Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Sensors in the classroom

The UCLA newspaper has a piece about a professor who’s wiring his child’s classroom:

Along with his team of faculty assembled from the departments of electrical engineering and computer science and the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, [Mani] Srivastava plans to outfit an entire first grade classroom from inanimate objects like wooden building blocks and tabletops to the students themselves with tiny electronic sensors.

“We want to use these devices in a classroom setting to see what we can infer from student’s interactions and how they are associated with academic performance,” Srivastava said.

The sensors are part of a new generation of devices that create sensor networks to sample physical environments and collect data.

I’ve often thought that children are another species, so putting sensors in their natural habitat makes a certain amount of sense. Though I’m not sure about this:

Students will wear caps with sensors called “iBadges” pinned to them, Srivastava said. These badges will track the location of the child and the physical orientation of the child’s head, as well as capture their speech with small microphones.

Though if they discover a way of getting kids to keep their hats on, that WOULD be a pretty significant discovery.

[via Halavais]

1 Comment

  1. this new technology sounds great for helping kids learn, but ethically don’t the children lose privacy? kids are not animals to be observed, but people. furthermore, how can it be garanteed that these devices won’t just be used for improving learning enviroments for children? there are millions of other instances, not all of which are good that this could be used in…

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