The Great EdTech Debate Round 4: “Surveillance of students data and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety”


Last evening ‌‌in my EDTC 400 class was the second of the Great EdTech Debate. The 2nd debate of the evening was: Surveillance‌ ‌of‌ ‌student‌ ‌data‌ ‌and‌ ‌online‌ ‌activities‌ ‌by‌ ‌school‌ ‌systems‌ ‌is‌ ‌necessary‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌student‌ ‌safety.‌ Jordan Wenger v. Jesse Ducharme

Wenger agreed with the statement. She states that surveillance is necessary to protect students because 1) it protects and prevents students from external threats such as shootingsbullying, and suicides. 2) Protection from hackers. 3) Contact tracing.

Other points:

Reports to parents on students’ search activities

Monitor attendance

Long distance learning due to COVID 19

Ducharme disagreed with the statement. He states that surveillance is not necessary for the protection of students, but instead harms their safety. It is harmful to their safety because 1) it erodes their privacy. Students’ personal information and data can be prone to hackers and used by corporations e.i. Protractor. 2) Students are one step ahead of school with technology. They will learn to find a loophole, even risky ways. 3) Since schools are the ones to deem what is safe and moral for students to access online. Some students will be barred from resources that they might need. For a student researching about their sexuality in a conservatives community.


I agree with Jesse surveillance of students’ data and online activities by school systems is harmful. Things can get so out of hand. Where is the line drawn? I would feel wired when people can track and see what I was doing all the time. But I understand Wenger’s point about preventing and intervening in cyberbullying. It would be easy to find out the student who caused the bullying if there was a monitoring system in place. In my opinion, a school can have surveillance on THEIR devices. For example, schools can monitor activities on school-own computers, laptops, and tablets. However, there should be no surveillance on kids’ personal social media accounts or their devices.

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Teacher in training.

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