Digital privacy in the classroom: an analysis of the intent and realization of Ontario policy in context
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Digital tools are becoming more commonplace within the K-12 classroom, but with the renewed opportunities come associated risks for student privacy. Digital tool use creates a digital footprint of the user which may contain personally identifiable information possibly compromising the user’s digital privacy. This study analyzes Ontario’s educational policies on the topic of digital privacy as it relates to digital tool use in the classroom. A digital survey was sent to teachers in one Ontario district school board to obtain their views regarding policy awareness and implementation, with 404 respondents. The findings of the policy analysis and survey indicate that there is a policy gap surrounding digital tool use in Ontario schools. The survey findings indicate that, though there is a high use of digital tools in classrooms, without policy support, there is an incomplete understanding of what constitutes digital privacy and the implications of its protection. This study concludes that there is a gap in policy development in Ontario education leaving early adopters of technology caught in an innovation-policy gap without relevant policies on digital privacy and digital tool use.
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