” on Google sites, according to an EPIC blog post.

Facebook Changes Policy So Teens Can Now Share Posts Publicly

Facebook has announced that it is changing its privacy options so that teens ages 13 through 17 can choose whether or not to post publicly on the site, a reversal of the company’s previous policy. Teens also will now be able to turn on “Follow” so that their public posts can be seen in people’s News Feeds.

The Privacy Problem

Although school librarians seldom discuss it, students’ privacy rights are under attack

Illustration by Ken Orvidas

Imagine the look of horror on one New York school librarian’s face when she returned to her middle school library to find a list of overdue books with the names of kids who had borrowed them plastered on her door. She immediately thought of all the students who’d taken out titles on sensitive topics, like puberty.

Another school librarian in Wisconsin said […]