Privacy Policy

This privacy policy discloses the privacy practices for The Physics Classroom website (https://www.physicsclassroom.com). This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  2. Why we occasionally ask for a student name or other information.
  3. Information about our Ad displays.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

 

About Our Company
We, The Physics Classroom, LLC, are the sole owners and decision-makers regarding the policies of this website and the personal information that it requests and collects.  To fully understand our privacy policy, we believe it is useful to understand our company - The Physics Classroom, LLC.   We exist to serve students, teachers, and classrooms in all that we do. We were developed by teachers with the goal of providing the best resources we can provide that fosters deep learning and high-quality instruction. As teachers, we have students' privacy in mind. The resources on our website always emerge out of an awareness of the need to protect such privacy needs and interests. 
 
 

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing 

Part 1: Task Tracker Accounts
The Physics Classroom uses a custom-built Task Tracker program. The program is used by teachers and their classrooms to make assignments based on our Concept Builders section. Student accounts request three items of personal information - email address, first name, and last name. The email address is used as a username and allows students to perform a password reset when necessary. Because password resets can also be performed by teachers for students in their class, a "real email address" is not essential. To reduce or avoid altogether providing such identifying information, a student could enter a made up address such as student001@myschool.org.
 
Task Tracker accounts also request a first name and a last name as the final two pieced of identifying information. This information serves the function of helping teachers track the progress of their students on assignments and associating completion date with the name of the actual student in order to facilitate score entry into a gradebook program. Once more, to reduce the amount of identifying information teachers and schools could decide to use first name and last initial (e.g., Scott L) or even first two letters of first name and last two letters of last name (e.g. Sc Le)  or some variant that allows teachers to still accomplish what they need to accomplish while protecting student identity (e.g. Student 001).
 
Information that we provide students (and their teachers) regarding the set-up of their accounts explains the importance of privacy considerations during account creation. Students are encouraged to follow their teachers directions regarding the information entered for email, first name, and last name. Alternatives to using an email address, a first name, and a last name are explained. This information includes a short video walk-through and a distributable PDF. 
 
All that being said, we pledge to use best practices associated with the storage and delivery of student data that is provided to us. Such best practices include but are not limited to safeguards such as encryption, firewalls, and password protection.  Task Tracker accounts store student progress information for assigned tasks in the form of Activity Completed or Activity Not Completed and the time and date of completion (if completed). This information is viewable by the student and by the teacher when logged into their password protected account.  A score is also associated with the assigned task that is calculated from student completion information and the teacher's formula for computing a score. We will permanently delete all such data within 90 days of the end of the subscription (current practice for this current school will reduce this time frame to 30 days). All subscriptions end on July 31. Teachers will be allowed to export the data as needed during the time frame when the subscription ends to when the data is permanently deleted. 
 
As of this writing, Task Tracker accounts are used solely with the Concept Builder section of our website. In the future there may be other implementations of Task Tracker to track student progress on other interactive sections of our website. As of this time, the collection of the above data is used only with Concept Builders. All other sections of our website operate independent of Task Tracker and users can expect to never provide or to view personally identifying information.
 
 
Part 2:  Information We do Not Collect
To be completely clear and transparent, the following information is not collected and the following practices are avoided with regards to student data and their privacy rights.
 

  • We do not collect geolocation data.
  • We do not collect biometric or health data.
  • We do not collect behavioral data.
  • We do not collect data regarding special education needs or accommodations.
  • We do not collect address information or phone number or birth date information.
  • There is nowhere on our website where students can interact socially with one another and post and store messages sent from one account to another. As such, abuse and bullying is a non-issue on our website.
  • There is nowhere on our website where students create data or upload data to our servers. 
  • There is nowhere within the Task Tracker system (or anywhere else on our website) where students can store written information. User created content does not exist on our website The only information that is stored by Task Tracker is Complete or Not Complete and it is stored automatically by our program at the time of task completion.
  • We do not market, sell, or otherwise distribute the email addresses and name information that is provided to us. The information we collect is used solely to support students and teachers of the Task Tracker program. We do not exist to make a profit on this information nor would we ever consider or be tempted by such an opportunity. (Refer to About Our Companyearlier in this document.)
  • We do not share student progress information with third parties for any reason. Such information is not shared for educational research or for any other reason. Student progress information remains confidential to the student and the teacher.

