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Students Deserve to Learn in Safe Environments

Are the apps your kids use in school safe? A recent report says that is not likely.

The average K-12 student uses 72 apps. That is 72 places that may be tracking students' data, selling their information, or putting advertisements in front of them.

According to a recent report by Internet Safety Labs K-12, 96 percent of the apps schools require or recommend are not safe for children, because they share information with third parties or contain ads. Researchers examined 663 schools that serve over 456,000 students collectively, according to an article published last month by EdWeek. The total number of apps used by all those schools was over 1,700.

The researchers labeled an app ‘Do Not Use’ if it contained any advertising, contained embedded software registered to a data broker, or shared information to big tech companies that profit from sales and advertising, such as Amazon or Facebook. 78 percent of the apps studied fell into that category. Another 18 percent of apps were considered “high risk.”

Education is a wonderful, but challenging industry. There are many demands on our time and resources. We know that the introduction of new technologies can be stressful, disruptive, and have uncertain outcomes that do not always match what vendors claim. At Breakthrough Technologies, we make sure that the privacy of student data is priority one, and that students and teachers can be assured that we will not steer them into third party environments. With Venture, we spend every day thinking about how we make the experience easier for our teachers, better for our students, and gives our administrators more access to performance and data.

“We frankly don't see where selling our customers' information and data fits into our mission.” says Doug Wilson, managing partner and co-founder of Breakthrough Technologies. “In the U.S. today, the current ecosystem of tools and resources is complex. We feel any partner should do their best to simplify and reduce the concerns you have accessing the resources you need. We are confident our simple but absolute commitment to your students’ privacy demonstrates that.”

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