Good day at school? There’s an app for that

Mar 6, 2016 by

Behaviour-recording program tracks a child’s education, but ensuring privacy is a concern

When a child is asked by parents what they got up to at school, they probably won’t confess that they were told off for talking in their English lesson, or that they didn’t do their maths homework.

But now honesty may be the only option as behaviour-tracking apps are becoming increasingly popular as an educational tool.

One of the most common apps, ClassDojo, is now used by at least one teacher in half of all UK schools, according to its developers. The app allows teachers to award points to students throughout the day for good behaviour or take away points for bad behaviour. The students, who also have the app, can see how well they are doing and parents can then see real-time updates. The points for the entire class can even be displayed on screen during the lesson.

Privacy experts and some educationalists have criticised the practice. Andy Phippen, professor of social responsibility in IT at Plymouth University, says many teachers and parents have not considered whether children’s data will be kept private. “It’s something we’re sleepwalking into,” said Phippen.

“With the roll-out of the academies programme and private sector investors, you do start to ask questions: if you have someone who’s got access [to online data] who might have third-party interest, where’s the policy that protects the kids’ data from that?”

Source: Good day at school? There’s an app for that | Education | The Guardian

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