Are we ready for parents to watch our lessons by webcam?

Sep 12, 2008

Miles Berry

I was interviewed for a story in today’s TES about the future of parental access to children’s school work:

Virtual lesson observations

The technology is already available for parents to watch their children’s lessons through a webcam.

“This is technologically possible,” said schools IT expert Miles Berry, “but there would be some real issues for child protection and privacy, and the unions might have something to say on behalf of teachers. Pupils might also be reluctant to participate in the class if their parents are watching.”

Digital spies in children’s exercise books:

Laptops and handheld units that act like “virtual exercise books” could be monitored by an intelligent system which tells parents and teachers what activity is taking place in them. If children have not written anything for a while, for example, an alert would be sent out to their parents.

“The system would analyse the work done and send a report back, says Miles Berry. “It sounds a bit big brother, but it is possible.”