‘Biometric Classroom’ Monitors Students’ Eye Movements And Conversations

Mikael Thalen
by
September 19th, 2013
Updated 09/19/2013 at 10:20 am

A report from Yahoo News Tuesday detailed a group of New York engineers who are developing a “biometric classroom” monitoring program that will track students every move.

The report reads: “Students listen up! If you are used to passing notes, tapping out texts or even sneaking in quick conversations when you’re supposed to be working on fractions…beware! Those kinds of activities could be a thing of the past – or at the very least, closely monitored – in the biometric classroom of the future.”

Sean Montgomery, co-founder and engineer for SensorStar Labs, says tracking students’ eye movements, conversations and smiles with “EngageSense” cameras will help teachers improve classroom learning. Algorithms in the program will crunch the raw visual and audio data to give teachers detailed information on students’ actions. Teachers will then be advised on how to better engage students.

“When the student is looking up at the teacher, the teacher score goes up. If she looks down at the computer, the computer score goes up. So we’re tracking facial expressions. If she makes a smile, it might be indicative that is enthusiastic about the topic,” said Montgomery.

When asked about the privacy implications of such an intrusive technology, Montgomery defended the program by claiming that the usefulness somehow outweighed any privacy concern in typical “ends justify the means” fashion.

“I think privacy is a very serious issue that we need to consider carefully going forward and in the future but the idea here is that the information is being digested and presented in a useful way so the teacher can react and respond appropriately,” said Montgomery. “I think in five years, this is going to be in classrooms.”

Despite the endless claims of technology leading to an increased “learning” experience in the classroom, studies have found just the opposite. After spending $33 million on interactive screens, laptops and high-end software, a school district in Arizona saw no improvement in test scores as the rest of the state’s scores rose.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has poured billions into the country’s public education system by supporting Common Core as well as the research of different student monitoring technologies. Gates has already begun funding the development of “engagement pedometers,” biometric bracelets for students that send electrical currents across the skin to measure the body’s response to different stimuli. Schools all across the country have already implemented biometric fingerprint and palm scanning lunch payment systems.

Earlier this year a Florida school distract ran a “student safety pilot program” that consisted of using iris scanning devices on students. A letter to parents from the biometric company’s senior director of support services stated that the program would “identify when and where a student gets on the bus, when they arrive at their school location, when and what bus the student boards and disembarks in the afternoon.”

A high school student in Texas was suspended just last year for refusing to wear an RFID-enabled ID badge that tracked her every move during school. After public outcry and protest from civil rights groups, the school offered to remove the badge’s chip and battery if the student stopped criticizing the policy. When the student decided to carry her old school ID, the school banned her from school functions.

While these systems by themselves could be useful in a perfect society, the government surveillance state has proven time and time again that such information will be used against the public. Apple, one of the companies deeply involved with the NSA, implemented fingerprint scanning technology into its newly released iPhone 5S, causing several security experts to point out the obvious privacy dangers.

Whether it be illegal face scanning cameras on city streets, surveillance street lights, the proposed biometric social security cards or drone surveillance, it is no longer a surprise that geniuses such as Stephen Hawking predict a future of “Killer robots and crippling cyber attacks.”

 

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Category: Internet Freedom, Privacy, US

Mikael Thalen

About the Author ()

Mikael is the lead features writer at Storyleak.com. His articles have been featured on sites such as the Drudge Report, Infowars and Natural News. During his time at Examiner.com, he was frequently ranked the number one political writer.

Comments (57)

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  1. james says:

    Well now govts and management are spending too much on survilence and controlling people with technology, but they are forgeting the technology is growing too fast, in near or far future, AI technology will overthrow govts and start controlling people all by itself, then all people might become slaves to AI robots. LOL

  2. ren says:

    Worse than 1984

  3. PacMan says:

    Oh no they’ll know when I stare at my teacher’s tits

  4. Jared says:

    My kids home school because they get more out of an hour at home than they would sitting eight hours in an indoctrination center being talked at and having their entrepreneurial spirits crushed… and with the added control technology, eh, no thank you.

