All Things SOPPA

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for “All Things SOPPA”, a weekly discussion about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations following the July 1 compliance date.

All Things SOPPA

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for “All Things SOPPA”, a weekly discussion about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations following the July 1 compliance date.

All Things SOPPA

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for “All Things SOPPA”, a weekly discussion about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations following the July 1 compliance date.

All Things SOPPA

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for “All Things SOPPA”, a weekly discussion about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations following the July 1 compliance date.

Catch Up on the LTC’s Top Resources and Services

July 1 marked the beginning of the 21-22 fiscal year and the push toward the new school year in districts across Illinois. Here at the LTC, we’re also looking forward to the upcoming semester and all the fresh potential it holds for student learning and enrichment.

Whether you’re in the classroom, supporting educators, or striving to keep your district’s IT infrastructure humming, the LTC wants to help you start out the new year with as much access to high quality professional learning as possible. That’s why we’ve taken the time to collect some of our most popular resources from the past fiscal year and package them together for easy navigation.

Take a little time and see what the LTC has shared over the past year. You’re sure to find some new insights or resources that’ll help you hone your craft and bring learning to life through technology this coming school year!

Top Blogs

How to Become a Google Certified Educator

Google Educator certifications are among the most popular educator credentials today. But how exactly do you become “Google Educator Certified”? What sort of tests do you need to take and how can you prepare for the certification process? You’ll find those answers and more in this handy guide to becoming Google Educator Certified.

Resources and Reminders for 2021 License Renewal

The Illinois State Board of Education opened the window for this year’s teacher license renewal cycle on April 1, 2021. Check out our guide full of important reminders and resources geared toward helping you renew your teaching license without half the hassle.

Data Privacy Resources for 2021 and Beyond

To help your district stay out in front of emergent cybersecurity threats, the LTC team has gathered some of our most popular data privacy and cybersecurity resources into one place. Check out each of these overviews, online classes, and more if you’re in the process of upgrading your district’s data protection policies to comply with SOPPA.

Choosing the Right Chromebook for Schools and Districts

Many schools in Illinois and around the US are interested in purchasing new Chromebooks. But which Chromebook model is best? Which model offers the best value? You’ll find those answers and more in this guide to choosing the right Chromebook for your school or district.

Start your Professional Learning Journey with the LTC’s New Education Certification Collection

Certifications have become an increasingly popular option for professional learning in the education field. The LTC has scoured the internet for the best certifications and collected them here, in our new Educator Certification Collection. Be sure to check back regularly for updates on the latest education certification opportunities!

LTC Joins Google Cloud Partner Program

The Learning Technology Center of Illinois (LTC) is proud to announce its recent acceptance into the Google Cloud Partner Program. Through this program, the LTC will receive access to early-adopter information, priority access to new services, staff training, and further partnership opportunities. 

E-Rate Emergency Connectivity Fund – What You Need to Know

On May 11, 2021, the FCC announced a finalized rule set for the administration of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), a $7.1 billion appropriation derived from the larger $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan stimulus package passed by Congress in March 2021. Learn more about the ECF, its eligibility requirements, and its E-Rate application process in this detailed program brief.

New and Improved Resources

Data Privacy and SOPPA

As the new school year approaches, now’s a great time to evaluate your district’s data privacy regimen to ensure it complies with Illinois’ SOPPA mandates. The LTC is here to support those efforts through virtual PD, one-on-one consultations, and free resources for managing workflows.

As a member of the nationwide Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC), the LTC also offers free access to a variety of tools that can make managing data privacy agreements a sure thing. Be sure to check out our Illinois Student Privacy Alliance (ISPA) homepage to learn more, including how to login in to and utilize the ISPA/SDPC database.

Connectivity and E-Rate

Each year, the LTC provides a variety of in-person and virtual services to assist schools as they seek out and apply for state and federal grant funding, including E-Rate. Keep an eye on the Connectivity and E-Rate homepage for the latest program updates and workshop opportunities, including for both the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) and Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) programs.

Google Certified Coach Mentor Program

The LTC Instructional Technology Coach Program is a year-long program through which participating schools gain access to a highly qualified Instructional Technology Coach by utilizing a specialized cost-sharing model. Coaches hired through this program work 1:1 and in small groups with teachers to tackle classroom goals and challenges with technology-based strategies. Districts interested in participating can learn more on the program homepage.

Fresh Ways to Learn and Connect

New LTC Community

Edtech collaboration, networking, and peer-lead problem solving now have a new online home in the Prairie State. This past spring, the LTC launched our new online platform – the LTC Community. Designed with educators, administrators, tech coaches, IT professionals, and library media specialists in mind, the new LTC Community will make it easier than ever to seek insights and share knowledge with your in-state peers.

The new LTC Community has so much to offer edtech professionals like you, starting from the minute you join its growing list of 1,100+ members. If you’re looking to grow your professional network, share a useful resource, or even ask a question to other individuals in your field, the LTC Community will help you do it from a single, user-friendly interface.

Best of all, membership in the LTC Community remains entirely FREE.

Free, On-Demand Online Courses

Whether you’re looking to learn how to use Google Classroom or grow your understanding of Gmail, OneNote, or Google Drive, the LTC has a variety of on-demand online courses available for free over on our Online Courses hub. Keep your eyes on this page, as well – the LTC will launch a fresh slate of classes this fall to help educators get back into the teaching groove.

All Things SOPPA

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for “All Things SOPPA”, a weekly discussion about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations as compliance day approaches.

