Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Cellphones Education Handhelds Hardware

University Gives Away iPhones To Curb Truancy 252

Posted by timothy
from the give-me-lobster-and-I-won't-skip-dinner dept.
Norsefire writes "A Japanese University is giving away iPhones to its students to use the phones' GPS functionality to catch students who skip classes. The University claims students currently fake attendance by having other students answer for them during rollcall, they also said that while this can be abused by giving other students the phone, they are much less likely to do this due to the personal information, such as email, a phone generally contains."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

University Gives Away iPhones To Curb Truancy

Comments Filter:
  • by Goalie_Ca (584234) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:20AM (#28164155)
    Okay. Umm.. Who the fuck cares if students show up to class or not. At university we are old enough to decide if class is a waste of time or not. I skipped tons of classes during my undergrad degree and this enabled me to actually assignments that I wouldn't have otherwise had time for.
    • by Cimexus (1355033) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:23AM (#28164183)

      The article states that attendance at this university is a necessary requirement to graduate:

      Truants in Japan often fake attendance by getting friends to answer roll-call or hand in signed attendance cards. That's verging on cheating since attendance is a key requirement for graduation.

      Having said that, smart students would probably be able to figure out a way of disabling this 'feature' or spoofing it to show them as being in a different location pretty quickly. Also GPS often fails to get a usable signal in some buildings.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:32AM (#28164251)

        The article states that attendance at this university is a necessary requirement to graduate:

        Truants in Japan often fake attendance by getting friends to answer roll-call or hand in signed attendance cards. That's verging on cheating since attendance is a key requirement for graduation.

        Having said that, smart students would probably be able to figure out a way of disabling this 'feature' or spoofing it to show them as being in a different location pretty quickly. Also GPS often fails to get a usable signal in some buildings.

        So what?

        They just give the phone to whoever is going to be signing in for them.

        If they want to stop truancy, just give a quiz at the beginning of every class.

        Of course if what they're interested in is giving the students an education, stop taking roll and just crack down on academics.

        • by Corbets (169101)

          So what?

          They just give the phone to whoever is going to be signing in for them.

          If they want to stop truancy, just give a quiz at the beginning of every class.

          Apparently you missed the part of the summary (I didn't even RTFA) that implied that other pressures, such as the privacy of other data on the iphone, would curb this behavior.

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            Why? noone is forcing the students to actually use the iphone for their personal communication... Chances are any university student in japan already has their own phone.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by mr_mischief (456295)

              I can see it now: a backpack full of iPhones for some poor kid to make a living while he's going to school.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by onemorechip (816444)

                Suspicions rise when he's the only student in the auditorium, yet attendance is registering full...

      • by Mad Merlin (837387) on Monday June 01, 2009 @01:05AM (#28164453) Homepage

        The article states that attendance at this university is a necessary requirement to graduate

        So? It's still a dumb requirement for graduation. Unless it's different over there, University is optional, paid for entirely by the attendee, and generally not started until one's about 18. There's absolutely no reason to make attendance part of the requirements for graduation, if you choose not to attend, that's completely up to you.

        • by dov_0 (1438253) on Monday June 01, 2009 @01:29AM (#28164573)
          I think that attendance is often mandatory (certainly in tertiary studies that I've done in Australia it has been) because soaking in the subject during lecture, hearing questions answered and participating in group discussions are actually part of the educational process. It's not just about the essays or exams.
          • by chaos95 (1340107) on Monday June 01, 2009 @01:53AM (#28164703)

            I think that attendance is often mandatory (certainly in tertiary studies that I've done in Australia it has been)

            I went to university in Melbourne, and attendance was only mandatory for the practical/lab component of each course; lectures and tutorials were optional (but obviously recommended).

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by mr_mischief (456295)

              Our professors made their own attendance requirements and put them in the syllabus so the students would know them from the beginning of the semester.

