Tagging college students

I’m not sure what to think of this: Northern Arizona University will be using federal stimulus money to install scanning equipment that, in conjunction with student ID cards,  will  let professors know which students showed up for class and which ones did not. This will help professors who include attendance as a component of a class grade.

Some students say this smacks of1984, since the equipment could theoretically be used to track their movement from classroom to classroom or even to anywhere on the campus. But in the Orwell novel, surveillance was conducted on the entire population, and certainly no person is required to sign up for college classes.

College that uses this sort of system would certainly get a bad reputation among college-bound people. I’m also not sure what’s to prevent a student who wishes to skip class from giving her card to a friend who will in fact show up.

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