Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Helicopter campuses

“The dream of some administrators is a university where every student is a model student, adhering to disciplined patterns of behavior that are intimately quantified, surveilled and analyzed”: thus a new trend in surveillance, the use of Bluetooth to track college students’ class attendance and campus habits via their phones (The Washington Post ).

For me, the most dispiriting bit in this article is a comment from a professor about surveillance and attendance: “‘They want those points,’ he said. ‘They know I’m watching and acting on it. So, behaviorally, they change.’” Yep. Behaviorally.

[The surveillance company SpotterEDU would not permit the Post to publish a photograph of its Bluetooth devices, saying that “‘currently students do not know what they look like.’” A curious student might find an image search for iBeacon a useful workaround.]

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