MACC Halloween Special: Creepy Facial-Tracking Cameras in Fridley Schools

Data-tracking-devices US DOEMACC Halloween Special:  Creepy Facial-Tracking Cameras in Fridley Schools

NOTE:  Like testing and surveys, parents may opt their children out of biometrics, which is just another scheme to collect data on our children.

MACC was recently contacted with creepster reports of newly mounted cameras attached to student computers in Fridley Schools. According to the reports, the cameras are always running and are pointed at the student’s face.  There are no “on” or “off” switches.   Parents were never disclosed that biometrics would be used in the children’s classroom.   These tracking cameras pose a serious violation of a parent’s trust in administrative decisions.

When questioned about the facial cameras,  a Fridley Schools’ principal stated, “This data or private info isn’t sent anywhere, but a hacker could get the information.   The cameras aren’t even turned on.”  However, students are reporting that the cameras are “on” all the time.

MACC has recently written about the trail of data emanating from student ipads/chrome books and yet, school leaders seem to be unaware of data sharing with government and business entities.

The principal brought an example of a Chrome Book with a camera set into the monitor, positioned toward the student.  He stated, “If the student wants to cover the camera they can.”

One might inquire as to what these cameras are being used for?  Perhaps Fridley Schools will explain just what the purpose is for these cameras and why parents were never told!  MACC has a few ideas since the federal DOE published a document on how to use facial cameras two years ago.

Fridley School Camera

Photo from Fridley Schools.  Facial-tracking camera mounted on computer.

According the United States Department of Education, these mounted cameras are to collect data measures on a student’s facial expression.   These cameras are officially known as biometrics and are meant to measure a child’s determination,  mood, comfort with a subject, attitude, determination and more.

The US Department of Education wants to shift educational priorities toward the psychoanalysis of students as well as collecting their content knowledge.   This is the non-cognitive area where a student’s personality or values is studied.  We might call this “what makes a person tick”.

The Department compiled a document with the help of numerous authors entitled,  Promoting Grit, Tenancity and Perseverance, in 2013. The Wayang Outpost photo is found on pg. 62 and at the top of this article.  Other methods of obtaining non-cognitive or affective data is also included.   The document states that,  “Persistence is now part of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics”.

The Wayang Outpost includes four sensor systems – one measures blood volume, pulse and galvanic skin response to examine student frustration in an online learning environment.  This technique has been used by Mcquiggan, Lee and Lester (2007) using data mining techniques as well as physiological response data.   “Sensors provide constant, parallel streams of data and are used with data mining techniques and self-report measures to examine frustration, motivation/flow, confidence, boredom, and fatigue”,  according to the document.

Read the document for yourselves.  Then call Fridley Schools, tell them to stop treating our next generation like guinea pigs and insist that these cameras be removed!

Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance:  Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century

Click to access OET-Draft-Grit-Report-2-17-13.pdf

Call or Email Fridley Schools.

Fridley Schools School Board Message Line:  School Board Message Line: 763 502-5060

6000 West Moore Lake Drive | Fridley, MN 55432
Tel: 763-502-5000

White House Announces Transition to Openly Licensed Education Resources for Schools

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White House Announces Transition to Openly Licensed Education Resources for Schools
 The White House announces the Federal Government is to *begin to model the transition to openly licensed educational materials at scale in U.S. K-12 schools. We look forward to engaging with the national and global community to identify opportunities for open licensing to accelerate educational equity for all learners regardless of their financial situations or geographic locations.* This is aligned to Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Is this the move toward a national and/or international curriculum?  What could go wrong?
Reposted from Missouri Education Watchdog

Openly Licensed Educational Resources: Providing Equitable Access to Education for All Learners

by Gretchen Logue

Summary:  The Federal government is supporting the use of open educational resources to provide equitable access to quality education.

Everyone has the right to education…Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. —Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

Access to quality education is an essential component of addressing many of our biggest global and societal challenges. Last year, the United Nations surveyed youth around the world about their priorities—what opportunities they want to be offered. More than improvements in electricity and infrastructure, healthcare, and better jobs, what young people asked for was a good education. It’s no surprise that young people value education. World Bank economists estimate that for every year of study, individual income increases by 10-15 percent. These increases don’t just affect individuals; they often generate a “ripple effect” of benefits to families and entire communities. Openly licensed learning resources, also known as open educational resources (OER), can increase access to high-quality education opportunities and reduce the cost of education around the world.

On September 28, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of State co-hosted an International Open Education Workshop, bringing together 40 civil society and foreign government participants from eight countries to examine existing open education efforts and identify opportunities for future collaboration between government and civil society. This workshop is one of several open education commitments made as part of the second U.S. Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.

At the workshop, participants shared examples of ways that openly licensed educational materials are being used to solve local education challenges around the world. For example, one participant shared open-source tools that enable offline access to openly licensed educational videos — technology that has supported education for Syrian refugees, inmates in U.S. correctional facilities, and over 2 million other learners from around the world. Open licenses grant anyone the rights to revise, remix, and redistribute these educational materials, so investments in content or tools made by one organization or government can be leveraged by other institutions and used in new ways.

Another participant, drawing on her recent experience serving as a Foreign Service Officer in the Balkans, noted the potential for openly licensed educational materials to honor local knowledge and information needs. In particular, she described how an open-source model could empower educators to collaborate on and adapt textbooks across local and international borders, retaining fundamental content while tailoring certain features, like names in math word problems, to reflect students’ ethnic diversity and culture.  Empowering local communities to adapt, translate, and create collections of learning materials that meet their information, learning, or language needs helps side-step assumptions and honor learners’ lived experiences.

Open education advances key national priorities, including supporting shared economic prosperity, strengthening civil society, and investing in human development. Over the next year, the U.S. Government will continue efforts to expand and accelerate the use and availability of openly licensed educational materials worldwide. In addition, we will begin to model the transition to openly licensed educational materials at scale in U.S. K-12 schools.  We look forward to engaging with the national and global community to identify opportunities for open licensing to accelerate educational equity for all learners regardless of their financial situations or geographic locations.

Richard Culatta is Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.

Sunshine Ison is Director of the ECA Collaboratory at the U.S. Department of State.

Nancy Weiss is Senior Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.