Sunday, November 13, 2016

Kids Hiding from Hapara?

image clipped from

This one came in recently, but I know from spot-checking that this is a widespread problem. One of the main things that teachers asked for when we piloted 1:1 devices was the ability to monitor what students were doing on devices remotely. To assist with this request, we use Hapara in Grades 6-12 - this feature is not currently available to our district's teachers in elementary grades.

Hapara Highlights, which lets teachers view what kids see on-screen, works as a browser extension. We experimented with disabling a student's abilities to modify the setting, but the unexpected consequences of doing so were (1) ELLs and Foreign Language students couldn't use international keyboards, and (2) special needs students couldn’t enable accessibility features. So, that means kids can disable & re-enable Hapara Highlights at will, resulting in students having the ability to “hide” their screens from their teachers’ abilities to view remotely.

Effective use of any technology relies on teachers' strong classroom management procedures. Hapara was never designed to eliminate that need, just assist with it. However, if disabling Hapara Highlights becomes a recurring problem, I would urge you to educate students that behavioral consequences can be activated. Notify building administration as needed, and lay the hammer down if necessary.

Here's how to fix it on an individual basis when you notice it - take just a few seconds once you know where to look...
  • Have the student log in to a Chromebook
  • First, make sure the Chromebook is updated. Look for the upward-pointing arrow near the time display, lower-right corner.
  • Open the Chrome browser
  • Click on the 3-dots, upper right corner
  • Point to More Tools & choose Extensions
  • Scroll down to find "Hapara Highlights Extension" and check the box next to Enabled

CRITICAL FINAL STEP: Inform the student that there can be behavioral consequences if the extension is disabled again.

Reference: Item 2.1 on Page 2 of the Chromebook Policy that all students and/or guardians agreed to at registration:

​"d. ... attempting​ to change the ​... ​D​istrict settings of or to the devic​e​ will subject the Student to discipline.​"​
​"​i. ​The District can and will locate, access, and modify Chromebooks remotely, even when in a Student’s possession. Modifying, disabling or attempting to disable the locator or any District​ ​software​ used for tracking or accessing a Chromebook​ ​is a violation of the Authorization for Student Internet Access and Acceptable Use of the Internet​ and grounds for disciplinary action​..."
See the District’s Chromebook Policy under the For Students or For Parents tabs on the CJHS, LMS, GHS, GHS-N, and District websites. 

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