I guess this is a good news, bad news blog. First the good news, I think, in terms of how teachers in Chicago can select preferred software from a secure portal site. Perhaps the only qualification about this would be that individual teachers may not find their favorite software there, but presumably they will find something there that will work for them and their students. A very positive district-wide strategy that is to be commended, but unfortunately there appear to be some nagging concerns that might overshadow this good news.
There was a recent student data privacy breach, and there continues to be a financial crisis over the funding of the teachers’ pension plans. While all of this may have very little or nothing to do with educational technology, the citizens of Chicago may begin to focus more on district budget priorities and student privacy protections than on the benefits of a software catalog for teachers. Edtech purchases may become less of a priority.
Let’s hope for the best here in terms of funding for the instructional tools that students and teachers need. In this data breach, transportation vendors received students’ personally identifiable information. This may have nothing to do with the educational practices within the schools, but we must be vigilant in securing students’ privacy in all school services.