I have finished the first module of the Hapara Champion Educator course. It was all about Highlights. This is the section of Hapara that lets you view your students' browser activities. You can see an activity summary that includes collaboration (more than one user on the same site) and unique (only one student on a site) statistics. Data is captured only when you are logged in. You can see browser tabs. The main screen displays a tile or card for each student with the tabs that they have open. The bolded one is the one they are currently viewing (it's near real-time, not precisely real-time). You can see up to 25 open tabs. You can close any of their tabs. You can view their current screens. If it is a Google Doc, you automatically have full edit privileges. You can create groups and send messages to individual students or groups. They cannot reply to your messages, but still it's nice for redirection or feedback. You can schedule regular or focused browsing sessions where you send up to 10 links to individual students, groups of students, or even whole classes. This is especially helpful if you want to schedule bell-ringer activities or even assessments. Focused browsing is when you determine which sites you want your students to view versus Open browsing which is just what is sounds like - it's open. There are no restrictions. It also allows for filtered browsing. You can choose up to 5 sites to block your students from viewing. You can also pause all browsing for a period of 15 minutes. All of these features are effective technology integration tools.
I was really impressed with the training. The emphasis was on the student - creating responsible digital citizens and building relationships with your students - NOT on limiting their access to resources or discovery. I highly recommend! I have thought of it mostly as a classroom management tool (based on reviews from teachers in my building.) Now, I see that maybe they are not realizing its full potential. They are using it strictly to keep students on task. Not that that's a bad thing, but I'd rather see our students have more responsibility for their own learning and a little more freedom to explore resources on their own.
The course is a workspace (another Hapara feature that's the focus of the third module - and a PD focus of mine for this school year.) It reminds me of a Wakelet, or an amped-up Padlet. Imagine your sticky notes (they call them cards) in columns. The first column contains cards about the course and its objectives. The second column is resources. The third column is for your assignments. The last column has additional resources. Here's an introductory video from Hapara.