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Some education tech products imposing on student privacy

One impact of covid has been an increase in the use of edtech products by schools across the world.

There have been many benefits with edtech offering enhanced learning experiences for students. Without edtech, education would have ground to a complete halt during lockdowns.

However, new international research has highlighted concerns that some edtech products are capturing data about students and it is unclear whether these practices are occurring in New Zealand, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

The Aotearoa edtech excellence report published last year by EdTechNZ identified tech-based financial resources in New Zealand schools are quite limited resulting in some education providers opting for free overseas based software offerings.

“Some schools rely on free versions of software, potentially exposing learners to advertising and questionable data collection practices,” he says.

“Since the release of the report, EdTechNZ, which is part of the NZTech alliance group, has been developing a student data privacy pledge with its members to create peace of mind for New Zealand students, teachers and whanau.

“The idea is that edtech providers in New Zealand will agree to protect student data and not share data with third parties or advertise to students.

“Meanwhile, schools are encouraged to ask the question of their edtech providers, what is their policy for protecting students’ data.”

EdTechNZ council member Dave Moskovitz says many of the large overseas platforms track student activity in a creepy way.

“Responsible Kiwis providers want no part of that. We want to protect our students. With the data privacy pledge, student data is handled responsibly.”

EdTechNZ is working with companies, schools and government agencies on products and technologies to help improve the Kiwi education sector.

For further information contact NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller on 021 02520767 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: Graeme Muller
NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.