              Some classes really should have attendance required, like music ensembles and group lab classes in which others are depending on you. Some foreign language classes required a minimum number of listening lab hours, or even group speaking labs. I had writing classes in which attendance was necessary, despite all the writing assignments being solo projects. I als

          • And, for those who see this as a, for lack of a better word, patronising nanny state solution, you must remember that the university's reputation, in part, relies on the quality of their graduates. If they think that forcing students to attend makes them significantly better students, and they're ready to weather people potentially choosing less restrictive universities, then that's their business. It doesn't necessarily have to be yours.

            • That argument would only make sense if there was a correlation between turning up and doing well. As I said above, for my year at university some of the worst attendees - myself included - did the best at the end. Some of the other worst attendees dropped out or failed. If a student can't motivate themselves to turn up, nor to learn on their own time, do you really think forcing them to sit in lectures will help? If a student is motivated to learn the material in their own way, going to lectures when th
          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday June 01, 2009 @07:42AM (#28166129) Journal

            Last time I looked at the statistics from my university, there was a correlation between attendance and mediocre results. The worst students didn't turn up all the time, and failed because they didn't know the material. The good students didn't turn up all the time, and did well because they learned enough in the lectures they did attend to learn the rest on their own time.

            The purpose of a university is not to teach, it's to provide an environment where a student can learn, and to let them know what they should learn to be considered an expert in a particular field. There is a reason we don't call lecturers and professors teachers; the teacher in a university should always be the student. The lecturer is a guide on the path to education, not a leader.

            You don't need to go to lectures to be surrounded by people interested in the subject. When I was a student, I spent a couple of hours each day in a coffee shop on campus, and spent a lot of this time discussing various aspects of the subject with my peers. Part of university is learning to build your own structure, not requiring it to be rigidly enforced externally.

        • by Cimexus (1355033)

          I was merely answering the OP's question by pointing out that the article had already answered it. I was not passing judgement on whether or not such a requirement was a good idea. So I'm not sure what the point of quoting me and asking "so what?" is.

        • Utterly different (Score:3, Informative)

          by SuperKendall (25149)

          The whole University scene is utterly, utterly different than in the west. It's "optional" in the same sense not being homeless is "optional" in the west - you can do it but you are looked down upon mightily. I wouldn't draw any comparisons to anything you know here.

        • by kklein (900361) on Monday June 01, 2009 @02:49AM (#28164949)

          I saw this come up on Hacker News yesterday and knew it was only a matter of time before it hit Slashdot, and I'd be typing this (more people read Slashdot, so I thought I would just save my energy).

          I am an assistant professor at one of the top schools in Japan (Aoyama Gakuin, by the way, is also in the top 10 for sure). Allow me to explain what sounds like crazy-talk to someone from the Western university system.

          Here is the lynchpin for the whole thing. You understand this and you understand everything:

          In Japan, it's very hard to get into a good college, but once you do, it is customary to do virtually nothing until graduation. Companies hire people largely on the name of the school on their degree, and GPAs don't even exist at most schools, and are most certainly not given to prospective employers. Furthermore, the employer is actually who does most of the real-world education. When I worked at a foreign-language college, I had students--bright, definitely technically-inclined students--being hired by IBM to be system engineers. Except, our school only offered foreign language and other "international studies" classes. No math, no science, no engineering. I don't even think we had any history professors. (The term "university" here does not mean what it means in the West. It really ought to be translated as "post-secondary school.") But our graduates were (correctly, I think) identified as people likely to succeed in IT by IBM-Japan's entrance examinations, and they were hired. The first few years of their "employment," therefore, will actually be CS classes--but only on what IBM does.

          Now, the companies aren't really all that stoked about this, especially companies like IBM, but they have hit their work visa limit and can't bring in any more Indian guys who actually know what they're doing, and besides, it's awfully nice to have native speakers of the local language working at your company. But this is how it is going these days, and how it pretty much has always gone. Universities are finishing schools.

