A handful of Colorado students have been reprimanded for sharing information about new
standardized test questions on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media, according to the Colorado Department of Education.
And Pearson State Assessment Services, the company that’s contracted to administer the tests, is monitoring the Internet for further violations of its security policies – so students should beware, said Dana Smith, director of communications for the CDE.
Smith said Pearson representatives are looking for breaches by Googling key test words from questions on the new English and math tests developed by PARCC (the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), which students in Colorado and 11 other states and the District of Columbia now are taking.
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Comment from Gary Price, infoDOCKET Founder/Editor:
What happens if the infringing material is NOT indexed by Google? For example, what if the Twitter account is private? How can they access Facebook material if it’s shared ONLY between “friends” and not indexed? Does Pearson send friend requests to gain access? What if the content is placed on a webpage with a robots.txt file blocking indexing?
The article also points out that Pearson can contact the social media provider and ask that the material be taken offline. What procedures does Pearson follow to do this? Are they filing DMCA requests?
Finally, we see almost weekly that it’s easy to hack Twitter and other social media sites. How can the those involved be sure that the student account sharing the infringing material was in control of the actual student when posted? Is there an appeals process?
The issues I might have with this is trying to understand what procedures are in place to make sure that what Pearson is doing is not only understood by those involved (or possibly involved) but as transparent as possible.
Of course, it’s a struggle for many people at all age-levels to understand the possible repercussion of publicly sharing material with an active copyright. This situation might also illustrate something that we see a all of the time. a lack of understanding about how the Internet works especially as it relates to tracking a specific person.