Frequently asked questions for parents

Keeping your child safe in school online

What is Hāpara?

Hāpara is an Instructional Suite of tools that works with Google G Suite for Education to add functionality in a classroom setting. Hāpara aids the learning process in many ways, including:

  • Access to your student’s school documents and online activity through their school-issued accounts
  • Visibility into web activity when students are logged in to their school account
  • A place to engage in classroom work so students can have personalized learning experiences

Why is my child’s school using Hāpara?

In addition to the instructional benefits, Hāpara assists with requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA requires that K-12 schools and libraries use internet filters and implement other measures to protect children from harmful online content as a condition for the receipt of certain federal funding, especially E-rate funds. 

Implementing the Hāpara Instructional Suite is a great opportunity for your child, because it will provide new ways to personalize learning to meet their individual needs, keep them safe during online lessons and provide them with ongoing feedback on their work to encourage continuous learning and growth.

What will my child see on their device?

The student tool in the Hāpara Instructional Suite is called Student Dashboard and is accessed from Hāpara Student Dashboard organizes all students’ work, assignments, tasks, due dates and messages from teachers in one simple location. Student Dashboard is designed to help students grow and develop their executive functioning skills such as planning ahead, organization and task initiation. Additionally, students have access to Hāpara Workspaces created by their teachers and personalized to their specific needs.

How do teachers use Hāpara with my child?

There are three teacher-facing tools that are part of the Hāpara Instructional Suite: Teacher Dashboard, Highlights and Workspace:

  • Teacher Dashboard is designed to give teachers quick access to student work, as well as efficiently share out assignments with learners. Since our teachers will now have quick, easy access to student’s work, they can provide more feedback and encouragement. We know that continuous feedback positively impacts student achievement. 
  • Highlights gives teachers visibility into what students are doing online, the ability to create curated online lessons and share out useful links and resources. The goal of Highlights is to help students build their digital citizenship skills and help them to learn how to make positive decisions and stay safe while working and learning online. 
  • Workspace gives teachers the ability to easily create personalized lessons, projects and units of inquiry. Teachers will now be able to create and deliver learning tailored to meet individual student needs.
  • Student Dashboard Teacher announcements, grades, assignments  and  messages from Hāpara  Workspace and  Google  Classroom (if the school uses it),  are streamlined through in a more organized way for students.  Your child’s teacher doesn’t work directly in Student Dashboard. Their work through these other tools streams directly to students through Student Dashboard.. This is so  there is one less tool for teachers to learn, giving them more time with learners.

How is my child’s personal information protected?

Hāpara is a company founded by educators and they always keep the interests of students at the center of everything they do. Student privacy and safety is of extreme importance with Hāpara. No student data is sold.  You can learn more about the Hāpara privacy policy on their website.

Hāpara Highlights allows teachers to see what my child is doing online.

  • What can teachers see when using Hāpara Highlights? Teachers can see websites open in the browser of your child’s device while they are logged into their school-issued student account in the Google Chrome browser.
  • Why is Hāpara Highlights being used? Visibility into the online activity of learners helps teachers identify the progress and challenges of the learning process in order to personalize learning for each student. For example, teachers can send websites to aid with research or focus on a specific set of resources when working on something that requires the full attention of a learner. Teachers can also send messages to students in order to identify a correct learning path or veer to a new learning path. And most importantly, Highlights helps teachers ensure the safety of your child when online and teach students how to remain safe in digital environments. In addition, Hāpara Highlights helps meet CIPA requirements that K-12 schools and libraries use internet filters and implement other measures to protect children from harmful online content.
  • When does this occur? Hāpara Highlights is a tool strictly for learning purposes. Student privacy is of the utmost importance. Hāpara’s policy on Highlights use is no more than 10 hours per day Monday-Friday. However, individual schools set the specific times when Highlights is in use. Therefore, your child’s school may have different times set up for Highlights use.
  • Can Highlights be used on personal devices? Hāpara Highlights is tied to your child’s school-issued Google account. Therefore, if a student is logged into this account in the Google Chrome browser on a personal device, Highlights can be used. If your child uses their school-issued account on a personal device, you can ensure that browsing information stays separate by signing into the Google Chrome browser. This article and video explain. 
  • How will I know when Highlights is being used on my child’s school-issued account? The Highlights extension icon in the top right corner of the Google Chrome browser will be colored rather than gray when school monitoring is enabled. This means your child’s teacher may be monitoring their Chrome browsing activity.

  • What will it look like when Highlights is being used on my child’s school-issued account? In addition to the Highlights extension icon in the top right corner of the Google Chrome browser changing color, messages from your child’s teacher may appear as a pop-up in the browser. Messages are only sent from teacher to learner, so once a message is read, the student can close that message. The teacher may share a website(s) with the student; this website(s) will automatically open in the same browser window. Occasionally, teachers may use a focus session to share resources with the student. In this case, only the websites shared by the teacher will appear on the device for the time period set. At the end of the time period, the device will return to the pre-focus session state.

Hāpara Teacher Dashboard allows teachers access to my child’s school work.

  • What can teachers see when using Hāpara Teacher Dashboard? Teachers can see the following items in your child’s school-issued student account:
    • Files in the Google Drive of the school issued account
    • Emails from the Gmail of the school issued account (if the school has this feature turned on)
    • Blogger activity of the school issued account
  • Why is Hāpara Teacher Dashboard being used? Visibility into a learner’s digital work helps teachers guide the learning process. Teacher Dashboard gives teachers access to documents in order to provide feedback during the learning process. For example, if your child is writing an essay, the teacher can add comments directly to the essay to help your child improve their writing skills. Access to student emails helps teachers teach important digital citizenship skills such as how to compose professional emails. Access to Blogger activity allows teachers to give students the opportunity to write for authentic audiences while maintaining online safety. 
  • When does this occur? Teachers can access student work through Teacher Dashboard at any time for the purpose of providing in-time feedback during the learning process, whenever that may occur.
  • Can Teacher Dashboard be used on personal devices? If your child completes school work in their school issued account on a personal device, teachers can see those files, emails and blog posts created in that school issued account. However, teachers can not see anything else on a personal device.

Are settings for Hāpara set by the school or Hāpara?

Individual schools set the settings for Hāpara use at their school. Hāpara sets recommended guidelines for Hāpara use by schools. One example is the Hāpara ethical monitoring policy.

Is Hāpara in compliance with privacy legislation in my local jurisdiction?

Yes. Hāpara is fully compliant with all privacy legislation including: FERPA, GDPR, PIPA and PIPEDA. You can learn more about our privacy policy here, or you can contact us if you have more specific questions. 

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