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Professor Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Determine When Students Lose Interest

Professor Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Determine When Students Lose Interest

A Chinese university professor has designed custom facial recognition technology to scan students’ faces and determine if and when his classroom material loses their interest, a further articulation of the endless possibilities of technology in the classroom.

According to Engadget, Wei Xiaoyong designed the technology to create better lectures by being able to tell when his material starts to bore students.

"The approach gauges the emotion in your face over time, helping Wei refine his lectures so that he doesn't lose your interest,” the article says.

Engadget raises some valid concerns about the technology (how does it differentiate between naturally stoic students?), but says that at the very least many teachers have expressed interest in learning more.

"Wei is sharing his approach with other Chinese universities, however, which suggests that it's successful enough. And the underlying tech isn't limited to the classroom—Wei sees it applying to psychology, social sciences and anywhere else where measuring emotional changes could be useful.”

This isn’t the first time that using facial recognition technology in the classroom to address student needs has made international news.

Last year, researchers at North Carolina State University used similar technology to pinpoint students struggling while learning how to code.

"They analyzed 60 hours of footage with the Computer Expression Recognition Toolbox—a software package developed at the University of California-San Diego —and then compared the analysis with students' stated feelings about the material,” said BigThink.com.

The results showed close matches between the software’s findings and the students sentiments, indicating a potential use for the technology to quickly alert teachers while providing instruction.

Education World readers: What do you think? Is there a potential use for facial recognition technology in the classroom? Take our poll below.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

9/13/2016

Is there a potential use for facial recognition technology in the classroom?

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