Within the ‘Take Action’ phase of my research, we found a loophole in the App that presents an issue around privacy and ethics. NZARE (2010) has expressed that the purpose of the research should be to do good and not bring any harm to others and in this instance, by way of privacy. While I do not think that anyone has been harmed in the process of collecting and sharing student work between school, students and whanau (family), we found that parents could access other students work and comment on it. While the teacher still had to approve the comment, parents were still able to view other students work and comments on their work which posed a privacy and ethical issue for the teachers. The main stakeholders are the school, the student’s parents and particularly the students, whose privacy was potentially at risk. The school is potentially responsible for this risk. All student’s privacy of our ethnical diverse students should be considered and especially the needs of minority groups and students under-achieving. Hall (2001), NZARE (2010).
Our solution as a school is to prevent parents from being able to access other students work to prevent any issues around student’s privacy. We are in the process of changing the settings on the technology so that parents could not view other student’s work through their own sign in or through other students. It is unfortunate that other students will not be able to view each other’s work unless the teacher shares the work with a whole group of students, which is still possible. Thankfully, we have not had to shut down the technology altogether as we have found a way around this issue. The course of action to solve the viewing of other student’s work by other parents and their family members is for teachers to change their class settings on the website for this App to prevent this from taking place. The teachers owe it to the students, parent’s and schools as part of their ethical code of conduct required for teacher registration to ensure their student’s privacy. Hall (2001).
In consideration of future research and teacher inquiry action, a sample group could be set up to check settings and the ethical impact on students before launching into the sharing of information online. It is important to discover technical issues that may cause unintentional privacy issues before they occur. Finding checklists to ensure the necessary precautions have been taken will help to prevent these issues from occurring in the first instance. Hall (2001)
Overall, the feedback from parents around the sharing of student work in real time has been very positive and the students have thrived on the digital parental involvement in the sharing of their learning experiences. Parents have valued being able to view what their children are learning, being more involved in their children’s education, which is essential for our Maori and Pacific Island cultural groups. Students have also expressed their enthusiasm at sharing their learning with their Whanau (family) as this is a very important part of their culture, particularly our minority cultural groups of Maori and Pacific Islanders.
Education Council. (2017). Our Code Our Standards.Retrieved from:
Hall, A. (2001). What ought I to do, all things considered? An approach to the exploration of ethical problems by teachers. In IIPE Conference, Brisbane.
New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE). (2010). NZARE Ethical Guidelines. Retrieved from: http://www.nzare.org.nz/portals/306/images/Files/NZARE%20EthicalGuidelines2010.pdf