Keeping our students safe online

Rohan M, Columnist

In a wide world of computer software, only the best stand out. Great managing softwares can make life much easier for computer engineers and teachers alike. Hapara, a Student Management system, stands out due to the convenience of the software. Thanks to Hapara, a New Zealand based educational tech company, teachers are able to post assignments, monitor students screens, and post live messages among many other things. Hapara is the swiss army knife of computer software, being very good at multiple things which helps teachers do their jobs more effectively.

 

While Hapara is internet-based computer software, that definition alone can be very vague. Ms. DeLapp, the faculty technology coordinator, explains Hapara as a “digital classroom management system that serves several purposes. Hapara allows teachers to easily reach students, manage educational digital tools, share resources, guide safe internet use, and organize lessons.” Hapara allows teachers to easily plop an assignment into either a student’s personal folder on the Drive, on a shared classroom Workspace, or even open it directly onto the screen of their students in the middle of class. Having these capabilities  saves teachers the hassle of trying to get students to find their assignments online and having to make copies, which they would then have to move into a class folder. Instead teachers are given one central place for students to access papers – and many options in how they want that to be done.

Furthermore, another advantage of Hapara is safe internet usage. DeLapp explains that “With Hapara Highlights, teachers are able to view a student’s computer browser, seeing all the tabs that are open as well as which tabs are currently active… teachers can take screenshots of the student browser if needed.” Safe internet usage is a big problem in today’s world as many websites can be harmful to students – or simply distracting. Having a guide in place to make sure that students stay safe and focused at school is an unmatched advantage to using something like Hapara. While students could be upset about the guide as they may feel restricted, it doesn’t change the fact that the safe search aspect of Hapara is seen as a benefit to the adults who wish to protect growing minds.

Finally, Hapara provides teachers with insight to what students are doing at all times. DeLapp hopes that “Hapara allows teachers to more confidently implement the use of technology in the classroom.” Hapara holds an eye on every student’s screen during their work. Teachers are able to close and open tabs as they please, if a student is off task. If teachers are more confident that students are on-task while they are online, they may feel  comfortable using digital tools in the classroom, something that students need in order to learn to navigate the world.

Online management can be challenging as creating safe search boundaries can be a feat. Having Hapara as a guide is a big plus for teachers and can benefit students too. All and all, Hapara is a very useful tool, and is valued greatly by teachers even if the students feel otherwise from time to time.

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