Ethics in EdTech: Consolidating Standards For Responsible Data Handling And Usercentric Design


Ayça Atabey; Cory Robinson; Anna Lindroos Cermakova; Andra Siibak; Natalia Ingebretsen Kucirkova


EdTech, ethics, data handling, user-centric design, data protection


This report proposes aspirational principles for EdTech providers, emphasizing ethical practices, robust data protection, ownership rights, transparent consent processes, and active user engagement, particularly with children. These measures aim to enhance transparency, accountability, and trust in EdTech platforms.

Focusing on the K12 sector, the report systematically reviews and integrates key academic, legal, and technical frameworks to propose ethical benchmarks for the EdTech industry. The benchmarks go beyond quality assurance, highlighting good practices and ethical leadership for the field. The report addresses the need for a new culture in EdTech ethics, one that is collaborative and views EdTech providers as partners in dialogue with researchers and policy-makers to identify constructive solutions and uphold social trust.

The outlined benchmarks are intended for national policymakers, international agencies, and certification bodies to consider when developing quality standards for EdTech used in schools. They include AI safeguards and stress the importance of meeting international data protection standards, establishing clear ownership rights, and implementing transparent consent processes to address data control issues, as well as active user engagement for improving data governance practices.

Author Biographies

Ayça Atabey

University of Edinburgh
Centre for Data, Culture & Society

Cory Robinson

Associate Professor, Docent
Department of Science and Technology
Linköping University

Anna Lindroos Cermakova

Senior Research Associate in Corpus Linguistics and Sociomaterial Methodologies
Lancaster University
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Andra Siibak

Professor of Media Studies
Institute of Social Studies
University of Tartu

Natalia Ingebretsen Kucirkova

University in Stavanger
Faculty of Arts and Education
Norwegian Centre for Learning Environment and Behavioral Research in Education


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June 26, 2024


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