Bullying; physical safety; truancy; inattentive students…we hear these discussed about public schools routinely. Increasing efforts to quell those behaviors include S.E.L. (Social Emotional Learning) and PBIS and other “training” to keep students focused, in school and more engaged. Gamification to make learning like playing games. So China has been trying various techniques to deal with some of the same issues. What are they doing and will US schools move to adopt any of these “tools”? You be the judge. In the remainder of this article we’ll share some of the efforts being made in China so you are aware….beware…
Chinese schools make pupils wear micro-chipped uniforms to thwart truancy (the original article can be found at the Tribune written by Crysal Reid)
Schools in southern China are forcing children to wear uniforms embedded with computer chips that track their movement and trigger an alarm if they skip class.
More that more than 10 schools in Guizhou province and the neighboring autonomous region of Guangxi are now requiring students to wear “intelligent uniforms”, according to the state-run newspaper The Global Times.
Two chips, sown into the shoulders of school jackets, can sustain around 500 wash cycles and temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius, according to the Guizhou Guanyu Technology Company, their manufacturer.
On its website, Guizhou Guanyu boasts that the firm was established in response to the Communist Party‘s call for the creation of “smart campuses”.
The uniforms allow teachers and parents to track students’ movement, sending out an alert if they are not present in a lesson.
Facial-recognition scanners at school gates match the chips with the correct student, meaning that any who try to swap jackets in order to bunk off will be caught.
According to The Epoch Times, alarms will also sound if a student falls asleep in class, while parents can monitor the in-school cashless purchases of their child and set spending limits via a mobile app.
Lin Zongwu, principal of the No. 11 School of Renhuai in Guizhou, said attendance has improved since the uniforms were first introduced.
He added that even though the chips continue to track students outside of school time, they choose not to check that data.
The news has sparked intense debate on Chinese social media platforms.
“I think it’s alright,“ wrote Yi Zhi Sirius on China’s micro-blogging site, Weibo. ”First, it avoids the jobless and homeless gangsters or potential criminals from entering the schools; second, the uniforms will come in handy in cases of locating missing students.“
Another user said: “It is horrifying. I imagine the parents agreed to this after being brainwashed.”
In June 2016, China’s Ministry of Education touted the “digitalisation of education” in its Five Year Plan, calling for the development of “smart campuses.”
Earlier this year, Chinese media reported that a school in Hangzhou was using facial scanners to track if students were paying attention in class, while another school in the same province uses a facial-recognition system when serving children lunch in the cafeteria.
A school in China is monitoring students with facial-recognition technology that scans the classroom every 30 seconds (this from Business Insider writer is Tara Francis Chan)
- A Chinese high school in Hangzhou is using facial-recognition technology that scans students every 30 seconds.
- The system is analyzing students’ emotions and actions in the classroom as well as replacing ID cards and wallets at the library and canteen.
- Facial-recognition technology is widespread in China, where it is being used to predict crime.
- But using the systems in schools has raised privacy concerns, and last year hundreds of channels livestreaming classroom surveillance footage online was shut down.
A Chinese high school is using facial-recognition technology to monitor and analyze students’ behavior.
The technology scans classrooms at Hangzhou No. 11 High School every 30 seconds and records students’ facial expressions, categorizing them into happy, angry, fearful, confused, or upset. The system also records student actions such as writing, reading, raising a hand, and sleeping at a desk.
The “intelligent classroom behavior management system,” according to Global Times, also records students’ attendance, and students’ faces are used to pay for canteen lunches and to borrow items from the library.
The school’s vice principal said students’ privacy was protected because the technology didn’t save images from the classroom and stored data on a local server rather than on the cloud.
Last year the Chinese company Qihoo 360 shut down hundreds of its surveillance livestreaming channels after an uptick in privacy concerns. The channels streamed camera footage from several public locations including swimming pools, restaurants, and classrooms — the latter protected only by a password.
But security systems are rising in popularity after an increase in violence and questionable practices at Chinese kindergartens. In Beijing, all kindergartens are now required to have surveillance systems, some of which are even connected to local policemonitoring systems.
The use of facial-recognition technology is soaring in China, where it is being used to increase efficiency and improve policing. Cameras are used to catch jaywalkers, find fugitives, track people’s regular hangouts, and even predict crime.
But China isn’t the only country introducing surveillance in schools. Earlier this year, India’s capital territory Delhi, said it would implement surveillance cameras at all governments schools, allowing parents to stream classroom footage in real-time.
In an article at New Atlas by Rich Harady here are some pieces of the article that stand out:
- In an even more striking and widespread implementation of AI into the education system, a recent report from the South China Morning Post (SCMP) claimed one in four Chinese schools were experimenting with computer software to grade essays. The machine-learning software has allegedly been in development for nearly a decade using deep learning algorithms to constantly learn and improve its ability to understand and evaluate a student’s work.
- It’s currently estimated that 60,000 schools are testing the technology and it can reportedly offer the same grade as a human marker up to 92 percent of the time. One researcher working on the project said to the SCMP, “It has evolved continuously and become so complex, we no longer know for sure what it was thinking and how it made a judgment.”
- China is currently training its neural network grading system in a central server that compiles the work of millions of students. As well as promising a potential way to take out the variations attributed by human subjectivity in marking, this system undoubtedly offers the central government a remarkable ability to track the progress of all students in the country, in real-time.
- And this frighteningly comprehensive monitoring of its education system could inevitably be synced up with the country’s oncoming “social credit system” due for full activation by 2020. This proposed system will assign each citizen with a social credit score that will determine a person’s ability to travel overseas, get a home loan, or even access the internet.
Finally, from our own library some articles about tech being tested and developed in the United States as you read this article…