Will students work harder in school if their parents–or complete strangers—are keeping an eye on them? In the New York Times, Javier Hernandez describes a new approach to motivating students that is being tried across China.

Thousands of schools — public and private, from kindergarten to college — are installing webcams in classrooms and streaming live on websites that are open to the public, betting that round-the-clock supervision, even from strangers, will help motivate students.

School officials see the cameras as a way to improve student confidence and crowdsource the task of catching misbehaving pupils. Parents use the feeds to monitor their children’s academic progress and spy on their friendships and romances. But many students see live-streaming as an intrusion, prompting a broader debate in China about privacy, educational ethics and the perils of helicopter parenting.

In Texas, a law requires schools to videotape special ed classrooms if a parent or school staff member requests it in order to protect students from abuse.

In Education Next, Mike Petrilli makes the case that video cameras should be installed in classrooms to improve teacher evaluations.

— Education Next

Last updated April 28, 2017