Monitoring and blocking student Internet use

I am managing a trial of Linewize at Wellington East Girls College, a product designed to help schools and teachers understand and manage student internet use across all devices and browsers. WEGC has implemented Linewize to:

  •  improve learning at WEGC ie keep student attention in class rather than being distracted by social media
  • fulfil a duty of care obligations to students. Some students do not have the required skills or knowledge to safely navigate and use the Internet.

As expected most of the implementation challenges relate to people, policy and procedures, the technology is relatively straightforward… For example:

  • The reporting function(accessible to authorised users) can give quite a lot of detail regarding what sites students (and staff) have been visiting. Who has access and under what conditions to this information?
  • Privacy Impact Assessments(PIA) are not typically carried out in schools, as far as I can determine. How come? I have initiated enquiries regarding the existance of any relevant PIA’s with the Privacy Commissioner.
  • Students concerns over privacy – I held a lunchtime session for interested students to discuss the implementation of Linewize. It was good to see students thinking of these issues.

The trial runs till the end of Term 1, then we will make a decision.

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