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The use of technology to support early childhood practice: Protecting child, parent, and practitioner privacy

Over the past two decades, the use of technology in early childhood settings has steadily increased, growing out of the recognition that technology may be used to improve program practice and, ultimately, children's learning and development. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) recently contracted with NORC at the University of Chicago to review the knowledge base related to the uses of technology to support early childhood practitioners who work directly with children and families. A description of the project and links to the report and three research-to-practice briefs may be accessed at the following webpage: Use of Technology to Support Head Start Practice, 2013-2015. This brief, intended to complement the review, addresses privacy and security considerations related to computer software, mobile applications (apps), and web-based tools that early childhood practitioners may access via the Internet as part of their work with children and families. Examples include online packages that capture child assessment data and instantaneously provide teachers with data-based instructional suggestions; programs that use live video conferencing to connect parents and home visitors; and remote coaching models in which teachers use an online submission process to share video recordings of their own practice. As with the review of the knowledge base, the focus of this brief is technologies that support early childhood practice, rather than technologies intended for independent child use or technologies that require little or no direct practitioner involvement. Drawing on guidance developed by the U.S. Department of Education's Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), this brief provides a set of best practices to guide early childhood programs in strengthening the safeguards to protect child, parent, and practitioner information as programs increasingly incorporate technology to improve practice. (author abstract)
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Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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