The New i-SAFE: Meeting the Evolving Needs
of e-Safety & Child Privacy Protection
In 1998 i-SAFE started as a non-profit company committed to teach basic safety skills to kids as they ventured onto the internet. So many things have changed since then. Some for the better, and some not. It is time for us to change as well.
Educators are employing digital learning to great effect, using more commercial online resources, sites and apps to augment their lessons, for homework helpers and taking tests. Providers of those resources are creating very powerful learning tools for the significantly large educational market, and increasingly kids are the customer of commercial online games and other content. The risk of ID theft, prevalence of bullying in social media, predatory behavior, and the rapidity of change and flood of new products is daunting.
The common thread is that these services, products, apps and problems all get better, or much worse, based on the use or misuse of a kid’s personal information.
Appropriately, government has put in place several statutory regulations protecting the privacy of children. They have also tied funding for school telecommunications programs to compliance with some of those regulations. The result is that schools and providers must meet the requirements of COPPA, FERPA and CIPA, a burden which is significant, requires planning, execution, monitoring and reporting; tasks which are often repetitive and cumbersome, taking considerable effort, time and money.
These changes in education and the youth market create a need which i-SAFE will fill, the need to make e-Safety education and compliance with child privacy laws simple.
The new i-SAFE is committed to providing easy to use identity management services and digital learning programs that you can trust, and which help our customer achieve meaningful results in compliance with child privacy statutory regulations. We founded i-SAFE Ventures as a hybrid LLC and parent to both i-SAFE Inc., our non-profit legacy and developer of digital learning content, and i-SAFE Direct, our new for-profit family of cloud-based platforms for compliant identity management services. This will help us develop and deliver a more complete, high-quality solution to our customers.
i-SAFE Direct services provide simple, cost-saving, secure solutions for the often repetitive, time-consuming, costly tasks associated with regulatory compliance requirements concerning permissions, personal privacy and identity management, for both commercial and educational organizations. We are introducing the first i-SAFE Direct services including:
- i-SAFE Direct Permission Slip allows schools to create, distribute and ensure VPC for the many adhoc permissions requests they make each year, but saves about 68% of the usual costs, removes the burden on classroom time for communication, and decreases the opportunity for fraud and ID theft while complying with HIPPA and COPPA.
- i-SAFE Direct AUP enables a single administrator to create and execute specific AUP documents district-wide as mandated by CIPA, saving about 87% vs typically manual systems, and with a higher degree of confidence in having achieved verified parental consent.
- i-SAFE Direct VPC supports schools in clearly communicating all online services, apps and programs which use children’s personal information to parents, and requesting consent. While schools do have a COPPA exception for educational programs, they also have increased risk as commercial companies offer both educational and entertainment products in the same environment accessible during and after school.
- i-SAFE Direct My Ok: provides a secure permissions portal for parents, where they can be notified to review documents such as AUPs, and approve requests for the use of their child’s personal information. Everything is in one place, no personal information is displayed in the process, no paper or classroom time is required.
Our core i-SAFE digital learning content is designed and developed to meet the specific CIPA requirements mandated for schools to receive E-Rate program funds supporting their telecommunications services.
- i-SAFE Digital Learning now offers 389 Common Core age-appropriate lessons covering E-Rate mandated topics and more.
- Learning content is created to meet Common Core requirements, helping educators make great use of classroom time, while everything from selecting age-appropriate content, to monitoring student progress, and required reporting is done digitally and quickly. No other organizations commits as many resources to developing e-safety content that both meets educational requirements and stays current to quickly evolving online.
- Our digital learning programs now include built in analytics so E-Rate administrators can tell exactly where they are in terms of compliance with minimal effort required by teachers to certify their results.
We’re changing a few other things too. We’re launching our new website, refreshing our newsletter and social media sites to make it easier to engage with us and see how we can help you reach your goals. Please share these resources with people who will find them useful.
We realize that the internet presents many privacy issues for children, and statutory regulations can be difficult to navigate, but the benefit that these technologies provide for learning and living are incredible. We are committed to making that journey simpler for educators, providers and families and look forward to being your partner.
This is just the beginning.