Along is a free, web-based, interactive journal designed to make it easier for teachers to guide and advance the development of critical life skills in students. The Services (defined below) enabled by Along are designed to facilitate strong, meaningful relationships between teachers and students through research-informed resources and efficient communication (e.g., asynchronous text, video and/or other supported methods of communication).
Along is a free learning tool for students and teachers, provided by Gradient Learning and with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Along is designed to help build strong relationships between teachers and their students, and to help students develop key life skills.
Your privacy on Along is our priority. We don't make money from students and teachers using Along, nor do we allow ads to be placed on Along. We do not and will never sell or rent student and teacher personal information.
Gradient Learning and CZI are signatories to the Future of Privacy Forum's and SIAA's Student Privacy Pledge ("Student Privacy Pledge").
Gradient Learning does not place ads in Along or use personal information that we collect for ad purposes, including for behaviorally-targeted advertising purposes. We do not, and will not, make or seek to make money from students or their schools, teachers, or parents. We do not, have not, and will not sell, rent, or lease the personal information of students, teachers, or anyone else.
For clarity, Along’s website [www.along.org] is subject to its own Website Privacy Notice.
We collect and use information from Along website visitors so that we can send requested information, such as sending users newsletters that they sign up for. This collection and use is subject to its own Website Privacy Notice.
If you are a visitor to the Along website [www.along.org], we will collect certain information from you in order to provide our services such as our mailing list. This includes information you give us directly, such as your first and last name and information provided from your browser or device, like log data and cookies.
Please see the Along Website Privacy Notice for more information.
We define “personal information” from students using Along as any information that would allow that child to be identified or contacted by another individual. We collect this type of personal information on Along so that we can provide students with educational services and use such information only for educational purposes.
For Student Users, we define personal information as information that alone, or in combination with other non-personal information would allow someone to identify or contact the child. This includes, but may not be limited to, all information considered to be "personal information" under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") or "personally identifiable information" under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"). For more information on COPPA please see section 5 below.
3.1. Information We Collect
We collect the following types of information, including personal information, from students and teachers when they sign up for and use the Services.
When teachers and students sign up for Along, we collect certain types of information -- including:
We don't intentionally collect sensitive information through Along, such as the exact location of students. If we become aware that sensitive information is on the service, we will delete it or notify the appropriate party to get consent to keep it if necessary.
3.2. Information We Do Not Seek to Collect or Store
We do not seek to collect sensitive information about Student Users or Registered Teachers, such as precise location or biometric data. If we become aware that such information has been provided, we will delete it within thirty (30) days of such awareness or get the appropriate School, Parent, or User consent to keep it if it is reasonably necessary for the Services.
3.3. We Limit the Use of the Information We Collect
We use the personal information we collect from the Services for educational purposes as directed by Registered Teachers or Schools, including to:
We use the personal information collected from Along for educational purposes only, as directed by teachers and schools that use the service. This personal information also helps us to improve safety for our users. You may be able to have your browser block or delete cookies, but some parts of the services may not work properly as a result.
Safety. We are committed to making Along a safe space for teachers and students. Your well-being is our top priority and we also use the personal information we collect to improve safety for our Users on and off the Services. This includes helping Registered Teachers and School Administrators investigate suspicious activity, reported content, violations of School’s policies or our policies; preventing spam and other bad experiences; combating harmful conduct; verifying accounts and activities; and maintaining the integrity of the Services. We may accomplish this through human review and automated systems such as PhotoDNA.
Disabling Cookies. Most browsers allow you to block or delete cookies through settings they provide, but please know that some of the Services may not work properly if all cookies are disabled. We currently do not support "do not track" signals or related opt-outs.
To be clear, we will NOT:
We don't sell or use personal information to make money from students and teachers using Along, and we require our own service providers to make the same commitment. We also don’t use student personal information for anything other than educational purposes. In certain cases, we may use de-identified information, (i.e. information that cannot be used to identify or contact an individual) to improve your experience on Along.