 
 
 
Part 3: Children Under the Age of 13 and Parental Control
Users of our website, and particularly of the Task Tracker program, are typically students in high school or college. As such, it is highly unusual that a student under the age of 13 years would have a Task Tracker account. Functional accounts can only be created for classes offered by subscribed teachers and used for school purposes.  Nonetheless, if by some odd circumstance a child under the age of 13 years is using the Task Tracker system for school purposes, we are willing to work with parents and the child's teacher to eliminate the storage and transmission of all identifying information for that student. Parents may request that we do so by email, using the email address posted at the bottom of this page. Upon their request, the identifying information will be deleted and the teacher will use an alternative, non-identifying code name as needed (or we can simply permanently delete the account altogether).
 


Part 4: Data Security and Access
Student data is stored on a dedicated server using industry-standard security practices. Such practices help to ensure that unauthorized individuals do not gain access to students' identifying information. Information provided by students at log in is encrypted before being sent to our servers. Upon log in, a signed token is stored on the user's device based as a result of user authentication with our servers. When the user logs out or the session otherwise ends, this security token is removed from local storage.
 


Part 5: Data Collection on our Website as a Whole
As of this writing, Task Tracker is the system the collects students' identifying information and used it to store progress information on tasks in the Concept Builders section of our website. Task tracker and student data is never collected or used in any other section of our website. Students, parents, teachers and schools can be confident that all other sections of the website are void of any type of reliance upon students' identifying information.


 

Ad Displays 

The Physics Classroom displays ads on the perimeter most of its pages. The ads are part of the Google AdSense program. We make no individual decisions regarding what ads display on a particular page for a particular visitor. Nor do we know which ads show on a particular users screen. All such decisions are governed by Google.
 
We have a limited amount of control over which ads or what type of companies can display ads upon our website. We do exercise such control in an effort to prevent ads with objectionable content from displaying. There are entire categories of ads which should never appear on our screen because we have disabled such categories. For instance, advertisements for alcohol, tobacco products, lingerie, etc. should never appear on our pages since we have disabled these categories. We are also able to block ads that link to particular websites that might be considered objectionable and we do exercise such abilities to block ads. When we hear from teachers or parents about an objectionable ad, we use access to our AdSense account to locate the ads and block them.
 
It is important that users of our website do recognize the importance of the AdSense program to our ongoing operations. It is one of our main sources of revenue and without it we would never be able to support the work of programmers and content providers nor pay for servers, content management systems, and other costs incurred on an annual basis. The implementation of the AdSense program allows us to provide a FREE website that serves many millions of students, teachers, and classrooms every year. While the above practices do not guarantee the display of unobjectionable ad content, we pledge to be vigilant about the ad content that displays on our website in order to keep all content appropriate. We are always appreciative of reports from parents and teachers to help us remain faithful to this pledge.
 
We have opted in to AdSense's program for compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which provides California residents the option of viewing only non-personal ads (also known as contextual ads). When not selected by such website visitors, ads shown on the screen will be personalized or targeted ads based on user interests as determined by Google. Like most Ad servers, the AdSense program uses third-party cookies on websites to determine visitor interests and browsing habits. AdSense gathers this information to deliver ads on a page that are customized to the user's interests. Users who are not comfortable with advertiser's collection of such information should know that they have the right and the ability to opt out of viewing personalized ads, viewing ads altogether, or even having third-party cookies collect such personalized information. 
 
To learn more about Google AdSense and their use of third-party cookies and personalized ads on websites, visit https://policies.google.com/technologies/ads.
 
Visitors who would like to opt out of the showing of ads can do so by visiting Google's Ad Settings page (https://adssettings.google.com/authenticated) or by visiting the by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page (http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp).
 
 

Contacting The Physics Classroom

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via email. All other inquiries regarding data privacy can also be sent via email.
 




Updated: 9/21/2020

 

 



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