We already know that Microsoft’s been looking at ways to turn Kinect into a snitch, but now, Big Brother is taking his talents to American students with a shiny new line of merciless, whistle-blowing ebooks.
CourseSmart, a major publisher of e-textbooks, just unveiled CourseSmart Analytics, a new tool that tracks students’ reading habits and will undergo test runs at Villanova University, Rasmussen College and Texas A&M University at San Antonio before becoming broadly available in 2013. The program’s ability to determine how many pages students read, how long it took to read those pages, how many notes were taken, and how “engaged” students were based on those numbers isn’t really cause enough to send kids into a paranoid frenzy.
But the fact that their ereaders will be reporting the data back to their professors and teachers probably is. Of course, students who don’t want their data shared have the ability to opt out, though it seems unlikely that educators won’t be pressuring, if not requiring, their students to keep the watchful gaze turned on. Some good news, though, for anyone invested in the aluminium foil industry: stock in tinfoil helmets is about to skyrocket. [The Chronicle of Higher Education via PopSci]