You’re not paying attention !

Busting students using facial recognition software.

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I always walk around the classroom when I teach.

Couple of reasons: it  burns off some nervous energy and it lets me peek at students’ computer screens.

The latter is the the acid test of attentiveness.

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If I see one or two students checking email or sports scores, I figure it’s their problem and they move to the front of the queue for cold call questions.

If I see a lot of students “digitally distracted”, I figure that it’s my problem and I’ve got to adjust … e.g. shift out of lecture mode and into discussion mode.

That’s pretty straightforward in the classroom.

But, how to know if students are paying attention when they’re being beamed material online?

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According to The Verge

ESG, a business school in Paris, will soon begin using artificial intelligence and facial analysis to determine whether students are paying attention during online classes.

The software – called Nestor — uses students’ webcams to analyze eye movements and facial expressions and determine whether students are paying attention to a video lecture.

The information is summarized for professors so that they can determine whether the periods of inattentiveness are isolated to a handful of students or spread across most of the class.

If the latter, the profs have the opportunity to tune-up their material or their pedagogical approach.

What about the students who are just digital slackers?

Nestor is able to use the data to individualize quizzes and tests.

English translation: The software is able to skew test questions towards the material that was covered “during moments of student inattentiveness.”

Boom: problem solved.

That is, unless the students put tape over their laptop’s camera.

Gee, isn’t technology great?

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#HomaFiles

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