(MEGAN HUBER / EYE OF THE TIGER)
With the transition towards a more technologically-based curriculum at Roseville High School, RHS sought the aid of GoGuardian, an artificial intelligence monitoring and filtering system.
GoGuardian offers four products: GoGuardian Admin, Teacher, Fleet, and Beacon, each offering varying abilities for student monitoring.
GoGuardian Admin’s focus lies in content filtering through the utilization of keywords and URL filtering. Director of Technology, Tony Ham, believes that this in particular GoGuardian is a necessary step now that students are taking home school-provided Chromebooks.
“If we were going to give devices to 10,000 students, it would be our responsibility to have [content filtering] in place as well,” Ham said.
In addition to student monitoring, GoGuardian also allows for analysis of student data. While the concept of content filtering is not new to RHS, with systems such as iboss which offered content monitorization, GoGuardian collects student data in order to form trends, such as through popular Google Documents or heavily frequented YouTube videos.
GoGuardian Teacher offers a company of monitoring abilities that can be applicable to a classroom setting; such as a teacher/student chat function, the ability to freeze screen usage and compiling a report of students activity following each class period.
English Teacher Jamie Handling finds it helpful to use in class and appreciates that GoGuardian makes it easier to make sure students are working productively.
“Realistically, I can’t see all of the computers at the same time,” Handling said. “Having GoGuardian on my computer allows me to see what’s on the kids’ screens and to monitor if they’re doing [inappropriate] things… it’s just a way to unify what’s going on in the classroom.”
GoGuardian Fleet offers a more technical feature to a chromebook based curriculum, offering a tracking program of Chromebooks, an identification of its ownership, operating system, and physical status.
Outside of direct student surveillance, GoGuardian Beacon is the result of a partnership between GoGuardian and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This particular segment of GoGuardian will be relied on primarily outside of school hours in order to try and ensure student wellness and safety.
With this sect of the program, if student data indicates a student might be susceptible to suicidal thoughts or self harm, GoGuardian creates an alert and notifies members of the administrative staff, parents, and the student. The student will then be pulled up to talk to their counselor.
Junior Mai Nguyen was pulled out of class after she made a search for a project in Creative Writing that triggered GoGuardian Beacon as potentially relating to self harm.
Nguyen believes that while it is essential to maintain awareness of students mental health, monitoring searches for these threats could lead to a lot of false alarms.
“I think it actually is important especially for high school students our age,” Nguyen said. “Mental health is starting to skyrocket and I think they should be concerned about students health… But we are also in a school and we do have projects that might end up being flagged by search, but it’s for research. It can be debated”
While GoGuardian has coalesced student data with the intent of promoting student engagement, sophomore Barritt Balestrini feels that monitoring student data proves excessive.
“I think the school should trust us more on what we should or shouldn’t do. They gave us the chromebooks, so they think we obviously have some semblance of responsibility,” Balestrini said. “I think they should put the trust in us to do the right thing. Some of us are incredibly stupid, but that’s just some. The rest of us aren’t going to abuse the privilege.”