Dear School of Education faculty and staff:

We hope everyone’s semester is wrapping up smoothly, and that you all enjoy a safe and joyous holiday season!

As we have adjusted to teaching, doing research and working remotely, we have been forced to adapt the ways we accomplish things we normally do on campus. For many of us, this has meant learning and leveraging new technological software and solutions. While we encourage you to broaden your toolset, we wanted to take a moment to remind everyone of our shared responsibilities when it comes to tools that are used in our role with the University, especially as this pertains to the security of work-related data.

As outlined in the Technology Use Agreement that all School of Education personnel need to agree and adhere to, protecting work-related data is the responsibility of all University employees. The easiest way to ensure that data are fully secured is to use officially supported tools, which have the required safeguards in place. The use of sensitive information in tools that are not officially supported by the University (e.g., FERPA-regulated student data used in Google’s G-Suite) is prohibited. Similarly, using publicly accessible resources (e.g., Google Docs with links shared to anyone), even when not containing sensitive information, can cause serious disruptions for teaching, research and administrative activities if a link were to inadvertently fall into the wrong hands. For additional details please see: what is sensitive information?

In addition to helping safeguard University data—including student and your own data—the use of officially supported tools ensures our EdIT team can effectively provide support for all School of Education faculty and staff. It is not feasible for EdIT to maintain expertise with the ever-growing set of tools and services that are widely available. If you deem it necessary to use an unsupported tool in your work (as long as sensitive data are not used in that environment) the responsibility for troubleshooting and supporting the tool will fall on you.

EdIT is currently working on a comprehensive list of supported tools and services offered. In the meantime, if you have any questions about a supported tool or way to accomplish a specific goal, or whether a tool you are using or plan to use is supported by EdIT, please reach out for a consultation: https://portal.ed.unc.edu/offices/edit/

Stay well, stay safe,

Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Dean
Calvin Groves, IT Director