Starting the first day of the 2016-2017 school year, the whole Campbell Union School District implemented a new program called “Hapara” that allows teachers to monitor the desktop activity of any Chromebook being used in class.
“The program started at Del Mar and it was liked so much that the district chose to pay for the program.” said Lynette Jackson, the technology stipend teacher.
Also, Jackson said there was an optional professional development training for the teachers over the summer, so some teachers are more acquainted to the program than others.
This also bleeds over to students. Most of the students at Leigh don’t know what Hapara does, or even know that it exists. When asked, freshman Avery Brammer said, “What is that?”
According to the Hapara website, the company’s goal is summed up by four principles: visibility, differentiation, security, and insight.
Visibility — Hapara Dashboard allows the teacher to have a bird’s eye view of all Google App Activity, Drive, Sites, Gmail, and Blogger; send files to individual students up to whole classrooms; and search all students Drives simultaneously. Elizabeth Tanner, an AP Government and Econ teacher, has gotten much use out of this application by sending out articles to the classes’ Chromebooks.
“Hapara has helped streamline looking things up and creates focused browsing. Hapara is helpful because having access to Google right at your fingertips can be an easy distraction,” said Tanner.
Differentiation – This principle allows for activities and assignments to be made and monitored within the Hapara Workspace. It serves as another platform to create and distributed assignments on, like Google Classroom. This application, through the use of auto-locking screens, has allowed Tanner the ability to not have to “actively police” the Chromebooks while testing.
Security –Using Hapara Highlights, the teachers can see any student’s desktop, not just the Google activity. This allows the teachers to be aware of potential cheating or students doing off-topic activities. Senior Joshua Bergles claims that overall the Security feature of Hapara is essential, however he thinks that some websites, such as personal student emails, should be blocked from viewing.
“ I don’t have any problem with it because I don’t do anything I shouldn’t be doing,”said junior Hana Wilson.
Insight — This principle is classified under Hapara Analytics. This principle allows the teacher to track learning over long period of time, such as ten years, and it also tracks student engagement in school or throughout the whole district. This gives teachers and school districts honest evidence as to what assignments or ways of learning are most efficient in the classroom.
These four features will provide teachers with new methods to engage students in learning.