Currently there are 150 universities in the U.S. using “Skyfactor” which monitors and assesses a students tests scores. Schools are also assessing how “COOPERATIVE” your parents are!
“Skyfactor advertises itself as a risk management service, promising to help academics “quickly see which students need attention and resources now — before it’s too late”. Course tutors are given access to a dashboard that documents each student’s class attendances, assessment grades, participation in sports practices, and visits to the campus financial aid officer. “
A door icon placed next to each students name, is either closed or open. If the icon is “closed” it means the student isn’t likely to leave the institution early, but if the icon is “open” then the school could lose thousands of dollars if he or she leaves the institution!
Skyfactor also monitors EVERY students grades, if their high grades drop, or their passion for university sports begins to wane, Skyfactor will flag these individuals in red.
David McNally, chief technology officer at Macmillan Science and Education, which owns Skyfactor, says the early warning mechanism is beneficial for all involved. “In the US more than the UK . . . losing a student is a very expensive loss to an institution because they pay high annual fees,” he says. “If you can get to a student before they drop out, you can keep them in the institution.”
McNally insists the information is “being used for the greater good, which is better education for everybody”. He insists it is not only students being tracked: the same programs that measure their performance are being used to compare how effective their tutors are and how well one school is teaching its pupils compared with another. In the future, it will be possible to compare entire local education authorities.
Andrew Campbell a computer science professor at Dartmouth University believes students could reap bigger long-term benefits if they allow their data to be shared with their student dean, professor or clinician, who could make external interventions.
“The StudentLife app is able to continuously make mental health assessment 24/7, opening the way for a new form of assessment,” says Professor Campbell, the study’s senior author. “This is a very important and exciting breakthrough.”
Don’t be surprised when universities force EVERY student to have “The StudentLife” app installed on their cellphones.
Schools are also assessing how “COOPERATIVE” your parents are!
The Tewksbury Public Schools system in MA., inadvertently released confidential student data earlier this year along with this stunner:
“Though it did not feature student names, it included several identifying factors for special-education students with out-of-district placements, including students’ grade levels, schools and Individualized Education Program information. It also included a ranking of parents based on how “cooperative” they were.
The list, which replaces student names with numbers, remains in alphabetical order. Information included the student’s current grade, the out-of-district school, the last school attended, the year the student began attending the new school, information on whether or not the decision was made by the IEP team, a legal settlement (typically kept strictly confidential), or if the student moved in from another town, and miscellaneous detail such as the involvement of the Department of Children and Families, passage of MCAS assessments, and more.
The office of Student Services also published its rating of parents according to their ‘cooperativeness with the district.’ Parents rated a ‘1’ are cooperative, ‘2’ somewhat cooperative, and those rated ‘3’ are ‘not cooperative.’
Try not to laugh as the Mass. Dept of Education spokesperson claims they don’t give anyone assessments.
As to the ranking of parents for their cooperativeness with the district, Jacqueline Reis, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said, “I have not heard of ranking parents. That’s not something that we’ve advised districts to do.”
Universities worldwide are spying on students ebook reading habits:
“CourseSmart” gives university customers a window into exactly how often e-textbooks are being read. CourseSmart can show educators which individuals have read which pages on any given day.
“CourseSmart was founded in 2007 by Macmillan, Cengage Learning, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson with a simple goal of providing instructors a better textbook evaluation service. CourseSmart has millions of users around the world and offers access to over 90 percent of core higher education titles as e-textbooks along with the largest catalog of e-resources and digital course materials.”
“Vital Source” is the largest, most accessible digital content channel in the world. The VitalSource Bookshelf platform is the most used e-textbook delivery platform in higher education with more than 4 million users across 6,000 campuses around the world. It uses the latest technology to enhance the learning experience through e-textbooks and digital education. Content from more than 500 of the world’s top academic publishers is available to VitalSource Bookshelf platform users, including those living with disabilities, on a variety of operating systems and devices.