It is Illegal, unprofessional and inappropriate to record without consent

I needed to make this known that for the first time in my life I have seen italki in a very negative light. I was doing an Irish lesson with a middle aged woman and it was our second session together. I noticed my voice echoing and she mentioned how she was recording. I was neither asked nor informed of this and I am not comfortable with a student taking advantage of the fact we didn't use webcam so I couldn't see what was going on on the other end. She had recorded an entire lesson without my knowledge. This was a breach of trust. I want to make a point that teachers shouldn't be subjected to recording unless they are asked for their consent and they grant permission to do so. It is completely inappropriate, unprofessional and illegal to record someone when they are unaware of it occuring. I hope no one else is dealing with abuse such as this as it is disgraceful.

Dec 10, 2015 8:22 PM
Comments · 31

Chloe, I totally agree with you and I respect your wish not to be recorded without permission. As others mentioned, in some countries it's totally legal and the student wouldn't think that it could be a problem but I agree with you that you should be informed. But why not being a little bit more understanding? The student who did it comes from a country that it's totally permitted if the material won't be posted to publicly. You said that you have no problems with being recorded if students ask for permission. Why not understand that the student had no malice, it was something for her own use and then continue with the sessions now with the consent. That's what I would have done " Alright, it was not cool, you should have asked for permission and talked about this, but I understand you had no bad intentions, now I'm aware, let's continue and I just ask you to keep them to yourself ".


But the way you're replying here in public to the student, seems like you're being too harsh and going to other teachers' profile to make sure that the student will have a hard time finding other teachers will only show that you're all about anger and revenge.


Dealing with different laws and culture require open-mindedness and comprehension! It's just my opinion.

December 10, 2015

Well, let's be precise. The policy states that it is a violation to POST a recording, not to make it. Students who live in countries where there is no particular problem with recording things are not likely to realize this, or feel there is any reason to think about the issue. I think it's always good policy to give people the benefit of the doubt. Quite often we find upon reasoned, adult conversation with a person who seemingly has offended us, that the person had no such intent. It seems to me that much of the negativity in the world these days has to do with people jumping to conclusions and deciding that they have been injured in some way, when there was no malice intended by the other party and no real harm done.


Also, if you had to search for the policy, how can you expect a student to have looked for it specifically, especially if, as the poster above suggests, it is probably not an issue in the student's home country? Students are mostly just excited to learn a new language and to interact with people from other cultures. That's what we need to keep in mind above all else.  As teachers, we are all ambassadors for our cultures. I'm sure you're a friendly and nice person and wouldn't want to give someone the impression that Irish people are unfriendly, but unfortunately when our students have only limited interaction with people from a particular culture, that can be a real danger.

December 10, 2015

Guys, this is incredible. Last night when I posted this I was subjected to patronising comments from both the party involved and others making me feel I wasn't correct in my situation. However, I woke up this morning to an abundance of supportive messages, lesson requests and now my profile is booming. I totally agree with all the new comments who state any adult should be aware of this, and any life experience would teach you this. So for a middle aged woman to tell me I'm "less internationalised" and she'll take me "being young" as a reason to let it go made me feel very violated as a result of the entire situation. And yes, her way of defending herself publicly online when I made my discussion general is very childish and was the cause for an arguement, something which could have been done one-on-one.


Luckily, it has been resolved, the package has been terminated and I have blocked myself away from that negativity that leaked from the individual into my world. I am here to provide a service, to help people and engage with those who want to learn. Some people think they can lie and deceieve their way through life, but in the end good aways triumphs, my bursting lesson plan will tell you that! :)


This was definitely a blessing in disguise and I am thrilled with the amount of people I have been put in contact with as a result of this whole thing.


italki is certainly a place I feel happy and comfortable to work with, and anyone who makes me feel otherwise, sling your hook!


Cheers guys, you're all stun-huns <3

December 11, 2015

I'm not implying anything. I'm old enough to realize that your reaction is not necessarily representative of everyone from Ireland. However, other students with less international experience are likely to jump to conclusions and take away a badly generalized impression from this kind of interaction. That's how prejudices and stereotypes get started, and I'm sure that's not your intention or that of anyone teaching on this site or anywhere else.


That being said, please be accurate. You didn't "hear something tinny" and ask. I told you openly that I'd recorded the last session and edited out all the side talk and English, leaving only the bare target language sentences. I also told you why. Irish isn't very phonetic to a beginner. I record only to play the sentences back in the car when I'm driving. I even sent you a copy of the recording, which was 4 minutes long from a 30 minute lesson. 


I apologized to you for the misunderstanding AND confirmed today's session, which did not take place, because you were online at the appointed time and I believe a teacher should be paid in that situation. Your identifying me as the student on this forum was uncalled for, and does not in any way make my comments -- general comments -- less valid. 


I am very sorry that you are upset about this, but if nothing else you may be able to think about this and realize that there is more than one way to look at almost every issue in life, and it truly is a good thing to give people the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. One may not agree with another person's position on something, but appreciating that there are different positions is a really big start to living peaceably with the many different people we find in our world.


December 10, 2015

I have had students wish to have a lesson recorded for personal use in the past. One of those students was making a video upload on YouTube and wished to include about 30 seconds of a lesson to show other viewers how things went. He politely asked permission first and when I agreed, he made the recording. This was an exception. Students who want to have an audio version to listen to have always asked, and instead of recording the lesson, I have made them a private audio recording of any vocabulary after the lesson time has finished and emailed it to them. This way I am in control of what is recorded and what may or may not be published. <em>You have the opportunity of making the audio as professional, clear and easy to repeat as possible, and your student doesn't have to go through the hassle of chopping up a lesson. </em>

December 11, 2015
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