More Privacy, All the Time

3 min read

As is very obvious to the three regular readers of the FunnyMonkey blog, we care about privacy. Our work around privacy comes directly from our belief that learner agency and learner control are both essential elements in education, and frequently ignored elements of our educational process. Our commitment to learner agency informs much of the work we do - it's why, in addition to privacy, we care about open content, student-directed portfolios, and empowering people and organizations via open source tools.

Over the last eleven years, as part of our work with FunnyMonkey, we have been able to work on a range of projects covering all of these issues. We have been fortunate to work with some amazing people at some amazing organizations. Although software development is a big part of what we do, we never looked at software as the end goal of any project. Technology isn't neutral, and we always worked with people to make sure that any solution removed barriers to doing good work. If writing code was part of making things better, so be it.

For the last seven years, Jeff Graham has been directly involved in shaping and guiding the work we do. Jeff is a rarity among developers - equally comfortable discussing deployment process, the pros and cons of different open licenses, scalability, security, and the emotions of people as they interact with the software we build. There really isn't much we've done over the last seven years that hasn't been made better by his insights and expertise.

Increasingly, as our work around privacy has ramped up, we have been looking at ways to improve both awareness of privacy, and practice around privacy and security. Many of those ideas have been shared here, on this blog. Now, the time feels right - more people seem to be aware of a broader range of issues related to privacy and data use than at any point in the post-NCLB era.

To further this work, both Jeff and I will be joining Common Sense Media this summer. The team at Common Sense is already doing amazing work around student data privacy, and we are incredibly excited to be able to join them. The time feels right. Over the past few years, privacy was the thing we made time for among the other areas of our work. Now, privacy will be the thing we do. Fun times lay ahead.

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