Use of Technology in the Classroom

Technology is commonplace in the classroom from laptop computers, tablets to smartphones and other devices.  However, it is important that students follow instructions from their professors as to acceptable use of technology in the classroom.  Ultimately, your use of technology (and computing) is governed by the Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy.

Using Technology in Class

Your instructor will outline appropriate classroom rules for using technology in class.  Some instructors may have an outright ban on these devices while others may allow them to be used for in-class research activities, accessing class resources via Blackboard etc.  Common-sense should dictate how you approach using technology in class; turn off the ringer on your smartphone and if necessary, leave the classroom to answer an urgent call; avoid texting and random web-surfing; use your technology to take class notes and other class-related activities.  Make sure that your use of technology does not negatively affect your classmates and use your devices to enhance your learning experience, not replace it with something else!

Photographing or Recording Class Activities

Before you take photos of your instructor, or your classmates please ask them for permission.  In GATE you are often required to take photographs in the field which may include your classmates or instructor. Always ask before you take a photo; some people would prefer not to be photographed and it’s important that you respect that.  Also when you are in the field you should ask a person before you take their photo (if possible and the person can be easily identified) and never take photos of individuals under the age of 19, or the age of consent. 

Do not record (audio or video) your classes without the express written permission of your instructor and your classmates who may appear (or be heard) in your recording.  Do not distribute any recordings outside of your class or post to 3rd person websites such as You Tube even if your instructor allows you to record them for your personal use. 

Please note that the reposting of photographs of classmates and your instructor to third-party sites (e.g. social media) requires informed consent and is governed by provincial privacy legislation. (See below.) 

Photographing or Recording Human Subjects (for Course Assignments)

More generally, when completing class assignments, the use of photography and video recording devices to record observations involving human subjects is subject to Human Research Ethics Review. Your instructor should walk you through the process of an ethics review, should it be determined that one is needed. For more information, you can also contact the the chair of the Department Research Ethics Committee (DREC). Review the section on Research Ethics for more information. 

Protection of Privacy

UFV is obligated protect your personal privacy and instructors are also required to protect the privacy of our students in class activities.  UFV has an Office of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy which contains much useful information. 

Use of Social Media

One aspect that often comes up in classes is the use of social media for assignments etc.  Due to Canadian and BC legislation, students cannot be required to login into a website (such as You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, DropBox) that collects personal information for assignment purposes when the hosting website stores and accesses this personal information outside of Canada. Some social media sites are Canadian, but these generally do not include the most commonly accessed ones. However, many blog and website amalgamaters are Canada-based. In order to waive this requirement, a student must be given notice, be informed of the risks, and they must provide informed consent to this information being held outside of Canada.  

Faculty and students interested in questions regarding the use of social media in the classroom may want to refer to this report provided through BCCampus.

If you have any concerns about how an assignment may affect your privacy ask your instructor or see the UFV Office of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy


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