Teachers monitoring computer screens


Every student knows that unnerving feeling; a pair of eyes belonging to a teacher looking over their shoulders as they work on computers during class, aspiring to catch any off-task student. But should teachers really be looking at what we do on the computers?

When it comes to monitoring students, teachers can either do it by circling around students’ shoulders, or by using online apps such as GoGuardian or LanSchool. The applets allow teachers to discreetly look at a student’s screen and keep them on track if they are doing something else other than school-work.

For example, one teacher who wishes to be unnamed used GoGuardian and caught students shopping for prom dresses, playing Sporcle games, watching ESPN and using messenger apps all in one period.

Unless you are someone who uses Chromebooks to play Coolmath Games during English class (which you should not do), you most likely do not care whether teachers look over your shoulder or not.

If you are on task and don’t have a reputation for not doing work, why do you worry about being monitored? The short answer: you shouldn’t. The only people who should be concerned with a teacher’s eyes looking at their screens are the people who don’t focus during class, instead engrossing themselves in their games that they should not be playing.

To those people who are off-task during class: why do you come to school, but not pay attention in class? The purpose of the eight hours spent in this building is to learn and to build a better future, not to waste away hoping to coast along through school.

Besides, the intention and purpose for the implementation of technology into school was to modernize the teaching environment and to “inspire intellectual curiosity” as a MCPS technology plan memo said. Teachers also have a responsibility and job to teach students. Freshman Diego Nabarrete said, “Their job is to teach us.”

If technology is not used as a tool, but as a hindrance, either the teacher takes away the computer, or starts to watch the student more closely. The job of a teacher is to teach students to the best of their ability.

Students who oppose being monitored usually make the argument that teachers monitoring their computers is a violation of privacy.
To that I say, what privacy? If it is a personal laptop, it would be an invasion of privacy. But more often than not, the argument is made when a school computer is used.

The word ‘privacy’ does not apply on a ‘public’ computer owned by MCPS. Computers even have warnings that most students click past that say your actions “may be monitored”. Besides, teachers are allowed by MCPS to monitor students, implied by the MCPS teacher job description.

In the end, students should be monitored by teachers, not only to make sure students stay on task, but also to ensure that technology is used according to its original intent. So students, just stop playing games during class and pay attention to your teacher.


Patrick Liu

Staff Writer