Thematic Areas

The DRLP has tools in four general areas that are essential to understand as you navigate connected learning environments and the broader digital world. These areas are: safety, privacy, creative expression, and information quality. Each DLRP tool is listed under its major theme, although a tool may address other themes as well.


Privacy tools look at how you can control your personal information when you participate in connected learning environments and the rest of the digital world, thinking about questions such as how to ensure data security when using educational technologies (“ed tech”); how to prevent unauthorized access to students’ ed tech data; and how parents, students, educators, and other groups could address complex questions around the use of students’ ed tech data, like how predictions about student outcomes from this data might be used by schools or others. The tools here introduce you to the two primary federal student privacy laws and their impact on ed tech adoption and use: Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act or “FERPA” (20 U.S.C. § 1232g) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or “COPPA” (15 U.S.C. § 6501).


Safety tools tackle potential online risks and harms in connected learning environments and the broader digital world, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and stranger danger. By offering best practice guidance for staying safe, as well as other socialemotional learning (SEL) curriculum, the DLRP’s safety suite empowers youth, educators, parents, and others to identify and respond to issues of online safety in a proactive and effective way.

Information Quality

Information quality tools guide you in the navigation of the massive amount of information online. This DLRP suite supports the development of searching skills, evaluative strategies, and quality judgments about information in connected learning environments and the larger digital media ecosystem. Developing these skills empowers youth to locate, understand, and engage with those reliable sources necessary to fulfill civic roles and lifelong learning goals.

Creative Expression

These tools facilitate the creation, sharing, and remixing of online content, aiming to raise the volume and impact of youth voices in connected learning environments by helping students, educators, parents, and others understand online creative rights and free expression. By looking at legal, policy, and other issues in students’ online learning and participation, these tools equip youth to participate more fully in educational and digital spaces.