What is the tech adoption process?click to find out
The Sequoia Union High School District uses the process included here for technology app and program requests.
Why do we need it?click to find out
The overarching reason for this process is to ensure we are only using apps that maintain the safety and security of our students' online data. This is an important responsibility for all of us. Ultimately, each of us is liable if we don't take proper precautions.
When using technology apps and tools, especially free web tools, it is important to make sure that they are safe for our students, and that we are in compliance with student data privacy laws such as COPPA, SOPIPA, and FERPA. For more information about student data privacy law, please check out this post from Common Sense Education.
California Education Code Section 49073.1
A third party who enters into a contract with an LEA for digital educational software or services, and/or for the digital storage, management, and retrieval of pupil records, must agree to contractual provisions related to student data privacy.
What do we need to worry about?click to find out
Some of the main areas we look for in terms of data privacy are whether or not the tool collects data and what the vendor does with the data.
The following are red flags that will likely lead to a request getting denied due to data privacy concerns:
Collecting user information for targeted advertisements
Ads hosted on the platform, itself
Students not allowed to use school email to create accounts
Use of student images
Often, free tools and apps are the most risky. If a site is not asking for money to use it, that means they are likely selling user data to make a profit.
How does it work?click to find out
The general steps for the tech adoption process are outlined below.
Check to see if the tool you want to use is already approved. Please check the lists included on this page to see if your tool is already included.
Discuss the app or program you wish to use with your department chair. They may know of an existing tool already in use that fits the same needs. As well, this opens the conversation among department members about new and exciting instructional strategies.
Once you're ready to submit your request, please use the Tech Adoption Request Form included here.
Please check the lists of approvals first
Please first check to see if the tool you want to use is already approved. Please check this list of larger district adoptions as well as this list of in-process and approved requests. Both lists can also be found by scrolling down on this page.
Please note, district-adopted tools, such as adopted online textbook resources are automatically approved through their adoption process. This includes tools such as Read 180, Big Ideas, etc. Also pre-approved are any tools provided to an entire site or district, such as Canvas, Google Workspace, and IC.
Once you're ready to request an app or program, please submit the appropriate form:
Free & Limited Use
Free and/or pre-identified funding
Individual and/or Single Site
Use this form for
Paid tool, with individual or site funds
Single-site department requests
Wider Use & District
District and/or unknown funding
Use this form for
Paid tools, with district funds
District-wide department requests
District-wide requests (not subject-specific)
If you are requesting a LARGER, PAID adoption or do not already have funding, please use the other form.
If you are requesting a FREE app or tool or have SECURED A FUNDING SOURCE, please use the other form.
In-Process Requests & Limited Use Adoptions
This list includes requests that have been approved for individual and department requests. Apps/tools that have been approved for use at one site are safe to use. Please secure funding, if necessary. Larger district-wide approvals can be found on the list above. (link to list of in-process requests)
Current District-WIDE Adoptions
Curious about which software and applications we already support? Here is our list of district-adopted tech. Please note, apps/tools only used at one site do not appear on this list. (link to list of district adoptions)
Please don't forget to check in with your department chair about your request. They may know of an existing tool already in use that fits the same needs. As well, this opens the conversation among department members about new and exciting instructional strategies.
We highly recommend that you work with subject-alike teachers if you have a lot of requests to make. Perhaps you and a team of teachers all want to use the same tool and can divide the efforts of submitting requests among each other.
Please reach out to your site tech coordinator or a member of the tech department if you are having any concerns issues with this process. We are here to help you.
What to Request
Please remember, the main focus of this process is to protect student data privacy. If you plan to use an app or tool that requires students to log in or install something, you should get it approved first.
If you would like to use an app or tool that students will never log into, you may not need to get it approved. If you are unsure, please submit a request just to be on the safe side. Here are some scenarios about what to submit and what is not necessary.
Always Submit Requestclick to learn more
Students Log In
Any time you ask your students to log into a website or tool, you need to be sure that it is not collecting and selling your students' data or targeting ads towards them. This includes free apps as well as Chrome extensions and add-ons. This also includes resources your students will need to download or install on their device.
Please be sure to only use approved tools for anything that asks students to log in or install.
Submit Request to be Safeclick to learn more
Teacher Generated Logins
Some sites allow you to create a set of usernames and passwords for your students. These sites do not collect data about your students, since they are logging in with fake names. In general, these are safe to use with students. It's best to submit a request for these types of tools just to be on the safe side.
No Need to Submit Requestclick to learn more
No Student Logins or Access
If your students will never interact with a tool, there is no need to have it approved for use with students. This might include a worksheet generator (like Kuta for math) that you use as a teacher, but your students never see.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on a question below to see its answer
Why should I care about student data privacy?
When using technology apps and tools, even free web tools, it is important to make sure that it is safe for our students, and that we are in compliance with the many student data privacy laws such as COPPA, SOPIPA, and FERPA. Each of us is responsible for following these laws and may be liable if we do not. For an overview of student data privacy laws, please click here. For even more information about student SOPIPA, please check out this post from Common Sense Education.
I would like to use a free app. Do I have to fill out the form?
If the app collects student data, it needs to be vetted for student privacy laws, regardless of cost. Please complete the process to protect your students and yourself. Free apps can be particularly dangerous since many make their money by collecting and selling user data.
I've been using a program for years. Do I have to complete the form?
Just in case you are unwittingly using a tool that collects and sells student data, please complete the process to protect your students and yourself.
I'd like to use the materials that come with my adopted curriculum. Do I need to request these?
Supplementary resources that are part of a district-approved curriculum adoption have already been approved for use. There is no need to complete the process for these resources.
I don't feel equipped to assess a tool's privacy settings. What should I do?
Why do department chairs need to be involved?
Your department chair may know of a similar tool or app that another department member is already using. This opens up conversations among department members, as well as among department chairs across sites to share strategies and new tools. If you are using something innovative with your students, it benefits everyone to share these best practices.
Are we going to be blocked from sites we are currently using?
There is no plan to block unapproved tools. However, if you use an unapproved tool that does not protect student data privacy, you are opening yourself up to liability.
How long will this take?
The form, itself, should take no more than about 15 minutes to complete. The process will take at least a few weeks, due to the collaborative nature of evaluating resources. Most individual requests take much less time to process, where larger implementations (site or district level requests) will take longer.
We are continuously working to improve the process and expect it to become more streamlined as we make these changes.
How is a tool assessed for student data privacy?
A helpful tool in identifying the safety of an instructional technology app is the California Student Privacy Alliance (CSPA). Feel free to search the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) database to see if an app or tool you are interested in already has privacy agreements on file at other school districts.