De-identified information. We de-identify personal information and use de-identified information for other purposes, including research and product improvement. We consider "de-identified" information to be information that has all direct and indirect personal identifiers removed such that the data cannot reasonably be used to identify or contact an individual. Such identifiers include, but are not limited to, persistent unique identifiers, name, ID numbers, and date of birth.
3.4. We Limit How Personal Information Is Shared
In order to provide the Services, we share your information in the limited ways outlined below:
We may share your information in limited ways with the following parties:
To demonstrate the efficacy of Along or how it’s being used in classrooms and schools, we may publicly share information that has been de-identified (i.e., information that cannot be reasonably used to identify or contact an individual).
De-identified information. In the event we wish to demonstrate how the Services are used or its efficacy, or otherwise provide information or marketing materials related to the Services, we will only share de-identified information. We may share aggregated and/or non-personally identifiable information publicly (such as statistics about visitors, and traffic patterns).
We support and encourage parent/legal guardian involvement with Along. Students and parents/legal guardians may request to access, review, correct or delete personal information. Such requests must be made through the student’s teacher or school.
We support and encourage the involvement of Parents in their Student Users' education. Parents and Student Users may, at any time, make a request to access, review, correct, or delete personal information in the Services by contacting the Student User's Teacher or School. If the Registered Teacher or School determines that the request should be implemented, the Registered Teacher or School may direct us to make such a change. We will process such School requests within thirty (30) days in a manner consistent with applicable law and the terms of the User Agreement (including the Data Privacy Addendum).
All students who use the Services will be invited by a Registered Teacher who has agreed to the User Agreement. Pursuant to the User Agreement (including the Data Privacy Addendum), each Registered Teacher, on behalf of their School, has consented to our practices regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information from Student Users as permitted by law.
When the Registered Teacher invites their students to Along, we rely on consent obtained from the Registered Teacher or the School acting as an agent of the Student User's parent or legal guardian in order to process the Student User’s personal information.
Registered Teachers are also required to provide notice to School Administrators and Parents that they are using the Services to increase student engagement.
COPPA governs the collection of certain information from children under the age of 13 ("child" or "children"); for more information about COPPA and generally protecting children's online privacy, please visit the Federal Trade Commission COPPA FAQs and OnGuard Online. While COPPA does not directly apply to non-profit organizations such as Gradient Learning, we voluntarily comply with COPPA's guidelines regarding students under the age of 13 as part of our commitment to transparency with parents regarding the collection and use of their child's data.
We are committed to keeping students of all ages safe on Along. As part of this commitment for younger students under the age of 13, we voluntarily comply with the core principles of COPPA.
We are constantly working on ways to prevent unauthorized access and misuse of personal information through administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. These include:
If there is a data breach, we will provide notice to the school in a timely manner.
The security of personal information from our Users is important to us, and we work hard to protect it from unauthorized access and use. In an effort to prevent unauthorized access, disclosure, or improper use of User information, and to maintain data accuracy, we have established physical, technical, and administrative safeguards designed to protect the personal information we collect. For additional technical details regarding Gradient Learning’s security programs and measures, please see our Security Whitepaper.
We're constantly evolving our security procedures as technology changes, but our security procedures at a minimum include the following:
We regularly develop and implement features to help keep personal information safe. Should you discover any security bugs or vulnerabilities in our Services or have any questions regarding our data practices, please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although we make concerted good faith efforts to maintain the security of personal information, and we work hard to ensure the integrity and security of our systems, no practice can be 100% guaranteed. The security of personal information can be compromised by outages, attacks, human error, system failure, unauthorized use or other factors at any time. If we learn of a breach of your personal information, we will provide notice which will include information required by applicable law.
We only keep personal information for as long as it’s necessary to provide Along. In certain cases, we may need to keep personal information if the law requires a different duration, or as directed by the teacher or school.
