Teachers’ Opinions: Hapara

—Sydney Gaff—

If a student gets bored with their work they might shift to playing games on their Chromebook, but once they open and start the game it just disappears! Well, it turns out this student’s teacher was watching him from her laptop. Creepy, right? As it turns out, all of the teachers can now do this with their little electronic assistant, Hapara.

This computer program allows teachers to see whatever a student is looking at on their computer screen and control what tabs students have open. Hapara also lets teachers, as well as administrators, look at the search history of a student’s Chromebook.

Some students and parents feel that this is a little invasive and an unnecessary measure used to watch students. Even some teachers agree with parents and find this an invasion of privacy, but teachers also feel that Hapara is an appropriate precaution to take in order to keep the use of the Chromebooks school related. Kaitlin Sharp, a science teacher at Cosby, says, “I feel that Hapara could be invasive to students. I think that most teachers use it though to make sure that students are on task during class and not viewing or saying inappropriate things using their Chromebooks. Students should be using their Chromebooks for school related things and at appropriate times.”

Some teachers also question if it is worth the monetary price as well, especially considering how much it costs for every middle and high school teacher in the county to have access to this technology. Ms. Sharp says, “Being able to use Hapara to monitor that the students are on task and using their Chromebook appropriately is really important and helpful especially with the large class sizes and the fact that students work and complete assignments at different rates. I think that it is worth the money to have Hapara.”

Hapara maybe worth the price, but do teachers even have the time to use it while they are trying to teach? Some teachers do not even have the students do assignments on their chromebooks half of the time so is Hapara even of any use to the teachers? Ms. Sharp says, “The only time I really use Hapara is if students are supposed to be working on an assignment using their Chromebook during my class, and I want to check and make sure they are actually working on the assignment and not doing anything else instead. Therefore I do find it helpful because it’s easy for students to quickly ‘X’ out of page or minimize a page as you walk around the room and act like they are on task when in reality they are not.”

Teachers definitely approve of Hapara, even though it can be seen as an invasion of privacy to students. However teachers use it to monitor and make sure students stay on track in class and do not do anything inappropriate with their chromebooks. Therefore Hapara is well worth it to teachers in Cosby.

Photo courtesy of Selena Wilke