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Data privacy policy is "all over the place"

Universities’ pandemic response plans have increased the amount of personal data collected on students and increased institutions’ need for a cohesive and transparent data privacy strategy, data privacy experts said during Educause’s conference Thursday. And while using data to ensure the health and academic success of students has become important to guide institutions through the challenges of the pandemic, institutions also have a responsibility to communicate with students on how data is being used for their benefit and to establish trust between the institution and students that data privacy is being maintained, Sean Burns, a researcher at Educause said during the online event. “Privacy is kind of all over the place in higher education,” Burns said. “There are a lot of different ways that institutions are approaching it.” Betsy Foresman has more.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

A look at U. Mass. Amherst's data analytics platform

IT and institutional research teams at the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed a data analytics platform last year, just in time to support urgent planning efforts that arose as the pandemic began spreading last March. In a session during Educause’s online conference Thursday, university leaders explained the evolution of the project, which included a major strategy shift, and how the data platform has come to play a major role in how administrators make decisions across a wide range of university functions. “That locked in [institutional research] data was no longer locked in,” said Barb Chalfonte, executive director of strategic analytics at Amherst’s institutional research office. “People had good ways to get in and start working with it and answering their own questions." Colin Wood has the story.

Inside Educause's 2021 IT Issues report

During Educause’s online conference Wednesday, some of the group’s members offered a preview of the group’s annual Top IT Priorities report, which will be published next week. The report outlines the leading strategies that universities have used in responding to the pandemic, with insights into how universities are expected to adapt as the pandemic unfolds and eventually unwinds. The adoption of online learning, replacing outdated business models, responding to public scrutiny over the costs and value of higher education, and becoming more agile will all be critical themes as universities continue to respond to the health crisis, Educause leaders said. "I do hope that that's one of the ultimate lessons that we look back on from the pandemic is we made things better for students who want to get a college education," Educause's Susan Grajek told EdScoop. Check out what's in the newest report.


How cloud delivers scalable security and connectivity in a remote world

As K-12 school districts continue to respond to the pandemic, schools leaders should look to invest in technology that is scalable and secure for remote learning. Cloud-based platforms may be their best bet for stronger cybersecurity to ensure a safe virtual environment for students says Palo Alto Networks’ Greg Herbold in a new podcast. Hear more from Greg Herbold.

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