Does a device that continually takes snapshots of a student’s day have any place in schools?
Narrative Clip is a tiny device that you attach to your shirt which takes a photo every 30 seconds. Once a day you connect the Clip to your computer and upload the photos to a cloud service which then sorts the images and attempts to pick out highlights from your day.
Described as an “automatic life blogging” device, Narrative Clip is designed make your life searchable — but would you allow it in school?
I’ve made the argument in the past that we need to be very cautious of condemning every new technology before we fully understand it, but we are starting to see a range of devices that have questionable use in education. For me Narrative Clip is one such device, but it may be almost impossible to prevent it and similar devices entering our schools.
Invasion of Privacy
Narrative Clip is a device that neither the photographer nor the subject has direct control over. Photos are taken consistently throughout the day regardless of location. So while most images captured would likely be harmless, there are times when they would undoubtedly invade another person’s privacy — things that come to mind are during performances, in toilets, in the playground etc.
Wearing a device such as this is an overt form of privacy invasion — more so than smartphone cameras or even Google Glass. The wearer is making a statement that they have the right to record your image whether you like it or not.
We also need to look ahead to future developments. The next logical step is a device which records a video feed every second of the day. How will we deal with this type of almost invisible technology in schools?
We can create policy to prevent such devices entering the classroom, but is there any way to really prevent them being brought in?
To look at it from another perspective, am I being shortsighted? Is there value in having such a device in school?
I don’t have any answers. Let me know what you think in the comments.