Be Connected: Next Steps after SecurED Schools

SecurED Schools 2022 has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean we have to let the rich conversation surrounding K-12 data privacy and cybersecurity end. Tune in to this week’s Be Connected to discuss highlight’s from this year’s conference, including next steps for implementing strategies offered by some of this year’s most talked about speakers.

If you couldn’t make it to SecurED Schools 2022, no worries! This week’s session is great way to catch up and discover what’s on the horizon for data privacy and cybersecurity best practice.

Be Connected is a weekly webinar series from the LTC focused on facilitating open discussions about pertinent topics within Illinois’ edtech community. Hosted by the LTC’s Chris Wherley, Eric Muckensturm, and/or Matt Jensen, each session will focus on a specific topic and provide space for participants to ask and answer questions in a relaxed, supportive environment.

Each week will feature a different core topic and a fresh opportunity to connect with your peers. So, be sure to check the LTC events calendar routinely so that you can join in the discussion and Be Connected.

Stay Ahead of Tomorrow’s Digital Threats at SecurED Schools

Over the past two years, K-12 schools have grown more reliant on educational technology. This shift has fueled digital transformations across the country and made it easier for students to learn safely and effectively, both now and in the future.

But this shift toward digital learning as a mainstay has come at a cost – increased vulnerability to district networks and data. Many K-12 education and technology leaders are already begun taking steps to address this increased risk, but there’s still much more that can be done to stay ahead of tomorrow’s digital threats.

The best way to address vulnerability is a security posture built on the latest policies and best practices for cybersecurity and data privacy. At SecurED Schools, these imperatives and more will be on full display, with local, state, and national experts leading discussions on how K-12 districts can upgrade their security capabilities before an emergent threat takes hold.

This year’s fully virtual conference will also feature numerous hands-on presentations geared toward helping IT stakeholders comply with current state and federal mandates, including SOPPA, FERPA, and more.

That’s not all SecurED Schools 2022 has in store for you. Check out the full schedule now or take a peek below at some of this year’s most anticipated virtual sessions!

Two Days Full of Resources, Demos & Best Practices

With over 30 engaging sessions on this year’s agenda, SecurED Schools 2022 is set to be Illinois’ premier conference for fostering cybersecurity and data privacy excellence. 

This year, we’re also welcoming over 40 presenters to the virtual stage, offering you the chance to learn from the best and walk away with a vision for improving your district’s security posture.

Future Privacy: Privacy Fundamentals for Uncertain Times

Presented by Linnette Attai

The world has changed, and nowhere has that been more apparent than in school districts. In a series of seismic shifts, classroom environments and technologies used to support instructional delivery have changed and changed again, leaving many racing to stay on top of whatever comes next. Edtech evolution isn’t slowing down any time soon, raising fresh concerns about what is being lost in terms of student data privacy along the way.

Now’s the time to address these concerns head on, starting with the privacy fundamentals you already know. Join us for a chance to brush up on the basics of FERPA, COPPA, PPRA, and SOPPA while learning how these bedrock elements can support more cohesive privacy efforts, both now and in the future.

Let’s Talk About the SDPC Database

Presented by Sean Mullins

Without a doubt, the SDPC database is one of the most useful tools K-12 school districts can reach for while striving to maintain full SOPPA compliance. But despite that, many districts don’t know about the database’s lesser-known features and their ability to streamline SOPPA workflows from start to finish.

Don’t miss out on taking full advantage of everything the SDPC database has to offer! Join this highly interactive session to learn new ways to harness the SDPC database as well as get your questions answered by one of the state’s foremost SDPC database experts.

Don’t Be Left in the Dark!

Presented by Holly Kelly & Lisa Schwartz

The rise of edtech in the everyday classroom has helped students learn like never before. But along the way, staff and students alike haven’t done well when it comes to maintaining their “cyber-hygiene.” In other words, our personal data sharing habits have grown troubling lately, putting both ourselves and our institutions at risk for cyber-attack.

Fortunately, there are a few sure-fire ways to get your personal data sharing habits back on the right track. Join us to learn about a few readily available resources that can help staff, colleagues, and students become more cyber aware and keep themselves protected against emerging threats to their personal data privacy.

Register for SecurED Schools Today!

SecurED Schools is only a couple weeks away, but there’s still time to reserve your seat at any of this year’s engaging, solution-oriented sessions. At only $25 a ticket (including access to a post-conference archive of recordings and resources), this year’s conference is an affordable way to grow your professional toolkit and help your district chart a course for a more digitally secure future.

Register today and start making plans to transform the way your district handles cybersecurity and data privacy!

“A Big Year Ahead” – Takeaways from SecurED Schools 2021

SecurED Schools 2021 Wrap-Up

The 4th annual SecurED Schools conference concluded back on Thursday, January 14. Though this year’s gathering was held virtually, technology leaders from around Illinois still participated in plenty of insightful conversations about the future of cybersecurity and data privacy.

In particular, this year’s conference focused on one of the largest upcoming challenges for Illinois’ edtech community – attaining compliance with the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA). Many aspects of compliance were covered over the course of the two-day conference, including how districts must handle edtech contracting and the new standards for app vetting going forward.

“[It] was great to have someone to start walking me through using these tools and this process,” praised one conference attendee, “I have been totally lost on where to start and this helps tremendously.”

This year’s conference kicked off on January 13 with a cybersecurity presentation by Rod Russeau, Director of Technology and Information Services at Community High School District 99. From there, technology leaders and IT professionals from every corner of the state jumped into sessions led by their peers from across the nation. That included Libbi Garrett, Resource Program Specialist with CITE, who offered insights on SOPPA based upon similar legislation in California.

Beyond SOPPA, attendees also had opportunities to learn about current best practices for a variety of cybersecurity tools and resources. Fortinet, OpenSource SIEM, and CIS Controls were all covered in separate sessions, with their respective presenters all offering real-world use cases for their tools.

“The virtual format worked great,” explained the LTC’s Eric Muckensturm, “Because we went virtual, I think we had more attendees than we might have with an in-person only conference.”

In total, around 300 technology leaders attended SecurED Schools, with districts from Chicagoland all the way down to Little Egypt represented. Though it goes without saying, many of those same attendees walked away with valuable information that will help them keep their home districts safe from the latest cybersecurity threats.

Even though this year’s SecurED Schools has now passed, the statewide conversation around cybersecurity, student data privacy, and SOPPA doesn’t have to end. The LTC Community is a great place to network with your fellow edtech professionals and share insights year-round.

Also, if you missed any sessions during SecurED Schools, you’re now able to go back and watch them at any time. Every session from the conference is available for viewing on demand by registered attendees. For more information about accessing this video library, check your email for a communication from the LTC’s Chris Wherley dated “January 20”.

Thank you again to all of this year’s SecurED Schools attendees and speakers! We hope to see you again next year as we return to our traditional in-person format.