          Here's the other point that contributes to rampant truancy: The job hunt is a nightmare over here. Companies only hire once a year. Everything in Japan goes on an April-March schedule. So if you don't have a job lined up by the time you graduate in March, you are screwed until next April. Doubly screwed, in fact, because the lingering question next year when you do the rounds of examinations and cattle-call interviews will be "why didn't this person get a job last time?" So Japanese university students tend to cram all their classes for 4 years into the first 2 and a half years. They literally have classes all day every day. They can do this because there's no homework.

          You read that right.

          I have taught at every level of the Japanese education system, from primary school through university, and I can tell you this: Homework is an anomaly. Yeah, they have it, but nothing like what I had in the US system. So all this shock and horror over "cram schools?" Guys, if these kids' parents didn't send their kids there, they wouldn't get any studying done. Basically, those places are small-group tutor companies, and they do a really important service. Don't feel sorry for the kids because they have to go to "cram school;" feel sorry for them that their academic and vocational lives are going to hinge on a single, poorly-designed, multiple-choice test designed by professors who don't know that "trick questions" are the worst thing you can put on a test, because all they do is create noise (full disclosure: I design standardized language tests; I actually know what I'm talking about here). Unlike the US, which uses highly-reliable, at-least-arguably-valid standardized tests (SAT or ACT) designed by some of the best psychometricians in the world, people are judged here by whether they can figure out the "correct" answer to an item that someone who knows nothing about test design and implementation penned in his spare time.

          The "no homework" culture is exacerb

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Posting as AC so this will likely be deleted, but just wanted to say thanks for such an excellent comment. As one similarly involved in the Japanese education system over several years, I agree with everything you say. Things here are very, very different to Australia, where I did most of my tertiary learning - and the Japanese students only tend to notice this if/when they go on exchange. Having to actually study, do homework, think for themselves, critically deconstruct their professor's arguments and - p

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @06:21AM (#28165759)

            Just wanted to chime in and say this is an awesome post.

            The effect of this courses right up through the entire society. Even after they get into the workforce, it's hard to say when these kids actually become "adults" (from the viewpoint of other societies). They'll join a company that they expect to be able to remain employed at until retirement. They don't have to think very hard on what they want to do with their career, life, etc. Just show up, stay late, do what you're told and you get paid. Emphasis on the stay late part.

            So you end up with a society full of people who are unable to think independently and who are afraid of individual responsibility. (There are some exceptions, and I'm sure you could point to examples of this in, for example, the US as well)

            What other ways does this show up?

            At election time, all the politicians run around saying "Vote for me, I'll do my best to make Japan a good place to live" or "Vote for me I'll support a good economy!" or simply "Vote for me, I'll work hard!". While (VERY recently) the major parties have put together manifests of where they stand on issues, but no one actually uses this to differientiate themselves. No one puts this into easy to understand language and delivers a speech that explain this is why you should vote for them. There are lots of reasons for this, but I'm sure one of them is that no politician really expects to be held responsible by the voting public for what they really stand for (if they stand for anything at all..).

            Also, just as of this week, they have implemented trial by jury here (until now, all trials were completely run by the judges). And with the start of this new system, all you see on TV is people whining about how "I don't want to be responsible for judging someone".

            Anyway, the parent described things much more eloquently than I can in my rusty language skills (I'm actually a native English speaker..), so I'll leave it at that. It's quite different over here! (There are lots of good things, too, but after reading a bunch of narrow minded reviews from a bunch of Japanese IT engineers on a talk I recently gave and getting ready to ride the crowded train home, I'm more inclined to the negative at the moment)

          • by slasho81 (455509)
            Thank you for your superb post.
        • by MikeFM (12491)

          Universities like to forget that they are in our employment and are subject to our demands and not vice versa. It only works because so many of their customers haven't yet learned to demand respect or value for their money. I absolutely think students need to form some sort of union to demand changes from the education system.

        • I don't know about Japan, but in pretty much every European country your degree is paid mostly by the government - the student fees are mostly symbolic and meant to prevent abuse.