We will only retain personal information, including personal information from Users, for the time period required to support the authorized educational purposes. If a Student, Registered Teacher or School requests removal of any personal information or closure of their account, we will promptly direct our Staff to delete, dispose of, or de-identify the personal information.
Following a Student User’s account deletion, we will notify their Registered Teacher and School Administrator and the Student Account will be removed from Along within a week of the Student User’s request. Following a Registered Teacher’s account deletion request, we will notify their School that the Registered Teacher’s account, along with associated Student accounts, will be removed from Along within a week of the Registered Teacher’s request.
We will retain a Student User’s and Registered Teacher’s information for a 30 day record retention period in order to support the management by a School or Registered Teacher of information considered part of an Education Record. At the end of that record retention period, we will delete, dispose of, or de-identify the personal information within 30 days unless, consistent with applicable law, there is a legitimate reason to retain such personal information for a longer period.
We may retain personal information for a longer time period if we have consent to retain such information or if we are required to retain such information to comply with our legal obligations or law enforcement requests, resolve disputes, protect the safety and security of our Users or our Services, or enforce the User Agreement (including the Data Privacy Addendum), other agreements, or any posted guidelines, policies or rules applicable to specific features of the Services. Such information will be deleted when it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was retained.
If you are a Parent and wish to have your student’s personal information removed from the Services, please contact your student’s Registered Teacher or School and review the information in Section 8 (" Schools Can Delete Information").
Teachers and schools can request that we delete and update student personal information.
Registered Teachers or School Administrators may request the review or deletion of their Student User information, or the closure of accounts associated with their School in the Services. We will delete or de-identify such information within 30 days, unless we otherwise have consent to retain such information or are required to retain such information to comply with a valid access or transfer request for Education Records, our legal obligations or law enforcement requests, resolve disputes, or enforce the User Agreement (including the Data Privacy Addendum), Code of Conduct, or other policies or rules applicable to specific features of the Services. Such information will be deleted when it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was retained.
While the CCPA does not apply to nonprofit organizations like Gradient Learning, we take privacy seriously and have chosen to inform our practices with the CCPA. Specifically, this means the below.
9.1 The Right to Request Information
The CCPA gives consumers who are residents of California the right to request the following information about the personal information that we’ve collected in the past 12 months:
To request any of the above information, email email@example.com. Please include in your request sufficient information that allows us to reasonably verify that you are the person about whom we collected personal information. Please note that we do not sell your personal data, and that Gradient Learning will not discriminate against you in any way based on your exercise of these rights.
9.2 Additional Disclosure
California residents have the right to request information about the personal data we collect. Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We may contact you with messages and notifications about Along, including information about your account, privacy and security notices, and service updates.
If you created an account on the Services (or otherwise provided an email address or phone number to us, or otherwise opted-in to receive communications from us), we may send you messages related to the Services, including messages regarding your account, privacy and security notices, and updates and information regarding the Services. These communications may be sent through SMS, push notifications, email, telephone calls, and postal mail. [Note: Standard carrier fees may apply to messages sent to your mobile devices.] If you have an account with us, we'll also use your contact information for customer service purposes, or to contact you for legal matters or purposes. We may receive a confirmation when you open an email from us if your device supports it.
Teachers may give us contact information about school administrators and parents. We may contact school administrators and parents to provide requested information, respond to inquiries, or provide information as directed by the school.
For School Administrators. We require Registered Teachers signing up for the Services to tell their School Administrator about it. This means Teachers may provide us with your email address so we can send you an email from the Teacher telling you about their use of the Services. We would also contact you with questions related to your School’s use of the Services via your Teachers and Students.
For Parents and Legal Guardians. We ask Registered Teachers signing up for the Services to tell you about their use of the Services in their classroom with your child. This means Registered Teachers may provide us your email address and/or phone number so we can send you content from the Registered Teacher telling you about their use of the Services. We would also contact you with questions related to your child’s use of the Services.
When we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you before the changes go into effect.
You can learn more about Gradient Learning on our website, http://gradientlearning.org/.