Why Securly?

Also allows for online tests taken without fear of cheating.

It’s well known that if computers are out in class, not everyone is paying attention. However, through a distinct-wide program called Securly, teachers can start a session and see anything on their students’ school devices, something that lots of students aren’t the biggest fans of.

“Securly is not a new thing to the district or even this school,” said San Ramon High Principal Whitney Cotrell. “It has been around for quite some time, however teachers were made aware of how they can monitor student school devices at a staff meeting a few weeks ago.”

So what exactly is Securly? Contrary to popular belief, Securly isn’t just a program to spy  on students. Securly is primarily used to block inappropriate content for students and to make sure students stay safe. The filters for this content have been set up by the school board and have been the same since the beginning of the year.

Another main feature of Securly is monitoring student Google searches on their school device. If Securly detects a student searching up something that affects the safety of students, administrators and parents will be contacted. From there, they can get students the help they need.

If a teacher wants to monitor students’ work on their school devices, all they have to do is start a class session on their device. From there, they can see students’ screens in real time, lock and unlock their screens, send announcements in a pop-up window, and more. Teachers can not control exactly what students are doing on their computer, nor can they monitor any non-school devices such as phones.

“I have students that when I assign them work, they will instead play video games or do work for another class,” said Dana Shaffer, a ninth-grade English teacher. “They will then fall behind on work due to being distracted.”

With Securly available in every classroom, playing video games in class or chatting with your friends become much more difficult for students. Securly also allows for online tests to be taken without fear of students cheating.

“Think of it like a textbook. If I assign the class textbook reading to do and one person closes their textbook and begins drawing, I’m going to be able to tell.” said Shaffer. “Securly helps me be able to tell when someone isn’t paying attention, the same way it would work with textbooks.”

Although teachers might love Securly, some students don’t necessarily feel the same. Some feel as if Securly is an invasion of their privacy or just another way for teachers to control students.

“Securly is invading our privacy because teachers can use it whenever. They make us use our school computers so we have no choice but to let them spy on us,” said an anonymous freshman “We are freshmen, not fifth-graders and need to learn to figure things out on our own, which includes not being babysat by teachers.”

Other students don’t see a problem with the program. In fact, some think that having a teacher monitor their devices makes it easier to get work done in class.

“I’m usually on task, but this program does help a little.” said another anonymous freshman. “I feel like I can’t go on any other websites, even other school related ones.”

No matter how students feel, it is perfectly legal for teachers to be looking at their students’ school-issued devices. The school computers are property of the school therefore, granting the school the right to check and monitor student activity.

“Securly isn’t about spying on students,” said Cotrell. “Securly is about helping students to stay safe and stay productive in class.”

Despite student complaints, Securly is something that is here to stay. The choice is up to the teachers on how they wish to use Securly. So next time you’re in class and want to open up a new tab and play video games, think again.