Securing the Nation’s Educational Technology

Author: Grace Collins


Never before have so many children in America used so much educational technology, and never before has it been so important to ensure that these technologies are secure. Currently, however, school administrators are overburdened with complex security considerations that make it challenging for them to keep student data secure. The educational technologies now common in America’s physical and virtual classrooms should meet security standards designed to protect its students. As a civil rights agency, the Department of Education has a responsibility to lead a coordinated approach to ensuring a baseline of security for all students in the American education system.

This policy initiative will support America’s students and schools at a time when educational experiences—and student information—are increasingly online and vulnerable to exploitation. The plan of action outlined below includes a new Department of Education educational technology security rule, training support for schools, a voluntary technology self-certification system, an online registry of certified technologies to help grow a secure educational technology market, and processes for industry support and collaboration in this work. Combined, these efforts will create a safer digital learning environment for the nation’s students and a more robust educational technology marketplace.

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About the Author

Grace Collins is the CEO and founder of games and education research firm Liminal Esports and Snowbright Studio, a game and educational tech development studio. Previously, Grace led game-based education policy for the U.S. Department of Education and coordinated the Federal Games Working Group across the executive branch under the Obama and Trump administrations. Grace is a former educator and was recognized for their work as an educator with a 2020 Educator Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology and for their advocacy work as a finalist for the 2020 international “Breakthrough of the Year” award in Digital Education from the Falling Walls Foundation. Grace is also an outspoken LGBTQ+ and gender equity advocate who served as a 2019 LGBTQIA+ Fellow for the Union for Reform Judaism. Grace holds two undergraduate degrees in Computer Science fields and a Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee University. The author gives special thanks to the students from Hathaway Brown School their support in developing this proposal