  5. Silver Fang says:

    What a disgusting misuse of digital technology.

    • MISUSE??? REALLY? says:

      MISUSE???? MISUSE?!?!? THIS IS BECAUSE U DONT WANT PEOPLE TO SEE WHAT U DO. IF U DONT WANT IT TO BE SEEN THEN U SHOULDNT BE DOING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Natali_78 says:

    This is very interesting I must say and I wonder what results it is going to bring. What I would do, I would make this experiment in at least a few different age groups to monitor the changes, maybe this information will somehow be used to improve the quality of education and possibly raise its level much higher than we have it at this very moment. But again, from another side it might be very useless and again tons of money will be wasted while it could be used on something else.
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  7. Roger says:

    Freedoms, except for how we walk, act, breath, look around and move.

    Wow, that was exactly what the founding fathers had in mind!
    (sarcasm)

    • YEAH NICE SARCASM says:

      UNLESS ITS SOMETHING BAD…. WELL CONSIDERING HUMAN BEINGS EVERYTHING WE DO IS BAD. SO YEAH I THINK THEY WOULD KINDA AGREE ON NO VIOLINCE.

      • Roger says:

        How do you explain people like Michealangelo?
        Or George Washington, or even Mother Theresa? Do they deserve to be monitored too?

        • wut says:

          WOW really? you say that after benedict Arnold? Really? I dont think Obama likes to lose wars and i dont think he likes spies either. If you were in the American Revolution time you would trust arnold too.

          • Roger says:

            There are bad, but there are good too.

            I think Obama loves to lose wars and makes great efforts to make sure we are losing.

            And if I was in the revolution I'd be proud to work with any of the founding fathers, why? They were good people that worked for a common good.

            You trolls just can't keep up.

          • im not a troll. says:

            im not a troll.
            Also, how can we tell if people are good or bad? Its impossible. I agree there are good and bad people. But how can we tell? We dont. If your in a war and your a spy do you go to the general and say "Im a spy!"?
            No you dont. And do we want spies? No.

          • Roger says:

            There are subtle hints.

            We are what we do. Do you defend freedoms or do you work against them? It's not hard.

          • Uhhh ..... says:

            Im just saying that it should be in classrooms. These teens drink freaking alcohol. WE cant trust them anymore.

          • Roger says:

            I'm just saying the teaches should be able to notice that and send them to the office, and then office should be able to bring the parents into the situation since they are the ones that should be ultimately responsible for punishment and disciplining the kids.

            You aren't supposed to trust a bunch of kids, that why they hire teachers.

          • its crazy. says:

            I know that. But how are they going to watch 24 kids at 5 or something tables in different places of the classroom? Tell me that. I, as a 6th grader, am amazed at what happens when the teachers not looking. Its amazing really. At lunch. At the hallways. In the classroom. Its ridiculous actually.

          • Roger says:

            Wow, you mean teachers have to do all that?

            Perhaps they should start a union and make demands for more pay and less students and avoid the work teachers have been doing for the last 200 years.

            That way we will get better educated students…
            (oh, we know how that's worked out!)

          • whoa says:

            Im just trying to help my mom ok? She has gone through alot and this will make it so much easier for her. Is there something wrong with trying to help my mom? Im also sickened. Im amazed how kids can be so selfish. They dont know what teachers go through. Example: The teacher has worked all week trying to teach them something and using all their freetime, getting this ready,finding the perfect worksheet,and grading last weeks test. Shes finally ready to teach it and what does she get from a student? "You cant tell me what to do!"…….. What. WHAT?!?! WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!
            They took away their textbooks,Assistant teachers, and ALL THEIR FREE TIME WHATSOEVER! Im just trying to help my mom ok?

