Schools’ use of educational technologies grew exponentially at the height of Covid-19 lockdowns. A recent Human Rights Watch report has exposed children’s rights violations by providers of edtech endorsed by governments in Australia and overseas.
The lockdowns have ended but edtech remains embedded in education. Children will have to navigate issues of data privacy in their learning and other activities.
So what can Australian governments and schools do to protect students? Both can take steps to ensure children’s digital rights are enabled and protected.
What report said
Human Rights Watch reviewed 164 edtech products, including ten of the many apps and websites used in Australian schools. According to its report, New South Wales and Victorian education departments endorsed the use of six of these, including Zoom, Minecraft Education and Microsoft Teams.
The review found that, to varying degrees, these apps and websites harvested children’s personal, location or learning data to monitor, track or profile students. These practices ultimately violated children’s digital rights to privacy.
We think our kids are safe in school online. But many are being surveilled 🔍, and often parents and teachers have been kept in the dark. Kids are priceless, not products. #StudentsNotProducts #dataprivacy https://t.co/X0qwtQDQkG pic.twitter.com/SGk7I1m62c
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) May 25, 2022
The use and commodification of data associated with our online activities may not seem…