A New York Times Article was published today that discusses CourseSmart, a program that allows teachers to track their student’s progress with digital textbooks. CoureSmart allows users to read , highlight, and take notes digitally. CourtSmart tracks this data–what page the student has read up to, what they highlighted and wrote down–which is then sent to the students’ teachers. Not only does CourseSmart track this data, but it also individually packages for each professor information on the students in the class.
The article states that according to surveys conducted by CourseSmart, there are few privacy concerns. In addition, it states “being watched is a fundamental part of the world they [students] live in.” But should faculty be privy to this information? While one of the goals of the program is to discuss and teach students how to read more analytically, should faculty even be allowed to monitor students when they are outside the classroom? Is this an illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment?
In addition, there are long-term repercussions. If students are constantly being monitored and don’t keep up with their work, what will happen when students are no longer watched over? In school, if I didn’t do my homework on time or read and study for a test, it was to my detriment; I would get poor grades for homework and exams. The same is when one enters the workforce. Employers will not always monitor your work progress; if you don’t get things in on time and do the work necessary to create a good product, there will be repercussions. If students are not taught to monitor themselves, will this hurt them in the long run?