Take Your SOPPA Tool and Make it Functional

What is SOPPA?

As of July 1, 2021: The Student Online Personal Protection Act, or SOPPA, is the student data privacy law that regulates student information by schools, the Illinois State Board of Education, and education technology vendors. As part of SOPPA, these companies must enter into Data Privacy Agreements (DPA) with each district they work with.  These agreements outline what data is stored, how it is protected, what the company can and cannot do with that data, and what they will do in the event of a data breach.

Today’s post doesn’t essentially focus on student data privacy and/or SOPPA. It’s about goin beyond the data privacy element for a moment and focus on how to make your platform instructionally functional in tandem with data privacy compliance.

Selecting Your Platform

There are several databases school districts can use as a transparent platform of apps for student usage (student data privacy compliant). Here are a few platforms available: SDPC Resource Registry, LearnPlatform, Education Framework. When selecting your platform (or reflecting on what you currently have) it would be beneficial for your district to have a resource that not only displays compliant apps but allows staff to functionally filter through categories to bring them to their desired curricular outcome.

What is a Successful Platform?

Building out your platform to achieve a functional instructional database of compliant apps you must have the following pieces in place.

Functional: select at platform that is efficient, user friendly, and is visually easy and purposeful to navigate.

Categorize: filtering is your friend. Develop a committee to determine categories allowing staff to know what resources are available per: grade, school, subject, device, pedagogy, privacy status, license (paid/freemium) etc.

Supporting Resources: in addition to attaching data privacy agreements, take advantage of the database by adding instructional resources that will advocated for instructional usage of the app (or at very least provides an understanding of why the app is beneficial).

App Request Workflow: efficiency will certainly make this functional resource work well. Build in a staff app request form to notify your team when a staff member would like implement a new resource with students

Revisit and Make Adjustments: obtain feedback from your staff over the course of the school year by adding key questions that not only reminds them this resource is important and exists but allows you to make personalized updates for your staff.