Recording Devices in the Classroom

I’m curious to know what the law says in Taiwan about bringing tape recording devices into the classroom to record what the teacher says. Is there a law or is it based upon the individual schools’ rules?

I don’t know about the laws regarding this but I’d do it if I was a parent. Just the same as coming in to watch myself. Surely them that pays the money has every right to see on what it is spent.
There was a school in Ban Chaio, opposite Lin Gardens that had TVs in the front window showing what was going on in the classrooms. Always loads of people watching. School was doing quite well if I remember right.

Maybe I should clarify something, I’m not really talking about kid cram schools, I am talking mostly about adult cram schools.

Also I am talking more about tape recorders that records the teachers voice.

The video thing you mention is interesting.

Our kid’s former kindergarten in Xinzhu had planned to install web-cams in all class rooms to provide the parents with a way of “participating” in their children’s days and to “check” on the teachers. I can’t remember whether they were only talking about images or also would have provided sound, but the idea was shelfed after both the teachers (local & foreign) as well as the parents (also local & foreign, incl. us) expressed their views that it felt too obtrusive …

As for the tape-recorder thing, if it’s adult classes, I wonder how different that is from students taking lecture “notes” of lectures & seminars in university, something a lot of people did whan I was a student and probably still do today. Is there a legal side/issue to it? I doubt it, as long as it’s not for commercial and/or illegal purposes of course. Xpet.

In the US I know of some pre-schools that use web cameras in the classroom and put them up web so parents can monitor their child while at work. I believe there was some controversy about that as well, but I don’t remember.

As for the tape recording devices, I think we need to separate the differences between cram schools and college/university professors. I see no problem with recording a college lecture as you will be tested on the material and need to review your notes often. However, in a cram school there are usually no tests, no grades, no homework assignments (at least you can’t require your students to do the homework), teachers have no power, college teachers most likely get paid better, and what exactely are the students going to do with the tape once they leave class? The last item is an unknown, they could be selling it, copying it, who knows! Cram school students are more diverse than college students as they come from everywhere, old and young who may not know any better.

I am asking about legal issues because as far as I know you own your own voice and no one has the right to record it without your permission. It is very possible that there are absolutely no laws covering this in Taiwan and if there is it may only be for telephone calls. In some states in the US, however, only one party needs to know you are recording a conversation while on the phone, obviously if you are recording the call then you know, so it’s legal.

A lot of my kids bring tape recorders into the classroom - I encourage it. My lesson plans and materials are pretty much an open book, so there’s not much more to it except my teaching style, and that takes more than a tape to duplicate…

Also, the crappy recorders that most kids bring would not be capable of producing a good enough sound to sell…

Odds are they are recording to practice later. That tape is probably the only constant practice partner they have. I’ve seen kids do it. Much more likely with adults.

I’ve recorded my Chinese classes, after asking if the teacher or the other students minded. I used it to review, but I found that actually it wasn’t much help.
I don’t like it when students record me, but my Chinese teacher said she didn’t mind at all. One of the things I objected to is that where I used to teach, we were supposed to teach by using a lot of games and pair work activities, so any recording would have sounded like a useless mass of noise. I don’t know why the parents sometimes wanted the recording - surely they knew what kind of teaching style the school used? And surely they realized that I wasn’t giving a lecture to a class of 9-year-olds.

No problem withthe kids recording stuff- audio. It’s when the management do it for severeal weeks prior to a parents meeting that I can’t abide. They expect us do do something really special to show the parents but instead the have a bunch of silly, nervous kids, and a teacher that is quite angry to have a ‘vee baa’ pushed up his big nose.