Legalities of recording in the classroom

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jun 30, 2020

    Our district is starting to release info about the upcoming school year and it’s sounding like we’re going to have cameras in the classroom so that students can choose to either 1) learn part at school in small numbers and part at home, or 2) watch all instruction from home and work only at home.

    The idea is that we’d teach our lessons in front of the camera and our in-class students while simultaneously live-streaming to those at home and involving them in the lesson. So if I ask a question, I might call on an in-class student, then an online student to answer.

    First of all, I HATE this idea. I hate being on camera. It’s going to feel like a constant observation. I see so many privacy issues with this too.

    Second, I don’t think my school cares what we as teachers think. But wouldn’t there be some privacy concerns here? Is it legal to have a camera in the classroom live-streaming (albeit in a password protected feed, such as Zoom) all day? Would parents need to sign waivers? I don’t think my school has given any thought to this side of things at all.
     
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  3. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Can your union help you sort out the legalities?
     
  4. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    The parents who want babysitters will sign. Most of the parents I know who have awesome kids are staying at home with mom. They are not going to return to school this coming year.
    1 know 2 families both w/ a bunch of kids, who can't or don't take care of their kids worth beans. They can't wait to send their kids back to school for breakfast, lunch, free babysitting, and after school programs despite the fact that they do not work. They get on school meetings to complain.
    They did NOTHING w/ their kids even though they were given computers when we did online learning. Their kids are filthy, smell so bad it is hard to imagine, and never come to school dressed appropriately. 1 of the kids I had last yr came to school w/ a snowsuit on with nothing under it. He never wore socks either. When 1 of those kids walks in, you have to open windows to breath. We have all given those kids clothes, socks, and shoes, but they get lost once they go home. I tried to keep as much as I could at school.
    I love some of the kids I know, but their parents are morons.
    I don't know what a couple of the nurses will do. They have to work and they have nice kids.
    Working parents may have to sign. I am so sorry if you have to go back. I wouldn't want to be on camera all day either.
     
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  5. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    We don’t have a union :(
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    So the district or school in this case is thinking that the children at home are going to watch all 6+ hours of a school day with their parents making sure they do that? They also think that the parent will be at their child's side for all of those hours? Oops, mom has 4 children at school...don't think this is going to work at all. I agree with you OP. This is a bad idea.
     
  7. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    This is the worst possible way to do this I can imagine.
     
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  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    My main concern is that more than half of the effort of teaching would be taken up by making sure you are on camera, and you can't expect the kids to pay attention to learn, to participate AND live stream for the kids at home. It's not gonna happen. it will be a disaster.
     
  9. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    I think there are legal concerns that vary by state.
     
  10. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Contact your state Dept of Education.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I would wonder how they are going to keep the camera focused on just the teacher, and not some other things that are illegal to film, like a special needs student receiving accommodations (which would identify the student as being on an IEP.) Even if the video is password protected, a parent at the other end could be rerecording it, or showing it to anyone. Even if all of the parents signed waiver forms (and that's a big "if") it would still violate the right to privacy for students on IEPs.

    I also have to wonder if they would have a process in place for pausing the video during any kind of behavior outburst that required a room-clear, or a medical emergency that would identify the student as having particular medical problems. Showing an unexpected room-clear on tape would be a big problem with FERPA. I just looked it up, and read this "The audio or visual content of the photo or video otherwise contains personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record." and also this "The photo or video contains a depiction of an activity:
    • that resulted in an educational agency or institution’s use of the photo or video for disciplinary action (or other official purposes) involving a student (or, if disciplinary action is pending or has not yet been taken, that would reasonably result in use of the photo or video for disciplinary action involving a student);
    • that shows a student in violation of local, state, or federal law;
    • that shows a student getting injured, attacked, victimized, ill, or having a health emergency;"
    I realize there would be a very fine line, but I wouldn't want to be a school district that did this without a lot of safeguards in place.
     
