The author of the article ““Mining Student Data Could Save Lives”, Michael Morris, suggests that student data mining is necessary in schools and can be used to prevent oncampus violence. It is indeed a controversial topic that is very relevant to us as students. Personally, I’m an international student who have experienced both eastern and western educations; in both cases, students’ networks are totally under the surveillance. I’ve also heard and witnessed a few incidents of the school intervening with students’ online behaviors, and I really start to question whether we have such thing as privacy once we are connected to the Internet.
On the other hand, due to the special relationship between the university/college and the students, certain surveillance of students’ internet behaviors might be needed for safety reasons. But before it is used and heavily valued in universities, one might want to question the effectiveness of this technology. Is that really a tool with such high accuracy? Or in fact students are more often being stigmatized? Also, for those “troubled” students, would they really use the school Internet to search about the “twin Glock 22 pistols”, or email each other about the plan or violent behaviors they are about to pull off? Certain levels of student data mining can be used in universities, but how and to what extent it should be used need to be well considered.