ExploreLearning Gizmos is a web based library of standards aligned math and science simulations for grades 3-12. The terms of ExploreLearning Gizmos do not address social interactions of any kind although message boards, lesson plans and other posting areas are mentioned. ExploreLearning collects minimal personally identifiable information and uses it exclusively for the purpose running the site. According to terms, no data is shared with third parties. COPPA and FERPA are both addressed but without specific compliance details. Terms do explicitly state that ExploreLearning does not knowingly collect data from students under 13.
: Promoting responsible use
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.
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.
: Protecting collected information
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.
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. Terms say that tracking technologies, cookies, and log files are also used for collecting information. Schools may elect to allow ExploreLearning to acquire assessment data from third parties. According to terms, ExploreLearning does not utilize third parties to provide products and does not share student data with any third parties. 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.
: Protecting against unauthorized access
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.
The main site for ExploreLearning Gizmos is encrypted. Terms state that banking transactions are encrypted throughout but there is no mention of additional encryption for user data in transit or at rest. 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.
: Following statutory laws and regulations
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.
COPPA is addressed in the terms of ExploreLearning Gizmos and it is stated that ExploreLearning will not knowingly collect or use personally identifiable information from anyone under 13. FERPA is addressed although the “adopted certain practices” clause in the terms is not provided with any details. 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.
The privacy evaluation is independent from the Common Sense edtech tool review. Privacy evaluations are designed to clarify how a service protects information, which will allow people to make informed decisions before using a tool with students.