Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations outline requirements for school districts and BOCES related to the protection of the personally identifiable information of students, as well as some teacher and principal information. As districts develop and refine continuity of education plans related to school closures they should be mindful of privacy and security laws and regulations.
When working with a third-party contractor, such as a computer software company, that receives student data, districts must ensure the contracts in place with these contractors are compliant with privacy and security laws and regulations. Agreements created in electronic form, sometimes referred to as a click wrap agreement, in which a user must agree to terms and conditions prior to using the product or service are subject to Education Law 2-d requirements. For more information, contact your local RIC or BOCES.
Online learning tools/platforms:
Bloomz: premium version of its communication service for free to all schools through Jun. 30, 2020. The software allows users to communicate updates in real-time to parents and students; and share lessons, student work and feedback. https://freetrial.bloomz.com/coronavirus-schools/
Chrome Extensions for Struggling Students and Special Needs: Technology can be a powerful tool to assist students with special needs or any sort of learning challenge. In particular the Chrome web browser allows users to install a wide variety of free web extensions that provide tools that can help all learners, regardless of ability level. Learn more at https://www.controlaltachieve.com/2016/10/special-needs-extensions.html?fbclid=IwAR1x3UqePcgacYBCuWGgVFWwvIWjVyOe0XDT23DZQP-jJUiWbssfqZaDMH4&m=1
CirQlive: connects web conferencing platforms to learning management systems, is giving 90 days of free usage of its integration tool as well as free consulting services for administrators on how to deploy or scale online learning. Schools need to provide the number of host licenses required and the company will set them up. https://www.cirqlive.com/
Cisco: free access to Webex, to all education customers. The free Webex Meetings plan gives you meetings with 100 participants, HD video, screen sharing, and a personal room. More information and instructions to download Webex can be found at https://www.webex.com/webexremoteedu.html
ClassTag has made its communication platform freely available to help districts and schools communicate with their families. The software sends messages through SMS, email, apps and the web and automatically translates them into one of 55 languages. The platform can also be used to post videos, assignments and other resources for students to access at home and allow users to run virtual lessons with a video conferencing tool, such as Zoom. ClassTag has launched a "rapid onboarding program" that provides a hands-on demo and phone and chat support to get schools launched in under 48 hours. https://home.classtag.com/schoolwide-demo/
Crowdmark: free access to its online grading and analytics platform until May 31. https://crowdmark.com/blog/ensuring-continuity-of-education-with-remote-grading-workflows/
GoGuardian: has extended the teacher trial version of its 1-to-1 device management software through the end of the school year. https://www.goguardian.com/blog/news/providing-learning-continuity-during-school-closures/
Google: is allowing G Suite for Education customers to use the Hangouts Meet premium functionality for free through July 1. People can host virtual meetings with up to 250 people and live streams with up to 100,000 viewers. Additionally, they'll be able to save recordings of their meetings to Google Drive. https://support.google.com/meet/answer/9760270?hl=en
McGraw-Hill: developed an out-of-school learning website to help K-12 teachers make the transition to remote instruction, with product walkthroughs of its many math products and other free resources and videos over the coming days. https://www.mheducation.com/prek-12/explore/remote-learning.html
Microsoft, which includes Teams in the Office Suite, is now offering educational institutions not currently licensed for Teams a free Office 365 E1 offer, with no end date specified. The company has lifted restrictions on user limits. https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/free
PearDeck: has opened access to Pear Deck Premium for 90 days. Pear Deck lets teachers create, distribute, and manage multimedia content and formative assessments on students' devices. Access is available to individuals and to districts. https://www.peardeck.com/stay-connected
Pronto: connects people via chat and video messaging, providing its synchronous communication platform for free for the spring and summer 2020 semesters to instructors. https://pronto.io/
Toolkit for Online Learning: WSWHE BOCES created an Emergency Online Classroom Toolkit which provides educators with a step-by-step guide on creating online classrooms using the Gsuite for Education. Learn more at https://sites.google.com/wswheboces.org/emergencytoolkit/home