SURVEILLANCE: The establishment has been the subject of numerous criticisms
For many universities, attendance at classes is not compulsory. It is a way of empowering students. But some do not share this policy, including the University of Missouri in the United States. The American academic institution has recently implemented a more modern system than pencil and paper to know which students were present or absent, it has introduced a mobile application called SpotterEDU, reports the Kansas City Star.
Originally, the present application was only used for university athletes and students with academic difficulties, but its use has just been extended to all students. They would have been forced to install the application on their smartphones.
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A charge to which the school responded in a statement, saying that at no time had it forced its students to install the application. “The University of Missouri is piloting the SpotterEDU application with approximately 20 courses this semester. Participation in the pilot, offered to less than 2% of MU students, is entirely optional. If a student does not want to use the application to follow his attendance, he will have to inquire [manifest his presence] with his teacher by another method, such as signing an attendance sheet, “said the university. January 28 in a press release relayed by The Verge .
A most intrusive device
The establishment also explained how the application works. This relies on Bluetooth to check the presence of students in class and not the GPS, which means that it does not have the capacity to track students. When they return to class, a receiver notes their presence. The university can know at any time whether a student is in class. If this is not the case, the student receives an alert on his phone.
Although the university does not have access to the geolocation of its students, the use of an application to check their presence does not please. For some, it is the first step towards more intrusive processes.
The University of Missouri is not the first school to use technology to ensure its students are in the classroom. Several American schools already use this type of application, as well as in China.