          • hey says:

            Who are you guys? youre filling up most of the page

          • Roger says:

            Aren't you going to pretend you want her mom to get more help?

          • ???? says:

            are you talking to me or the other guy?

          • Roger says:

            Are you here or not?

  8. @evernewecon says:

    Control freaking is the polar
    opposite of inspiration
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYq2tBf3p5s

    and equality by birthright alone.
    They cannot conceive of respect for those
    to whom the future belongs, which future,
    and from whom, they're ripping off.

    So I'm only linking something Google's Y.T.
    unit's offering for visitation.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB7e90slRLw

    I noticed the full movie's av. there.

    Sometimes a society has to take a step
    backward to take two forward.
    This must be America's turn.

    At least when we're done we'll have
    expelled a lot of vomit.

    The more the demagogues promulgate
    the blame game and encourage control,
    and they blame everyone in sight but
    themselves, and wield control at every
    opportunity, the more privatized at sufferance to them
    instead of their monopoly at sufferance
    to us they'll enjoy at our burden.

  9. born awake says:

    Just who is it that fears US so much.. and why? Answer: Those who live/rule by deception. And, their time is UP – tick tock.

  10. Laura H. Chapman says:

    Just who is going to be doing this part of the surveillance system?:
    "Teachers will then be advised on how to better engage students." Will this be Bill Gates who thinks he knows all there is to know? Gates and his academic grant-getting cronies have spent millions on measuring" effective teaching." They are absolutely clueless about the complexities of teaching and learning, unless the content has easy right and wrong answers.

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    Вifferences between all kind of formats in composing short stories at every semester they study in great personal statements full of creative as well as critical reflections. It has to be a really good help given on time at the right place.

  14. It is such a great effort to avoid any kind of discrimination in the classroom. This will also help to maintain the discipline in the college or university.

  15. royal essay says:

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  17. I SUPPORT! says:

    This is the best idea i have heard of in my entire life. I as a 6th grader of tired of other students not listening and cussing. Im tired of being copied off of. IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN POSSIBLY SUPPORT THIS?!?!?!?

  18. yay says:

    I got a great idea! Why dont only people with 1 office referal start being monitered? wouldnt it be easier?

  19. >:) says:

    its just to easy. Fools. You really think you can argue with me? I am known for my silver tounge. And if you dont know what that is than you dont belong here. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE lost an arguement.

  20. I know it! says:

    FORESHADOWING!
    Your gonna put a comment about me being to young. I know it.

  21. ok? says:

    Its just… my moms a teacher. I am trying to help. They took away their textbooks,Assistant teachers, and ALL THEIR FREE TIME WHATSOEVER! Im just trying to help my mom ok?

  22. im trying ok? says:

    Im just trying to help my mom ok? She has gone through alot and this will make it so much easier for her. Is there something wrong with trying to help my mom? Im also sickened. Im amazed how kids can be so selfish. They dont know what teachers go through. Example: The teacher has worked all week trying to teach them something and using all their freetime, getting this ready,finding the perfect worksheet,and grading last weeks test. Shes finally ready to teach it and what does she get from a student? "You cant tell me what to do!"…….. What. WHAT?!?! WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!

  23. whoa says:

    Whoa what are you guys talking about? Youve filled up most of the page.

  24. whoa says:

    testing testing

  25. LOL says:

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  26. stop. says:

    would you guys stop? Trolling is not funny. Me and roger dont need any trolls

  27. lol gay says:

    only gay people ask a troll to stop! XDXDXDXD

  28. STOP RIGHT NOW! says:

    STOP OR I WELL REPORT U

  29. DUBADUBA says:

    OH LOL U CANT REPORT A TROLL

  30. U GAY says:

    UR ALL GAY ANYONE EXEPT TROLLS ON THIS WEBSITE R GAY

  31. REPORTED! says:

    IM NOT GAY! REPORTED!

  32. OH NO!! says:

    OH NO IM SO SCARED? (SARCASM U LITTLE DICK)

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