    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:26AM (#28164211) Homepage Journal

      I skipped tons of classes during my undergrad degree and this enabled me to actually assignments that I wouldn't have otherwise had time for.

      Congrats on your engineering degree. I hope that those skipped English classes don't interfere with your technical writing ;)

      • I skipped tons of classes during my undergrad degree and this enabled me to actually assignments that I wouldn't have otherwise had time for.

        Congrats on your engineering degree. I hope that those skipped English classes don't interfere with your technical writing ;)

        Like nobody does this outside of engineering. I also have an engineering degree, but my electives are all over the map.

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:41AM (#28164299)

      Okay. Umm.. Who the fuck cares if students show up to class or not. At university we are old enough to decide if class is a waste of time or not. I skipped tons of classes during my undergrad degree and this enabled me to actually assignments that I wouldn't have otherwise had time for.

      Japan isn't America. Apparently they care. Perhaps it's because universities have a limited number of spaces that they would prefer to give to successful students and truancy may correlate with success. It's been my observation that students who are truant a lot, even if successful and breeze by the first round of classes, tend to crash and burn later on as when they don't change their habits. Or it may be that some classes require a team effort and truant students disrupt that (but for whatever reason, the team is reluctant to report it.... or it counts against them anyway).

      There could be a lot of reasons. Your experience doesn't mean it takes into account everything.

      Anyway, this sounds like a technical solution to a human problem that will ultimately fail to a determined truant. Perhaps the teacher should enlist a trusted assistant and they work some system. Perhaps they should give out one ticket to each student with serial number at the end of each class as they walk out the door that will enable them to sign in on the "was here last time" sheet the next class. Then they just count tickets given out to signatures to ensure accuracy and that no one is cheating. Or something like that. Anyone without a ticket just signs a sheet indicating they were present that time but absent last time (and whatever preceding times).

      If they want to get fancy technologically, I guess they could use several retina scanners (to avoid traffic jams, fingerprints scanners would be duped too easily these days) that allow you to sign in at the beginning and then out of each class at the end.

    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      That reminds me of a lecturer I had who did his own TAing. He was like "you are not required to attend this class.. you are not required to attend the tutorial sessions.. however, here is a graph of the students who passed last semester and their recorded attendance. As you can see, those who didn't attend consistently did worse than those who did.. if you want to pass this course, will attend both the lectures and the tutorial sessions." Guess what we were studying.

      • If your website doesn't have prices and a shopping cart, visitors will not buy your products. Seems obvious huh?

        (from sig).

        Actually, no. Think Microsoft. Think newspaper sites.

        The converse is also not true. For example if you go on to chinadirect and search for "long march" you could find a web page with an intercontinental ballistic rocket (complete with nacelle and launch trailer, but no payload) with the familiar "add to basket" shopping cart icon. Click to complete that transaction and you're given a "contacts" page rather than a visa/MC or Paypal.

        You might consider using a different sig. I expect to start s

      • by maglor_83 (856254)

        They record attendance even though it isn't mandatory? Sure, you get a nice graph at the end, but how much time have you wasted?

        • by QuantumG (50515) *

          Actually I think it was a voluntary survey.. so there's a little margin of error in that.
             

    • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:49AM (#28164361) Homepage

      The Japanese don't see their university students as grown-ups, not yet 'shakai-jin' or part of society. So university kids are still... kids. Even more frustrating is; grades are more about attendance than performance.

      • The Japanese don't see their university students as grown-ups... So university kids are still... kids. Even more frustrating is; grades are more about attendance than performance.

        Pretty much the same as here (U.S.A.).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phroggy (441)

      Okay. Umm.. Who the fuck cares if students show up to class or not. At university we are old enough to decide if class is a waste of time or not. I skipped tons of classes during my undergrad degree and this enabled me to actually assignments that I wouldn't have otherwise had time for.

      Agreed. If your students can pass your class without showing up, you're wasting their time and you should figure out how to make your classes more valuable to them. They should be coming to class because if they don't they'll have a difficult time passing the final exam, not because you're tracking their cell phone.

