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Parents and Educators Hope the Rise of Online Learning Lives On After the Pandemic, Report Finds. But Researchers Say Privacy Protections Shouldn’t Be Sacrificed

Although the pandemic forced students into an abrupt shift to haphazard online learning earlier this year, a majority of parents and educators support the boom in education technology and hope online learning goes on after the public health emergency subsides, according to a new report.

But researchers argued that the surge in digital education shouldn’t come at the expense of privacy protections that keep kids safe online — even if neither parents nor educators ranked that as an urgent concern.

“Candidly, this was not something we expected to see” because of the challenges that came with transitioning to online learning so quickly, Elizabeth Laird, the senior fellow for student privacy at the nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology, said during an Oct. 21 webinar.

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