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  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This sounds like an awful solution for all involved. There is no way that you can monitor and fully engage students both in person and virtually at the same time, while still ensuring that you’re offering high quality instruction. And you’d need a lot, more frequent breaks throughout the day due to the excess mental load this would put on you. It’s just too much. Even news anchors have commercial breaks and usually aren’t “on” for more than an hour or two straight. And they are only engaging people through a screen, not also in person, and only transmitting information, not attempting two way communication. There is no way this will work.
     
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I asked about this too. They are still trying to figure it out. I don’t know how that’s at all realistic.
     
  14. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    At the very least waivers/permission to video and share outside the district would need to be signed for students in the classroom.

    Besides that, though, what a horrible idea. Do they think everyone teaches via lecture? It would severely limit how you can teach if students at home have to have the same materials.
     
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  15. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Right? And I’m an elementary teacher. It would be terrible practice to stand up and lecture for hours straight.

    I don’t even know how I’ll be teaching without the camera. Normally I circulate a lot and talk to students 1:1. It doesn’t seem that this will be possible while maintaining social distancing. Adding a camera makes it far more complicated.
     
  16. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I agree with so much that is being said. I just read this article https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/01/...N6RiiX4xUMKB0QlHIsRZ0z9XVSLb9pSwO9DZQohjaX9N4 and it had an excellent suggestion that I wanted to share. It recommended having teachers who are in high risk categories (older, or with pre-existing med conditions, or the primary caretakers for high risk people) doing the online instruction -- like one teacher per grade level, who would do the virtual instruction for those who are not wiling to return in person. This would make sure those students had a qualified teacher, and it would make sure teachers-at-risk are not needlessly exposed. That way, the teachers who are teaching face-to-face would not have the burden of teaching "live" all day long. I think having a teacher multi-task by teaching in-person and remotely at the same time is a very bad idea -- the stress would be overwhelming, and even news reporters have a hard time with presenting for more than 15 straight minutes without at least a commercial break, and even with those breaks, they still only do it for 30 minutes to 1 hour at a time.
     
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  17. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I love this idea.
     
  18. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    Sad
     
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  19. Tired Teacher

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    It really is sad. Even though no1 really takes care of them, other than school, the younger ones are very sweet/ vulnerable. The older ones in 1 family are not though.
    You all seriously have my sympathies who are going back next yr. I think I picked a good yr to call it quits. I can't even imagine being live streamed all day.
     
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  20. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

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    I worked in a district that had cameras in every classroom. They were put there for precisely the reason the OP said, for lessons to be recorded so students could watch them at home. It was never meant for live stream. It was also designed so teacher observations could be done less intrusively. You could set them to turn on at a certain time to record and then turn off at a certain time. I used them to record my class when I was out because I had such terrible kids that year. If I recall, no waivers were signed, it was just something that was done. No one ever used them to record lessons, teachers used it for discplinary purposes, but that's about it.
     
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  21. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I have always thought that it would be nice to do formal observations this way. Even though I'm confident in my teaching abilities, I still get nervous anytime the principal sits down in my room and begins taking notes on a computer. I think I'd be much more natural if I were recorded on camera and the principal could just watch the video later, instead of being present in my room. But I don't think teachers should be recorded all day, every day. There shouldn't be a live stream. It should simply be a way to record yourself for observational purposes.
     
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  22. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    My old school in NC just sent out a notice to parents that school would start in August, full-time in person, and the entire day would be streamed live for those parents who were choosing to keep their students at home. This school has tiny classrooms crammed full of students (imagine half the size of a typical classroom, with 24 students, and if the desks are spread out into rows, 24 desks can't even fit, so they are all arranged in pods.

    I just can't imagine! This school also only has one restroom for boys and one for girls, with a total of 215 students. There are only 3 sinks in each restroom, and no sinks in the classrooms, so I simply can't imagine how they are going to keep them clean, how students are going to wash hands, and how teachers are going to do social distancing.

    To me, it seems like a disaster waiting to happen.
     
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  23. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    This sounds a lot like my school. It’s a disaster waiting to happen!

    So no reduced class size, except for those who choose to stay home? I wonder how many will?
     

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