Throw away those antiquated hall passes of dubious value and say hello to the new, digital version. There’s a new kid on the block that has a plan to modernize your methods. E-Hall Pass (How To Rock Those Potty Breaks) is a trend you will want to know about.
How I Discovered E-Hall Pass
My youngest grandson is beginning high school in a couple of days. I had questions about the English class he had been enrolled in, and met with his soon-to-be teachers, the guidance counselor, and new principal.
As the meeting wound down, a comment was made about something new the school would be trying this year. E-Hall Pass.
I just wrapped up 20 years of teaching, and hadn’t heard of the company. That’s not surprising since there are numerous companies selling a multitude of products to schools every year.
I’m always interested in finding out about companies who manage to break through all the gate-keepers and get their product vetted and funded.
As soon as I got home, I looked them up.
What Is E-Hall Pass?
E-Hall Pass is one of the products offered by Eduspire Solutions. If you’ve taken a professional development course offered by Eduspire, you know Eduspire Solutions. “[T]echnology integration and innovation” is the company’s goal
How The Company Got Its Start
The founder and executive director of both Eduspire and Eduspire Solutions is Nathan Hammond. My grandson’s principal mentioned that the inventor of E-Hall Pass was a former German teacher.
A quick check at LinkedIn shows that Mr. Hammond taught German for 20 years before Eduspire became his full-time focus. With this kind of tenure, he should be well-versed on the daily challenges of a classroom teacher.
What The Company Literature Says
Here’s a quick rundown of the stated problem and solution:
- student needs to go to restroom, locker, or another location on campus
- student uses own cell phone or Chromebook to pull up the hall pass form
- student fills out the form, and hands it to the teacher for approval
- if the teacher approves the request, the student leaves the room and teacher and administrators can track the students movements
There is also an option for another teacher/administrator to log the student to a destination like the library or another teacher’s room. This is also visible to the referring teacher and administrators.
I’ve included one of their videos below. There are several more available for viewing on their site.
What Are The Benefits?
As you just heard, E-Hall Pass promises to
- Increase instructional time by minimizing disruptions
- Improve security by knowing which students are in the halls at all times
- Hold students responsible and accountable
This promise to provide transparency into student whereabouts and behavior looks more to me like tracking. Not much different from an ankle bracelet for criminals.
What Teachers Say
I’m not an official of a school district or a board member. I’m sure there is plenty of support material available to individuals who are authorized to make a buy decision.
However, excluding the literature provided by Eduspire Solutions, there isn’t a great deal of available information regarding E-Hall Pass.
I did find an article written by a student for her high school paper. The school has been using the digital pass since March 2019. According to the article, teachers approve of the system because it allows them to track students outside of the classroom.
The article also notes that students expressed a number of reasons for not liking the system. Tediousness was cited as one reason, as well as lack of teacher participation in the new system.
I also found reviews teachers had completed at an EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit. Many of these teachers had favorable things to say about the E-Hall Pass.
However, I’m not sure how much input they received prior to completing the form. I don’t believe these are teachers with classroom experience with digital passes.
I get it. I understand that the goal is to keep kids in the classroom so they get the full benefit of the lesson.
But, people, I had no idea there was so much angst among teachers and administrators regarding students’ restroom habits!
Or rather, how to reduce or eliminate the need for students to leave the classroom altogether.
Granted there are always a few students who can’t or won’t stay in class. Maybe we need to understand why, and fix that problem one-on-one.
If we’re honest, I think we need to admit that requests for restroom breaks are just a symptom. Maybe it’s time to reassess things like:
- lesson plans
- lesson topics
- classroom layout
- length of class session
How we’re doing school hasn’t changed much in over 100 years. Yet, here we are, looking at ways to modernize the hall pass. Is that the real issue?
Maybe kids feeling like they’re being herded and corralled for six plus hours a day throughout the school year should be the topic on the table. Not kids who are responding rationally to what is often a crazy-making situation.
Think we need to hold our students to a higher standard? Take a look around the room during your next staff meeting. There is no way the adults there pay attention and respond in the way we expect students to pay attention and respond.
Here’s what I’ve observed through the years:
- we talk to our neighbors
- grade papers
- check our cell phones
- play games on our laptops
- some of us just stare and grumble under our breath
We also come in late and leave early. A few of us have such an aversion to these meetings that we conveniently forget them, and head home early.
Tell me how this is different from what we observe in those students who make a daily ritual out of trips to the restroom.
With everyone complaining about school budgets, is this expenditure really justifiable? What about the constant cameras and lock-down mode many of us work in every day?
We’re already sending a message to students that tells them how unsafe they are at school. In most cases, this is just not true.
Has anyone considered that this makes schools look a lot like a maximum security facility for criminals? How is digitally tracking students different from ankle bracelets for folks on parole?
I don’t think there is a difference.
Let’s stop and consider for a moment that this could contribute to the reasons kids are feeling undue amounts of stress at school.
Do they really need to give up this piece of freedom for perceived safety?
Time for Something Different?
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Ready to Escape Your Classroom?