tech

Tokyo university gives away iPhones to nab truants via GPS

40 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

40 Comments
Login to comment

A waste of resources. There are better and more efficient ways to handle this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact that attendance is a requirement for graduating shows their course content is rubbish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So much for their prestige...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pretty dumb for a bunch of smart people. If they really wanted to use these phones as a form of tracking device, they should not have let this story out of the bag. Rather they should have just given the phones away and hammered those students who were absent from class at the end of term. Furthermore, they could always reinforce this policy by making it a crime (punishable by expulsion) to assume somebody else's identity for the purpose of roll call. Divide and conquer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it would be much easier to prove attendance by checking identity via fingerprints and eye scan, like thay do to foreigners in airports.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pardon me, but I like to pick up on this comment:

Other universities, including Stanford University and Duke University in the U.S., use the iPhone in their programs.

Do these universities use it in the same way as the 'prestigious' universities are planning to use it:

in part to use its Global Positioning System to nab students that skip class

Or do Stanford University and Duke University use the phones simply

to relay course materials, lecture videos and tests.

Or do they also track absentees with these devices as well? I'd say if they do, that's an invasion-of-privacy matter that US lawyers would be onto quick-smart (unless students waive their rights to privacy by accepting the devices, I guess).

Could we have some clarification on this matter?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One more thing:

Students, who skip class, could still fake attendance by giving their iPhone to a friend who goes to class. But youngsters aren’t likely to lend their mobile phones, which are packed with personal information and email, according to the university.

The common practice of owning two phones may be being overlooked here, methinks - the one they had when they entered the uni, plus the one being 'offered' to them at the 'prestigious' universities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I read the headline I thought it was Todai!

Students, who skip class, could still fake attendance by giving their iPhone to a friend who goes to class.

No they couldn't; because that sentence with its extra comma tells us that all students skip class, so there'd be no one there to hold all the iPhones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every week one student must attend carrying 30 i-phones. At least Apple will be happy...

Wierd wierd news. Surely there are a million better ways of dealing with this. And seriously, an i-phone as a study tool? Why not give them something useful, like a laptop computer (or something a little smaller).

Do Japanese universities really have that much extra lying around?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stupid, just give you phone to your friend hahah so so stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All they have to do is disable the wireless mode and then claim the battery died, which it actually does, if you leave the wireless and GPS running all day.

How many PhDs got their heads together to come up with this nugget?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How I wished my uni had done the same. But I'll still skip class all the same right after that.

However, attendance being the key requirement for graduation is pretty strange. Most universities can't be bothered whether you attend classes or not; if you flung your exams, you have to repeat them. Period.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems this university is trying to attract more students. I can't see why else they would do this. The excuse they're using is just laughable.

Truants in Japan often fake attendance by getting friends to answer roll-call or hand in signed attendance cards.

These "truants" will certainly hand over their iphone to a classmate. I have never used an iphone, but I bet it has some locking system to prevent others from using it or accessing private info.

That’s verging on cheating since attendance is a key requirement for graduation here.

That IS cheating!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most universities can't be bothered whether you attend classes or not; if you flung your exams, you have to repeat them. Period.

I agree. When I was a university student, I never had a class that took attendance, but almost everyone showed up because we wanted to pass. Seems Japanese students don't feel the same way, so they need to be forced to attend. I get the impression profs want to avoid the embarrassment of having an empty classroom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hammered those students who were absent from class at the end of term

Wrong approach. Hammer them over and over again during the first couple of weeks and you would find that attendance works. Why are they cutting out? Hmm...perhaps working their butts off to pay the tuition? And why do loans come through after the students start the program and not before? And why are there no deferral system with loans here in case the paperwork gets hung up and the cash does not come in when payments due. Weird educational system. Makes robots out of people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You've gotta love JT's sensationalized headlines! This same story was printed in an international newspaper and the iPhones are to make it easier to keep track of attendance bu the students logging in through the school's network instead of using paper. Not to 'nab truants'. Classic!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is one word missing. It should say "ALL they have to do to graduate is attend"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Blv, Cleo, Mayuki, good stuff from y'all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the problem of poor attendance at Japanese universities (if there is such a problem) relates to the length of classes, the number of classes students have and of course the content and how they are taught.

