Privacy Tool from @CommonSenseEd Pushes Companies to Make Safer Sites

Privacy Tool from @CommonSenseEd Pushes Companies to Make Safer Sites

If you’re an innovative educator the question of student data and privacy comes up frequently. I’ve written about the privacy policies of some of the popular players in classrooms such as Microsoft, Google, Class Dojo, and Edmodo which you can read about at this link. In many cases it is parents who have been the force behind pushing this important conversation. For innovative educators it is hard to navigate these waters.

We know what tools support great pedagogy, but it gets murky when we lift the hood to see what is underneath in terms of safety, privacy, security, and compliance. And, no wonder. In many cases that privacy policy you have to click to get access to the site takes more than an hour read. Without a law degree, understand what you’ve just read is a whole other story.

The other issue here is that being compliant on all fronts is REALLY hard and takes a lot of money and human capital. It is likely that a well-meaning startup could never get on the market with all the hoops required. Additionally, we all know innovative educators love trying out the latest new product. We also are pretty good at uncovering bad intentions as well as pushing the market. It is the innovative educators who are trying the newest tools and pushing the companies to update their platform in terms of privacy and pedagogy.

But what about the mainstream teachers who want to use tech? They can encounter paralyzing fear when trying to determine if this latest resource is one they are allowed to use. And, how do the chief technology officers even figure it out? Do they bring a legal team together to decipher the policy and an educational team of users together to determine if there are issues? When you think about how many resources there are, this is not only overwhelming, it is an impossible mission.

Until now.

Common Sense Education just announced that they will be bringing a team of educators and the best of the best in the area of privacy and safety to the fingertips of EVERY teacher, school, and district. They do this at a price educators and schools can afford. If you work for a public school district. You know what that is.


You can dig beneath the dashboard and overcover more information about each element. When you do, you may be surprised. Some of the most beloved tools of innovative educators aren’t rating too well. But don’t be discouraged.

Bill Fitzgerald, one of the driving forces behind the platform and a privacy and security guru, explained that this tool makes what companies are doing transparent. Because of this, companies are reacting to the poor ratings by figuring out ways to score better. This makes it a big win for educators who know the value in these tools.

The site is available for viewing now by visiting There you can find ratings such that look like the screenshot below. Make sure you check back often. My guess is Common Sense Education just pushed the start button to get companies racing to improve their ratings for the upcoming school year.

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.