      • Students can't pass the class without showing up, though. Attendance is mandatory. Didn't you read the syllabus?

        I'm either being totally serious or extremely sarcastic. You decide which.

    • Forgo the "college experience" entirely, do a military stint in a technical specialty, and avoid having to pay out a boatload of cash for a degree that has a minimial ROI anyhow.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CRCulver (715279)

        As a Navy veteran, I'd like to add the usual caveats:

        • The military isn't for everyone.
        • Training in the military tends to be on equipment exclusive to the military, therefore badly preparing you for work in the civilian world.
        • A university degree is vital towards getting a job with any security, and the last exceptions are disappearing quickly. But the military's promise of helping you with university education is pretty hollow, as the GI Bill won't even cover a single year of tuition at a decent university. Y
    • Please stop assuming that your culture and values are universal. There are a diversity of people in this world who do not think the same way as you, and this doesn't make them stupid, nor idiots.
    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      I skip every lecture (I fall asleep in them anyway).

      If I got marked on attendance I would be so screwed.

  • Forcing someone to attend won't magically make him interested or engaged in the subject. They need good teachers for that. And good exams so bad studens won't pass by cheating and those who do pass will be actually well prepared.

    • by maglor_83 (856254)

      Forcing someone to attend won't magically make him interested or engaged in the subject.

      In fact, it probably has a detrimental effect on the students who actually want to be there.

  • Dude hold my phone and let me borrow your notes after class.
    People signed each others names on the attendence sheet all the time at my college.
    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Didn't make it to the second half of the summary, eh?

      Also... what sort of college has an attendance sheet? (Aside, apparently, from the one in TFA.) At that point in life, you know enough to decide for yourself if you want to attend class. If you cut, it's no one's loss but your own.

      • by genner (694963)

        Didn't make it to the second half of the summary, eh?

        Also... what sort of college has an attendance sheet? (Aside, apparently, from the one in TFA.) At that point in life, you know enough to decide for yourself if you want to attend class. If you cut, it's no one's loss but your own.

        UWM did for it's 100 level courses. Beyond that they assumed you had enough dsicipline to decide for yourself. Still all kinds of stupid.

        No I didn't read the article but now that I have I matain this will still happen. You just keep your personal info on your real phone, which in Japan is going to be better than an iphone anyway.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jo42 (227475)

      Correct me if I'm wrong: The iPhone doesn't have background applications, so the student has to go to class, sit down, run the app to locate his or herself. Couldn't they then could quit the app, get up and leave?

      • by socsoc (1116769)
        Maybe they're jail broken?
      • Your question has three possible answers (but just like you, my assertions will have to be verified, or contradicted, because I really haven't kept up with the iPhone news lately). 1. This is a corporate agreement outside of the terms of the public SDK contract. 2. Background processes are allowed in the newest generations of iPhones. 3. This is Japan. 80% of the phones over there are unlocked. May be the terms are going to be different over there since they're not being held hostage by their carriers like

  • by viyh (620825)
    Doesn't it defeat the purpose to tell the students this ahead of time? Who would they use the iPhone if they knew this was the case? Or does the school "force" them to do it? Well, even if they did, use your regular phone for personal stuff and the iPhone purely to appease the school and hand it to your friend who goes to class, like the article says. If it's a "prestigious" school, as claimed, why should they care so much if the students are in class as long as the school still gets the tuition money out o
    • If it's a "prestigious" school, as claimed, why should they care so much if the students are in class as long as the school still gets the tuition money out of them?

      If a University only gives degrees to students who attend classes, someone with the degree is believed to have good attendance and therefore the degree from that Univerisity is more valuable to an employer.

      • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by viyh (620825) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:42AM (#28164311) Homepage
        My point is that attendance is irrelevant as long as the student learns the material (measured by testing and finals).
      • by artor3 (1344997)

        No, the degree is more valuable to the employer if the employer has gotten great employees from that university in the past.

