August 29, 2023

Balancing Access, Protection, and Privacy: GoGuardian's Commitment to Safer Online Learning

Teddy Hartman
Two young students look at a paper together

One of the earliest – and still most important – reasons for bringing tech into classrooms is that educators understand the value in providing students access to information and opportunities to learn. Now, the widespread distribution of school devices enables students from all socio-economic backgrounds to access global information and interact with online learning tools. These advancements, however, come with legitimate concerns over both online harms to students and the privacy of student data. 

As educators, caregivers, and stakeholders in education, it is critical we continually strive to balance the benefits of online learning and edtech tools, with protecting students from online harm and ensuring the privacy of student data.

Sophistication in service of safety

At GoGuardian, we live this balance daily. As a leading provider of innovative solutions for protecting students’ online safety, we prioritize the responsible handling and protection of student information, while aiming to build solutions that help educators and students maximize the value of online learning opportunities. 

Today’s students deserve the ability to incorporate technology into their learning and access information without increasing their likelihood of harm from doing so. In fact, the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that schools receiving necessary federal funding implement internet filters and monitor students' online activity to protect students from accessing harmful content or experiencing online harms. 

But how – given the rapidly evolving nature of the digital landscape – does one create a safe online learning environment that will enable students to use this technology to its fullest potential? 

GoGuardian’s dynamic software and smart web filter utilize advanced machine learning algorithms that continuously adapt in order to refine online filtering capabilities and more precisely identify online harms. We analyze millions of web pages and online activities in order to provide educators with a comprehensive tool that allows students to engage online learning environments safely.

Students privacy is a priority

Our mission is rooted in the understanding that technology should be a tool for empowerment, facilitating personalized learning experiences and supporting student growth. With this comes the responsibility to build technology that puts students’ privacy at the center of development. 

In order to provide schools and educators with leading edge content filters and harm detection capabilities, GoGuardian’s tools operate on school devices used by students. By the nature of online technology, this means GoGuardian processes student data on behalf of schools. 

When schools and educators entrust edtech companies with student data, they expect it to be handled responsibly and securely. To maintain this trust, GoGuardian holds a steadfast commitment to relevant student privacy regulations and standards: we adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), are proud signatories of the Student Privacy Pledge, and have our privacy practices independently verified by a third-party (iKeepSafe).

* * * * *

In the ever-evolving landscape of edtech, finding the right balance between leveraging technologies’ benefits, guarding students from harm, and protecting student privacy is an ongoing journey. At GoGuardian, we are committed to navigating this path, providing educators and students with the tools they need to maximize the advantages of online learning while upholding the principles of safety and privacy.