What Teachers Need to Know about SOPPA

Author’s Note: The content for this post was adapted from “SOPPA for Teachers: How to Be a Partner in Protecting Student Data,” a webinar presented by the LTC’s Brian Bates on March 3, 2021. You can view the entire webinar for free on-demand here.

Even as the 20-21 school year comes to a close, data privacy and cybersecurity are on the minds of district administrators and IT leaders around Illinois. That’s because this summer, new amendments to the Student Online Privacy and Protection Act (SOPPA) will come into force. At that time, districts will be required to maintain a standards-based system for protecting student data when it is shared with or collected by outside service providers.

This effort has left some educators asking: what role do teachers play in supporting a district’s SOPPA compliance? As it turns out, teachers play an important role in identifying when and to what extent an app or piece of software collects student data.

This guide will help familiarize teachers of all grade levels and content areas with SOPPA, as well as a few actionable steps they can take to help their district attain SOPPA compliance.

What is SOPPA?

In short, the Student Online Privacy and Protection Act (SOPPA) is a set of legislative requirements instituted by the State of Illinois for the purpose of creating and maintaining statewide standards for the maintenance and collection of student data. To that end, SOPPA requires schools to only collect data for demonstrably educational purposes, and to disclose publicly when data breaches occur.

Recently, new amendments have been made to SOPPA, which go into effect on July 1, 2021. These amendments, among other things, require districts to create records whenever personally identifiable information (PII) is collected by an app or other piece of software – regardless of if that app is free, paid, or even intended for educational use.

Several examples of common PII collected by digital service providers include:

·  First and last name

·  Email address

·  Home Address

·  Phone number

·  Grades

·  Socioeconomic status

·  Test results

·  Photos

·  Medical records

Agreements and Service Providers

To ensure that all digital service providers are abiding by Illinois’ new standards, districts must enter into written, signed agreements attesting to the ways providers collect and maintain these types of data. In particular, these agreements must forbid service providers from utilizing student data for the following purposes:

·  Serving targeted ads

·  Profiling students (except for certifiable educational uses)

·  Selling or renting data

·  Disclosing data publicly (except in limited circumstances, including when complying with law enforcement)

These SOPPA-compliant student data privacy agreements must also compel service providers to do the following:

·  Utilize reasonable security practices in the maintenance of student PII

·  Delete data when requested

·  Publicly publish and display their terms of service and privacy policy

Finally, SOPPA requires districts to perform due diligence practices when it comes to their signed data privacy agreements and data breaches. To that end, all Illinois districts will be required by SOPPA to publicly list and display all data privacy agreements that they have entered into. They will also be required to publicly disclose any data breaches to parents and caregivers within 30 days of the breach’s detection. 

How does this affect me as a teacher?

As you can already tell, SOPPA primarily concerns school districts and the digital service providers they utilize. However, teachers are also impacted by SOPPA, most noticeably when it comes to the digital tools, apps, and platforms they utilize in the classroom on a daily basis. As a result, you may be asked to take part in your district’s SOPPA compliance procedures

For example, you may be asked to compile a list of digital tools, apps, and platforms you currently use to teach lessons and engage students. Moreover, you may be required to submit a similar list on a regular basis going forward to ensure that your district has a written agreement with that software’s publishers.

Along the same lines, you may be asked to participate in a new app and software vetting process set up by your district. These will vary from district to district, but such a process usually provides the district an opportunity to pre-clear certain apps and software in an expedient and efficient manner.

If an app does not clear that vetting process, however, you may not be able to use it in your classroom. Your district may, in turn, ask you to find an alternative that is willing to meet the state’s student data privacy requirements.

What can I do now?

When it comes to fulfilling your role in your district’s SOPPA compliance plan, your first action step should be to speak with your building or district administrators. They can provide you insights as to what you, as a teacher, need to do in the near-term. They can also point you to your district’s SOPPA compliance officer, who may help you further organize your personal plans for SOPPA compliance.

If you haven’t already, it is recommended that you create a list of all of the digital apps, software, and platforms you utilize in your classroom. That way, when you are asked to provide such a list to your administrators, your list is ready to go.

You may also consider familiarizing yourself with your specific district’s SOPPA plans. You may have other obligations or duties under your district’s plans, so it is best to defer to it when in doubt about what you can do to support SOPPA compliance.

SOPPA Resources for All Educators

If you’re looking to learn more about SOPPA and its requirements, the LTC has you covered. Check out these following resources for an in-depth look at what Illinois schools will be required to do come July 1, 2021:

·  Legislative Brief on SOPPA

·  SOPPA Introduction Video

·  Implementing SOPPA Frequently Asked Questions

·  Recommended Reasonable Security Practices

·  SOPPA Support through the Illinois Student Privacy Consortium (ISPA)

You can also check out the LTC’s Data Privacy hub for new and updated resources relating to SOPPA.

All Things SOPPA

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for “All Things SOPPA”, a weekly discussion about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations as compliance day approaches.

SOPPA Workshop

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for a “SOPPA Workshop” about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations as compliance day approaches.

This event will be in-person on May 13th, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Capital Area Career Center at 2201 Toronto Road in Springfield.

This is an in-person event.

All Things SOPPA

If you have questions relating to the new Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA), then you’re not alone. Join the LTC’s Chris Wherley for “All Things SOPPA”, a weekly discussion about the process and procedures of achieving SOPPA compliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences with their peers, as well as receive up-to-date recommendations as compliance day approaches.