        An employer doesn't care how many hours of lecture you sat through. Hell, they normally don't even care what your grades were. They're going to drill you on technical questions that are directly relevant to what you'd be doing at their company. If you know the answers, they're satisfied. If you, and a lot of your fellow alumni, all do great work, then they'll be more likely to hire

        • We're not talking about America.
          • by artor3 (1344997)

            While I admittedly have never applied for a job in Japan, I find it very hard to believe that employers would base their hiring decisions on the attendance policy of the school, rather than technical drilling of the applicant. I realize that it's a very difficult thing to cite, but do you have any sort of evidence to back that up?

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:30AM (#28164239)

    Now that every student will be able to browse the web and chat with their friends in class, I'm sure fewer will cut.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Norsefire (1494323) *
      The iPhone can only run one GUI app at a time, so all the GPS apps require it to be the main running application to work. So unless they're jailbreaking them the only way this will work is to force the students to have the GPS app open during classes, which makes it impossible for them to run anything else (such as Sarari). And if they close the GPS app they're accused of truanting.
      • by artor3 (1344997)

        So there's no way to have something run in the background? Hmm... well, one more reason I'm glad I didn't waste that sorta money on a phone.

        • by nametaken (610866)

          That's correct. Apps are not allowed to run in the background. It sucks, mostly... but it's also part of what makes it a very stable platform (compared to win mobile phones) and helps prolong battery life.

          • by socsoc (1116769)
            Sure apps can run in the background, they get cute little badges too. It's called Backgrounder app and is available on Cydia. Admittedly it takes the crappy battery life and makes it worse, but that is what makes it a useful platform (compared to win mobile phones).
    • This is Japan we're talking about. I'd be surprised if more than a handful of students couldn't already do this.
  • I don't know... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:31AM (#28164245)

    ... how about making the classes worth attending, and making testing difficult enough that poor attendance matters?

    • by mgblst (80109)

      how about making the classes worth attending...

      Because that is really hard to do. You obviously have no teaching experience yourself, especially if you are teaching something as dry as computer science or mathematics. When you have a large amount of work to get through, it is not easy to make it exciting. ...and making testing difficult enough that poor attendance matters?

      What the hell is this supposed to do? Make the tests hard enough that they test what they are supposed to, who cares is nobody turns up,

  • "They also said that while this can be abused by giving other students the phone, they are much less likely to do this due to the personal information, such as email, a phone generally contains."

    Sure, assuming they're dumb enough to store such information on a device owned by a third party...

  • Technical solution to a social problem? How about just count the number of names on the sheet, or learn to recognize your students? I don't know, crazy ideas...

  • by TheABomb (180342) on Monday June 01, 2009 @12:42AM (#28164315)

    If "Having other students answer roll call for them" is an indetectible method of circumventing the rollcall procedures, then Japanese professors are just playing into the West's "All Asians Look Exactly Alike" stereotype. Way to go, Nihon.

    • If "Having other students answer roll call for them" is an indetectible method of circumventing the rollcall procedures, then Japanese professors are just playing into the West's "All Asians Look Exactly Alike" stereotype. Way to go, Nihon.

      Um, they sort of do. Japan is really homogenous, much more so than almost anywhere in the US or EU, if you have 150+ students to grade, can you tell them apart by voice?

  • ... When people started taking exams. If someone can pass an exam coupled with any assignments they would have been given as part of a module, then I would deem them qualified. Attendance is no measure of academic ability.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tftp (111690)

      Attendance is no measure of academic ability.

      No. However not every student can realistically gauge the complexity of the course, especially when he does not attend. Then some weeks later he comes (or reads a book) and can't understand the material. Recovery could be painful, or even impossible if the student discovers the problem a week before the exam. If the university is treating students as children it's probably because, on average, they are.

