Watters notes that the collections and use of education related data was a trend in 2011 and 2012, but its appearance in 2013 is the most dismaying. Watters regularly explores how learning management systems (LMSs) and other software solutions collect data about students including their grades, how long they watch videos, their uses of social media and more. She asks, quite correctly, who owns those data and what can they legally do with the? She also pushes at the irony: the students are not always the ones benefiting from this data collection.
- Schools track students as they get on and off buses.
- Online schools track where students are (IP map from UW) but could (and perhaps already do?) collect details such as where individuals watch videos or take take tests.
- The University of Alabama announced plans to use drone to monitor student safety on campus.
We, as geospatial educators, need to raise the location privacy concern associated with these sorts of efforts. Are they required? Opt-in? Invasive? Transparent? Valuable?
That last question is most relevant in 2013. Remember the student who refused to wear an RFID-enabled ID tag because she felt it conflicted with her religious beliefs? A court did not support her preference to go un-badged. But, not long after, the school dropped the program because it didn't provide the expected return on investment.