There are a lot of ways that we keep students and their information safe while learning with PenPals.
The first step is controlling who can access our community. Teachers must provide their school information when they sign up, and we verify teachers’ identities with their administrators. Students can only participate if they are enrolled by a verified teacher.
Once students begin exploring the topic, there are a few ways to ensure that PenPal communication is safe and appropriate. Students and teachers can flag messages at any time to report anything inappropriate. The PenPal Schools team also monitors student messages for profanity.
Our 21st Century Skills Toolkit contains mini-lessons like how to protect personal information and how to manage your digital reputation, which help students learn how to be safe online and have respectful, healthy conversations with PenPals.
There are also a few ways that we protect student data. First, by limiting the amount of data that we collect. Students only provide their first name and last initial when creating an account. Data is encrypted and never shared with partners, press, or any other parties without permission.