  • Note: I'm an American. But it appears as if we're misunderstanding Japanese culture. This is after all, the same culture that has "monsters" come house to house in some villages, to scare children who have been lax at their school work, share a drink with the parents, and then move on. Here in America (and many western cultures), attendance in university classes is not deemed necessary; if you're smart enough to pass exams and assignments on your own, you're qualified. In the east, the attitude towards atte
    • In talking with my professors in various universities I came to the understanding that the students who had the highest grades were the ones with the best attendance records (not that they kept track, but you could generally tell who was and wasn't in class - since most classes were small).

      • Wouldn't this be obviously the case if attendance is part of the grade...?

        • But its not for most classes taught in a university (actually its up to the teacher - I've had some professors where it was, others where it wasn't).

    • by socsoc (1116769)

      I had some cunt professors that required attendance. One even told the class that they had all been marked absent for the first 2 months because we sat one seat to the right of her damned seating chart.

      Felt like elementary school, not higher education.

    • by kklein (900361)

      Yeah, this is partly a cultural difference, but it's a lot more than that; the academic and then hiring systems are also totally different. See my abusively-long post above.

      Also, I've lived in Japan for about 10 years, worked in every level of the Japanese education system, am married to a Japanese high school teacher, and have even taught Japanese in the US university system and... I've never heard of this monster program. And I've lived out in the sticks (which is where I taught K-12). Where did this in

    • I don't see how this follows. The jobs aren't moving to Japan, they're moving to India, Mexico, and China. Not to mention that the logical leap from a "difference in attitudes toward attendance" to it being a cause for why jobs are leaving America is about as large and random as it gets. Wild guess is that the reason just might have to do with drastically different wages... and if you can propose a mechanism how better attendance in school leads to lower wages, I'll be very impressed.

      Note: I'm an American,

    • by clem (5683)

      Maybe that's why so many (higher tier) jobs are leaving America.

      Well, maybe. But who wants to work at the company where a monster goes from cubicle to cubicle, scaring the employees into working overtime?

  • by gollito (980620) on Monday June 01, 2009 @01:16AM (#28164517) Homepage
    Need to have your phone send faulty GPS coordinates so people monitoring your location think you are in class? There's an app for that.
  • by RealGrouchy (943109) on Monday June 01, 2009 @01:19AM (#28164531)

    And what if students forget their iPhone at home?

    - RG>

  • So now the students get a free method to skip class even easier. Anyone that plans on skipping can just give it to a friend that plans on attending. As far as I know, cell phones are so ubiquitous in Japan that all students will already have a cell phone and thus not care about someone else having their iPhone for a few hours. More so, if students leave their phones in a common place, and they think someone is going to miss a class, they just grab their phone for them and fake their attendance like normal.
  • Wait, this is university and not preschool we are talking about?

    Do they hand out stars for being the teacher's pet in Japanese universities?

    If you don't go to class (presumably) as an adult in a university, it's your own damned business. And if you fail your exams, it's nobody's fault but your own. However I never expected that class attendance would be such an important factor so as to justify a heavy investment in labor and capital - do they not have better ways of screening who deserves to graduate and w

  • How do they do it? As far as I know, not even the iPhone will tell just anyone where it is.

    Custom firmware with GPS reporting? A custom app for signing in to a lecture?

    Maybe they have an agreement with the telco for CellID information for all those phones, so they can track them to within a square kilometer at least.

  • Here's an idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WeirdingWay (1555849)
    Don't have classes with 100+ students so the professor actually recognizes your face and you can't get away with someone else doing it for you. Huge lecture halls make for a horrible learning experience anyway.
  • ...due to the personal information, such as email

    ...due to the personal information, such as location

    (fixed that...)

  • ...which isn't GPS at all when you're inside a building without a broad line of sight to the sky, so the best resolution they'll have is based on cell information, perhaps refined somewhat by triangulation, but there's limited resolution with that. I'm pretty sure that every last one of my lecture halls in college was within 30 meters of both a lab full of nice gaming boxes (err, CAD workstations) and a lounge with comfy couches.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn

Working...