Student FAQ: Protecting your privacy and personal data Follow
In this article:
Student privacy is very important, and you should know how your data and personal information are being used. At Hāpara, we take your privacy seriously and follow all federal and state laws surrounding student privacy. We are also a founding signatory of the Student Privacy Pledge.
Our browser monitoring and filter tools are designed to:
- Protect you while you are learning online
- Provide a learning experience free from distractions.
We hope this creates a space where you can do some awesome learning!
You may have some more specific questions about protecting your privacy and personal data. Here is a list of questions students frequently ask, along with answers.
What are my rights to privacy? Why are teachers allowed to see what I’m doing on my Chromebook?
By law your school is responsible for your safety when you are learning online. That means your teacher has to make sure that you are protected from obscene material and that your personal information stays safe. Schools use technology such as web filters and screen/browser monitoring tools to do this. This also helps protect your personal information and data from hackers.
Another part of this law requires your school to teach you about responsible behavior online, known as digital citizenship. You won’t always have an adult monitoring your behavior online. That’s why it’s important for your school to teach you about digital citizenship. The goal is for you to develop the skills to eventually work safely and independently on the internet.
What exactly can a teacher see in Highlights?
When your teacher begins a Highlights session, your teacher sees what you are currently viewing on your screen with your school account. This helps them understand your progress and any challenges you may have with your learning process. As a result, teachers can then personalize learning for you.
For example, in Highlights teachers can instantly share websites with you. They may do this to help you with research or guide you when an activity requires your full attention. Teachers can also send you messages to encourage you or help redirect you back onto your learning path.
What can I do to protect my privacy while I’m using a school-issued device and Google account?
Use your school-issued device only for schoolwork
It is not recommended that you use your school-issued device for personal activities such as social media, banking or sending/receiving anything with personally identifiable information (other than your school assignments of course). This is the best way to make sure that your private life is kept private.
Keep your personal information private on your school device!
We sometimes hear from students that teachers can read their personal email. That may be because you are still logged into your school Google Chrome profile. Remember, a teacher can only see your current screen. They do not have access to go into your personal email account.
Hāpara Highlights is tied to your school-issued account. If you are logged into your school-issued account in the Google Chrome browser, your screen could be monitored.
Make sure to manage your personal information separately from your school login.
Keep your school internet browsing separate from any personal browsing so that only your school work can be monitored.
If you use your school-issued account on a personal device, we recommend that you:
- Log in to your school account through a Google Chrome profile rather than just signing in to Google
- Log out when you are finished with your school work
Specifically signing in through Chrome lets the web browser keep browsing information separate.
This ensures that your school browsing information stays separate from your personal browsing or other family members’ browsing.
To learn more about how to log in through Chrome, visit Signing into Chrome vs signing into your Google account.
You can also watch this quick video to learn more about how to keep your information private on your personal device.
How do I know if my teacher is able to use Highlights to monitor my browser?
If the Hāpara extension is colorful that means your screen could be monitored. If it is gray, it is not able to be monitored.
If you want to know more about when your school is monitoring your school Google account on your Chromebook or other school-issued device, just ask!
Remember to be respectful and use appropriate methods of communication. Start with your teacher. If they are unsure, ask them who you can reach out to for more information. There also may be more information on your school or district website.
What is expected of me when I use the internet for school work?
You and your parents/guardians most likely signed an internet usage agreement at the beginning of the school year. Read it carefully and understand what the school expects of you.
Remember, Hāpara does not set the laws or parameters by which you use school devices or internet services.
If you still have questions or concerns, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.