Publicly Private

Is anything ever truly private when we share it online? How do we find a balance between student safety and providing a broader audience for learning? I attempt to answer these questions by reviewing articles and posts from The New York Times Bits, Huffington Post, The Hechinger Report, Mindshift, and Reading Research Quarterly. The conclusions I draw are only one person’s perspective on this timely issue. What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments and start a discussion.

Matt Renwick


If you don’t want to see it on the front page of the newspaper, don’t put it in an email. – Former principal at a school I taught at a decade ago

ClassDojo Adopts Deletion Policy for Student Data by Natasha Singer (The New York Times Bits, November 18, 2014)

After an article was written regarding the classroom management app ClassDojo and its debatable use of tracking student behavior, the software company elected to delete student records annually. Teachers still have the option of saving this information after one year. This is a big move prompted by a single piece of reporting, considering that ClassDojo is used by “at least one teacher in roughly one in three schools”.  One of the co-founders of this app, Sam Chaudhary, goes even further on this issue by stating that ClassDojo is “not a data company”, and instead sees its service as…

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Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District ( Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD ( and Lead Literacy (

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