Students alarmed by GoGuardian program

Amelia Sabol, Staffer

Volume 71, Issue 1

October 3, 2022

Following the initial wave of COVID-19 in 2020, schools across the country were forced to move into online learning. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93 percent of parents reported some form of distance learning for their school-aged children. This caused a fast move into the new technological world. Now that schools are integrating back into the building, technology is following students back into the classroom. This causes software including GoGuardian to be introduced into districts in order to track students’ attention while in class. 

LOHS is introducing the software GoGuardian into the classroom this year as a way to keep students on task. During class time, teachers have the ability to watch what students are doing on their computers. This includes all tabs and has the ability to track what a student was doing in real time, as well as a history of what they were doing during the period.  Using GoGuardian, teachers can remotely open or close tabs. They can also lock the screen on the computer. “I’m not really a fan of it. It’s creepy to spy on the student. I think there’s a point to where if a student really isn’t willing to work or listen in class then it’s out of the teachers hands. They tried to do their job and the student is doing something else on their computer”  Stated senior August Kennedy. 

Only students using school-loaned computers can be tracked at this time. LO downloaded the software onto the computers over the summer, but the software only works when students are connected to the wifi. Students using school computers feel very uncomfortable with the new software. “I’m currently using a school computer, but I have a home computer. I would feel weird about being watched all the time, and I would probably bring my home computer to school more often” stated senior Cate Hoffman.

Students are concerned about the equity of the new policy. A new Apple Macbook, which can’t be tracked using GoGuardian, costs around $999. With a median income in Oregon at around $65,550, many families can’t afford to pay for a new computer. “I would say that it’s a perfect example of students coming from different economic standpoints being treated differently. Students who are bringing an Apple computer to school aren’t being tracked while students who can’t are?” said Hoffman.