Big Brother is watching and literally. Only in this case, every word that the school children would type on their computers can be tracked and reported. As per the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), it is mandatory of all the schools that received federal funding in USA to have an internet-safety policy in place. Technological guardrails, which can block inappropriate websites, should be installed as more and more schools are issuing tablets and Chromebook laptops to the students. Software companies like Gaggle, Securly and GoGuardian keeps the school administrators informed of potentially worrisome communications.
How does it work?
Natural-Language processing is used by Safety Management Platforms (SMPs) to scan through millions of words typed on school computers to pick out on any word or phrase that could indicate towards bullying or self-harm behavior. This is vital to prevent any untoward incidents like mass school-shootings and student suicides. Also this need to protect a student’s digital life is going to increase as more and more schools are opting to go one-to-one. At the same time we cannot ignore the line between a student’s safety and their privacy.
Gaggle works on the principle that whenever a word or a phrase of concern surfaces it first gets sent to human reviews and then passed on to school authorities. By using AI, Securely software gives the schools an option to perform sentiment analysis on the student’s public social media posts as well.
On the other hand, according to Critic Keller there is a possibility that surveillance may have a negative effect on a child’s freedom to express himself if they know that they are being watched and can anytime be turned in to their parents and the school authorities.