School Data Rooms Are Not the Answer to FERPA Compliance

Data rooms in schools have long been a popular tool used in schools to show and evaluate the progress of students. These rooms are typically whiteboards and charts that show academic information to teachers. The concept is to allow teacher teams and administrative personnel to be able to analyze and discuss student performance in a collaborative way.

The problem with these data displays, however, is that they may violate FERPA guidelines. The information that is shared in these data spaces can be used to publicly shame students or even humiliate them in front of their peers. This should not be happening in schools.

Teachers also have difficulty to monitor progress of students using these walls for data especially when there are multiple grades or subjects being monitored. It’s much easier for teachers to work through complicated issues using a digital platform that lets them to filter and drill down into specific assignments, trends date ranges, classrooms and student groups or cohorts.

A digital solution could include an annotation tool that allows users to create personal notes on any document that is stored on the system. This is a wonderful feature to keep track of tasks, Q&A threads, and uploads of documents. It’s also hugely beneficial when the solution provides the ability to grant access to documents and folders in accordance with the role, document or folder level or the activity.

As schools continue to be focused on a data-driven curriculum, it’s important that they find tools to help them review and discuss the data in a collaborative manner. By choosing a digital solution with the right balance of features to meet the needs of educators, schools can be sure they are making a smart choice.