Saturday, March 28, 2015

Parents concerned about MCPS Chromebook rollout holding meeting in Bethesda March 30

Montgomery County Public Schools made national headlines last summer when it announced it was distributing free laptops and tablets to students. The initiative was one of several efforts to address the persistent achievement gap in the school system. That program began this academic year with 30,000 Google Chromebooks in Grades 3-6 and 10,000 in high school classes. The number will expand in the future.

Parents have expressed privacy and security concerns about the technology, as the laptops have student-specific accounts. MCPS has said its network is closed and secure, but data is uploaded to "the cloud" for access elsewhere.

A group calling itself Parents for the Responsible Use of Technology in School is hosting a meeting to discuss various issues of concern ranging from privacy to safety to cyberbullying this Monday, March 30, from 7:00-8:30 PM at the Bethesda Library. The library is located at 7400 Arlington Road.

The group also aims to generate an action plan to help teachers as the MCPS Technology Initiative expands.

Here is Monday night's agenda:

A. Technology in the Classroom.
B.  Preparation— students, parents, teachers;
C.  Testing—PARCC & other testing;
D.  Privacy—data mining by 3rd parties; access to health records;
E.  Security—protection of data collected;
F.  Safety– wireless vs. cable, code of conduct, bullying
G.  Create working groups and a plan of action with measurable goals.

Photo courtesy Google

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