Students in an east China school might have to think twice now before they sneak a nap during the class.
In what could be the future of classroom learning, the Hangzhou No. 11 High School in Zhejiang province on Tuesday debuted a smart classroom system that monitors student behaviour via facial-recognition technology.
Surveillance cameras installed at the front of the classroom would record students’ attentiveness and even their facial expressions, according to vice-principal Zhang Guanchao in an interview.
Surveillance cameras installed at the front of the classroom at Hangzhou No. 11 High School in Zhejiang province would record students’ attentiveness and even their facial expressions
The system would analyse students’ facial expression to determine if they are happy or bored
These classroom behaviours are analysed into six categories: reading, writing, listening, standing, hand-raising and napping on desks.
As for the expressions data collected, educators would know if students are enjoying the lesson or if they are bored.
There is also a compiled list of students that are identified to be inattentive or distracted.
‘Once we have gathered the data, the statistics could provide good insight when we conduct the school’s annual review,’ deputy director of the school’s education department Yong Wenjun told Zhejiang Online.
Cameras installed at the front of the classroom is part of the smart classroom scheme in China
Students might be urged to be extra attentive as the cameras would record their movements
Mr Yong also claimed that this is the country’s first smart classroom behaviour management system.
‘We have been developing it for a long time and we are still in the process of improving the system,’ he added.
One of the student believed that the system can monitor them in a useful way.
‘I wouldn’t dare to sleep during class now with the cameras watching,’ he said. ‘I will definitely won’t daydream as much and pay attention to the teacher.’
The smart classroom scheme is part of the school’s goal to implement facial recognition technology around campus to facilitate learning among students
A student registers herself in the school’s facial recognition database
The statistics could provide good insight when educators conduct the school’s annual review, according to vice-principal Zhang Guanchao
However, not all net users are on board with the Big-Brother monitoring scheme.
‘This creates a lot of unnecessary pressure on both the students and the teachers,’ one said. ‘Thank goodness I graduated a long time ago!’
China has been spearheading the use of facial recognition cameras to monitor its population since 2015, aiming to identify any one of its 1.4 billion citizens within three seconds.
Classroom behaviours are analysed into six categories: reading, writing, listening, standing, hand-raising and napping on desks
The camera will record how many times students have raised their hands to answer questions
The surveillance system, part of the ‘Sky Net’ operation, has also been used to identify criminal suspects and road safety offenders.
For example, 40 sets of surveillance cameras dubbed ‘robocops’ to identify reckless drivers and regulate traffic were implemented in Shenzhen, China’s south-east city last month.
Jaywalkers would also have their faced beamed onto large LED screens and face a fine as soon as they violate road rules.