Alaska school computer monitoring raises privacy concerns

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska school district has introduced a new computer monitoring program prompting concerns over student privacy and data collection.

The Juneau School District installed and launched the Bark program Sept. 13, Juneau Empire reported . An email was sent Sept. 15 with initial details and that more information would be provided to students, parents, staff and board members.

The software monitors for content deemed harmful including school shooters, self-harm, pornography and cyberbullying, school district officials said.

The district sent a second email this week to address concerns after a school meeting Oct. 8, district representatives said.

Superintendent Bridget Weiss also sat down with students Friday to talk about the program and hear any concerns and comments.

There is no opt-out option, which some students said infringes on their rights.

Some parents shared concerns about who was viewing the system's alerts and data.

School officials said the software is intended to monitor the words students use on school computers, flag potential harms and send alerts to officials. It could not be used to read emails or documents that haven't been flagged.

Bark is a California-based company that sells monitoring software, the company website said. More than 1,300 school districts nationwide use the program.

It is unclear how many Alaska school districts are using it.

"I don't have a number, but there are many districts in the state that are using a system, not necessarily Bark," Weiss said.

The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 12.

———

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com


Web Only

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

To Address Chronic Absenteeism, Dig into the Data

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Keep Your Schools Safe and Responsive to Real Challenges

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

3 Unique Learner Profiles for Emerging Bilinguals

Effective Questioning Practices to Spur Thinking

Empower Reading Teachers with Proven Literacy PD

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >