The integration of apps into education revolutionized the way students learn and teachers instruct them. Educational apps offer a versatile platform for interactive and engaging learning experiences, catering to various subjects and age groups. They enable personalized learning, allowing students to progress at their own pace and providing teachers with valuable insights into individual student performance. Moreover, apps facilitate remote and blended learning, making education more accessible and adaptable, especially in the face of changing educational landscapes. However, educational apps are not without risks. This is especially true when it comes to collecting and sharing private data. Schools must therefore weigh the benefits with the safety risks of educational apps.
What Are the Safety Risks of Educational Apps?
Alyson Klein assessed the safety of educational apps in a recent article for EdWeek. Klein discusses an Internet Safety Labs K-12 report on apps used at a sampling of schools in each state. Based on their research, Internet Safety Labs considers as many as 96% of the apps recommended or required by schools unsafe for children. More than two-thirds of the apps analyzed send data to Google. Additionally, educational apps often share personal data with third parties or feature advertisements. Such practices can lead to highly targeted ads directed at kids. Moreover, shared location information is easily abused, putting children at risk of predators and emotional trauma. Internet Safety Labs’ study examined 663 schools and 1,722 apps. They labeled 78% of these apps “Do Not Use” due to privacy concerns, while 18% were considered “high risk.”
LearnSafe Keeps Students Safe on School Computers
The report underscores the need for schools to be vigilant about the apps they use. Though some forms of technology can cause problems, technology also offers solutions. Screen monitoring software programs, such as LearnSafe, can help to secure student safety on school computers. LearnSafe detects predatory behavior, protecting students in case of a data breach. Also, LearnSafe helps students become more cautious about online behavior and interactions. This teaches media literacy skills, which help students recognize manipulation and abuse online and offline.