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Updated June 6, 2019

ExploreLearning Gizmos

  • Not intended for children under 13.
  • Collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
  • Unclear whether this product displays personal information publicly.
  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
  • Notice is provided in the event of a data breach.
  • Unclear whether this product requires parental consent.
Indicates that the product meets all our required privacy safeguards, but more research should be completed prior to use.
Use Responsibly
Full evaluation
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Overall Scoreinfo-bubble

This overall score represents how the service addressed all our evaluation questions. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive policies.

Overview

ExploreLearning Gizmos is a web based library of standards aligned math and science simulations for grades 3-12. The terms state message boards, lesson plans, and other posting areas are mentioned, but it is unclear in the terms how these areas are accessed or used. The terms state that ExploreLearning does not sell personal information and will not use any user data to display contextual or behavioral advertising, will not use the data to track and target advertisements on third party websites, and will not allow third parties to use user data to create ad profiles, perform data enhancement or target ads. In addition, the terms state that banking transactions are encrypted throughout the service, but there is no mention of additional encryption for user data in transit or at rest. Lastly, the terms state that ExploreLearning operates in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") and will not knowingly collect or use personally identifiable information from anyone under 13 years of age.

ExploreLearning Gizmos can be accessed through its website. It is a predominately HTML5 (some flash) web based platform and there is no mobile app available. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Service used for this evaluation can be found on ExploreLearning Gizmo's’ website. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Read the Common Sense standard privacy report (SPR)arrow
The standard privacy report (SPR) displays the most important privacy practices from a product’s polices in a single easy-to-read outline. The report displays an alert when a particular privacy practice is risky, unclear, or not evaluated. This alert indicates more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.
SafetyPromoting responsible use
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Evaluating safety takes into consideration best practices that protect a user's physical and emotional health. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to safety.
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The terms of ExploreLearning Gizmos do not address social interactions of any kind. The terms state that, except for vendor created content, ExploreLearning does not control and is not responsible for additional materials. Message boards, lesson plans, and other posting areas are mentioned, but it is unclear in the terms how these areas are accessed or used.

PrivacyProtecting collected information
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Evaluating privacy takes into consideration best practices that protect the disclosure of a user's personal information. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to privacy.
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ExploreLearning Gizmo's terms state that they collect minimal personally identifiable information such as student name full name and identification number, teacher name, class, school name, and grade level. Student demographic data, for the purposes of optional reporting, is requested separately from the initial setup data and is obtained only with written permission from your district. The terms state that ExploreLearning does not sell personal information and will not use any user data to display contextual or behavioral advertising, will not use the data to track and target advertisements on third party websites, and will not allow third parties to use user data to create ad profiles, perform data enhancement or target ads. Lastly, the terms state that ExploreLearning may use aggregated data for research, product development, or marketing but there is no marketing directly to students within the platform.

SecurityProtecting against unauthorized access
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Evaluating security takes into consideration best practices that protect the integrity and confidentiality of a user's data. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to security.
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The terms state that banking transactions are encrypted throughout the service, but there is no mention of additional encryption for user data in transit or at rest. In addition, the terms state only ExploreLearning employees who are authorized to handle student data are able to access the Data Management System. According to terms, the user retains control of student data at all times. ExploreLearning’s terms reference good faith efforts to maintain security and notification protocols if a security breach occurs.

ComplianceFollowing statutory laws and regulations
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Evaluating compliance takes into consideration best practices of companies that collect personal information from children or students and the legal obligations for the privacy and security of that information. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to compliance.
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The terms state that ExploreLearning operates in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") and will not knowingly collect or use personally identifiable information from anyone under 13 years of age. However, the terms do not discuss obtaining parental consent. In addition, the terms state that under the terms of contracts with schools, ExploreLearning agrees to act as a "School Official" as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Lastly, the terms state that the teacher and school retain control and ownership of student data and that the data collected will only be used for the purpose of using the site.

About Privacy Evaluations

The privacy evaluations have been designed with the help and support of a consortium of schools and districts across the United States. These evaluations are designed to streamline making an informed decision about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.

Our core evaluation criteria are freely available and will remain freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and the information security primer we released. Vendors are encouraged to use our questions and the information security primer to self-evaluate. You can also learn more about our evaluation process.

Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.