LanSchool: classroom tool or spyware?



David Yang, Entertainment Editor

Bear Creek has implemented a new classroom management program into its ChromeBooks to oversee student activities. However, this classroom management program is leading students to wonder if the program can redefine classroom attentiveness.

The LanSchool software was created as a program to improve digital learning and increase practical use of class time.

Students are required to sign into the software on their computers via a pop-up window. After students choose the correct channel, teachers gain administrative rights over their Chromebooks and can view all student activity through a master console application.

A possibility exists for teachers to even monitor students outside of class so long as their PCs are connected to the correct WiFi network and have LanSchool installed.

Reports from several students claim that the limitation of distractions, despite LanSchool’s implementation, is still ineffectively being tackled.
“I think it has an adverse effect on keeping students on task,” senior Stanley Bello said. “It’s not a comfortable feeling being monitored by your teacher.”

Complaints have also arisen surrounding LanSchool’s violation of students’ privacy.

“The teacher is always watching you so it feels like your privacy is being invaded,” junior Ashley Campilian said. “Maybe I don’t want the teacher to watch me do a math problem online or open my Google Drive.”

The program has also been affiliated to the concept of malware.

“There are many ways to monitor a student, and LanSchool might be one of the worst ways to do so,” Bello said. “The program is practically spyware.”

Although LanSchool has been implemented into Bear Creek’s Chromebooks, the lack of teacher utilization in classrooms raises questions of its effectiveness at promoting a successful use of class time.

“For some teachers, like in programming class, they use LanSchool to observe students,” Campilian said. “But in my experience, I haven’t seen any other teachers use LanSchool and make a difference.”

A common belief among many students is that LanSchool is not being utilized to its full potential.

“LanSchool is supposed to monitor students on their computers even at home,” sophomore Chester Amkhamavong said. “[Teachers here] only use LanSchool during school time.”

However, despite the negative claims of LanSchool’s faults, many individuals defend the program.

“I think it’s good because teachers need to know what their students are doing,” Amkhamavong said.

Teachers especially have demonstrated their support of the software, claiming that LanSchool for the most part keeps their students in line.

“It’s very effective at keeping them on task and I can lock [my students’ screens] into what I want them to see,” math teacher Eric Vallecillo said.
Teachers also claim that testing candor has been improving with LanSchool’s implementation.

“When students are taking a test, I sign them into LanSchool and just keep track that everybody’s in the site and [make sure that] no one can cheat by going to a different site,” Spanish teacher Andrés Gil said