Monday, November 7, 2016

Software Approval Process

Are you purchasing software for your classroom or school? What are the steps you need to take to do so? What is involved in evaluating that software for whether or not it works in our environment? Is this software safe and secure for students?

These are the questions that the Software Approval Process seeks to clarify for educators.

Your first step? Determining what type of software it is that you are looking to use:

The next step for software purchases and downloads is to submit an IT Service Request with the title of the software, links to information and a request to begin the software approval process. Once this request is entered, your school’s IT support will contact you to help guide you through next steps.

These next steps include filling out a form with the information that will help IT and Ed Tech determine if this software will work in our environment and if this vendor needs to sign the Data Privacy Addendum (DPA). Once these decisions have been finalized, you will be notified through your service ticket if your software is approved and if it needs a DPA signed.

If a DPA is required, Ed Tech will notify Purchasing who will work directly with the vendor. Your office staff will still submit a PO for the software, there just might be a delay in purchasing due to negotiations with the DPA.

If a DPA is not required, your office staff can submit the PO and once your software arrives, you are ready for install. If you need assistance in installing the approved software, please submit an IT Service Request.

If you are using software found online and is free (“click through”), check this list of "click through" tools to determine if the tool has already been reported as in use by BVSD staff or students. If the tool does not appear on the list, fill out this form documenting the use of that tool with students. You can read more about this process on the Data Security and Privacy page.

Please let me know what you think by commenting below.


Student Data Security & Privacy Law in Colorado

Sanchez 34.jpgIn the last few months, I’ve heard from parents and community members regarding student data security and privacy in BVSD. With the passing of HB 16-1423 last summer, I wanted to take a moment to share how we’re implementing the requirements of this law and improving on measures we’ve already started in protecting our student data.

First, we have dedicated resources for the security of our network. These include a security engineer whose responsibility it is to keep our data secure. We’ve added a vendor manager to work directly with our negotiated contracts in making sure that they maintain their level of security and support. Also, we’ve moved our data into a more secure location.

IMG_6160.JPGIn addition, our legal department has created a Data Protection Addendum (DPA). This is a required document that must be signed and followed by every vendor that we contract with that uses and collects personally identifiable information of our students. The DPA provides guidelines and expectations for how the vendor is able to use, store and dispose of our student data. You can find the BVSD standard DPA here. If a vendor is unable or refuses to sign the DPA, then we do not purchase the software.

The new law also requires that school districts provide a list of “on-demand” or non-contracted resources that teachers use with students. These generally free online tools are available for our students to use, and it is up to the teacher to determine if the tool a student is using online meets appropriate requirements for age and privacy.

Finally, we’ve created a professional learning course that helps teachers learn how to find and understand the privacy policy and terms of use for the online tools that they are using in class. If a teacher determines that a tool meets these standards and plans on implementing the tool with students, he or she submits the name of that tool to an online form so that we can collect and maintain this list as a district. You can view the list on our website.

As our district continues to implement these measures, I invite you to follow our website as it will be kept up-to-date with the changes to help you and your family understand how data is secure in BVSD. And please let me know what you think by commenting below. Andrew