Privacy and Educational Technology: Risks and Benefits

What are the privacy implications to post-secondary institutions of using services like Youtube, WordPress.com and Google apps in a learning environment? BCcampus has collected examples to form a background paper on this issue; some of the findings will be presented in this talk.

In order to match the expectations of students and instructors, as well as to take advantage of the real cost savings, B.C. institutions are looking for ways to bring these services into their teaching and learning processes.

Advantages: many of these services are free to use and offer powerful web-based tools that can enhance education, partly because they are familiar to students and will remain part of their working lives after they leave the institution.

Disadvantages: there is increasing concern that U.S.-based “cloud” services may not comply with of B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) if used in the context of formal academic work.

Are instructors refraining from using them no matter how much they enhance the teaching and learning process?

Tori (Victoria) Klassen is Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations for BCcampus.

Her role is to weave together BCcampus’ innovative, leading edge projects into a compelling story for stakeholders and clients in a participatory way, using tools like blogging, wikis and other interactive media. She is responsible for ensuring BCcampus’ communications activities align with the corporate goals to connect, collaborate and innovate in BC’s post-secondary sector.

Tori is an Accredited Business Communicator with over 15 years’ writing and strategic development in corporate communications, with a B.A. and an M.A. majoring in the social sciences. She came to BCcampus after several years with the government of British Columbia.

A former broadcast and print journalist, she has provided her expertise to public and private organizations including government, cable and telephony companies, a temporary employment agency, a charitable organization and an economic development agency. Tori is originally from Saskatchewan, and in her spare time volunteers as a fitness instructor with the YM/YWCA, runs marathons and climbs and hikes in B.C.’s mountains.

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