LOGAN — Officials with Logan County Schools want residents to know their remote and virtual learning platforms are not spying on families.
“We don’t want to know what 5,600 kids are doing at home after hours,” said Logan County Schools Assistant Superintendent Darlene Dingess-Adkins.
The topic, which was made at the Logan County Board of Education’s Sept. 8 meeting, was brought up during a demonstration of how teachers in the county are recording their class sessions for students who are not present during live instruction. All students in the county are currently attending school remotely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Dingess-Adkins said an app called Screencastify has been purchased for each of the county’s Chromebook devices for instructional recording purposes. Board President Jeremy Farley noted various conspiratorial social media posts had been made throughout the nation claiming such apps are recording sound at all times.
“It’s not necessarily Logan County specific, but it says those children that are doing virtual or remote or whatever, that their Chromebook or their device is recording them and recording the home and recording sound at all times,” Farley said. “Now, what you showed us specifically, during their screen time, their class time, that is not something that is going to be recorded or listening in to their homes all day.”
Dingess-Adkins chuckled and said she had seen the same posts warning parents about school devices recording their homes.
“Trust me, that is not true,” Dingess-Adkins said.
“We are recording the teacher and the students live just like you saw,” Dingess-Adkins said, “but once the teacher disconnects, there’s no recording, unless the student records themselves on Xbox. The Xbox app is on there and, you know, Xboxers, they can record themselves, and that’s why the app is on there. That app can be used for any type of recording, so it would be them doing it themselves, not us.”
Farley did want families to be aware that students may be recorded while they are logged into a classroom session, but the district is not into the business of spying on its students at home.
“First off, we don’t want to do that, but we don’t have the capability to do that, and we don’t have the number of people or the ability to review that,” Farley said. “Nobody wants to review any of that. I just wanted to make sure that the public understands that because I think that’s something important. There is misinformation out there related to virtual and remote online learning. You are dealing with technology; at the same time, the technology is intended for a good use, which is to assist the students and their parents — to go back and review and see what was talked about during the class. It can improve the educational process. It’s not intended in those ways that may be described elsewhere.”
Dingess-Adkins also emphasized students to be mindful of whatever is behind them, saying that whatever is in the background is what everyone else in that online session is seeing. She said the background can be changed to a simulated one, such as the solar system, a lake or more.