For a start 90 minutes is way too long. An hour would be fine and indeed it's difficult for anyone to concentrate for 90 minutes.

Students have too many lessons in the 1st and 2nd years. They seem to have really full schedules. I seem to remember that at uni we generally just had lectures in the morning and each lecture was an hour. The afternoons were freed up for lab work, self-study, library work, computer work (on the state of the art 80286 machines), sports, etc. That seems like a much better system. Japanese universities should make all their classes 55 minutes and just hold them in the morning... a whole day of 90 minute lectures would make the heart sink of even the most dedicated student.

And finally lecturers here seem able to make even the most interesting subjects an appallingly boring monotone lesson in tedium. They need training on how to spruce up their act. Having said that some of my lecturers at uni were really bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder, GPS will work inside the university building?

Probably not! It might work outside in the green, but inside a ferro-concrete building there should be not enough reception.

So this idea of tracking will not work at all. Better to shoot an RFid tag into each students ear, and having RFid readers at the entrance of each lecture room.

Like one can do with pets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now that is bad planning: not only is it an invasion of privacy, students can simply turn off the GPS on the iPhone. How's that for thwarting truancy? http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=532637

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think it will helps to increase producing better students with good skills, which is rare in Japan. Of course not the students fault, the way of teaching seems to be a little bit old-styled...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We all know that after entrance into any Japan university, you are virtually guaranteed to graduate, as long as you pay your tuition...

I thought you had to at least show up at class... Boy was I wrong...

Why don't they just save everyone the hassle and mail the diploma's along with their acceptance letter... Seems like this would cut out the truants altogether and it would be much cheaper...

Don't these teacher's take attendance...? What a joke... Japanese university's the ultimate place to learn nothing... And earn a degree doing nothing...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Attendance is very important as a large percentage of their grades are made up by attendance regardless of results. - Invasion of privacy? I think not! It's more likely just a way of the school spending their profits to avoid paying tax.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was teaching a course at Kobe uni and the professor I was helping never listened to anything I said. He took all his students overseas to another university and the head professor said to all 40 students and the 3 Japanese professors that their speeches were childish. Classic. I helped write all their speeches to make sure they didn't look stupid. The head professor ignored them and had them all right them again.....to his great embarrassment. iphones won't fix stupidity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps you wrote them in a language nobody could follow.How is your iphone?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd take the free iPhone, then I'd bloody well tell them to bug$$r off if they thought they could screw me out of a diploma for missing class. You PAY for school in university, it's not the mandatory requirement that education is up to 16. If you don't feel like going, you don't go. If you didn't go the whole year but still fill and do well on any reports, pass exams/tests, and completely any tutorials/labs, then what's the problem?

It must be as one poster stated above, if they need to take attendance and make it mandatory, the classes must utterly suck. But knowing Japanese universities, and I've been to classes in some, that's not a massive surprise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You have to turn up to class in Japan? Poor things. At university I only had 2 or 3 compulsory hours a week, the lectures were optional.

After all, as long as I handed in essays on time and passed my exams, whose business is it whether I turn up or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

[i]"attendance is a key requirement for graduation here"[/i]

Isn't it the only requirement?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow !!!! The only requirement is to attend class and you can graduate

That goes for JHS and basically every school in Japan.

Wow !!!! That's great !!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese universities are basically b.s. but I do not think that all you have to do is attend class. You have to take a test or write a paper, I understand. Anyway, attendance often means sleeping through your lessons. Besides i-phone they could use alarm clocks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Students are smarter than this...

Left my phone at home today sorry

I lost my phone

Lent my phone to my friend

Dropped it in the toilet

I didn't have it turned on

Ran out of batteries

The software said error

I was in an area of no signal
0 ( +0 / -0 )

At the universities I taught at in Japan, the only way you could fail a student with no questions asked was to demonstrate that they hadn't attended class. One of the ironies is that the more "prestigious" universities in the cities had bigger attendance problems because the students are living on their own. At smaller regional universities, students are more likely to live at home and their moms make sure they get up and at least head towards university.

With an iPhone, even if the lecture's a bust, at least you can surf the Web and entertain yourself that way.

Given that they're in the school of informatics, maybe the whole point is to see whether they students can develop ways of spoofing the GPS system so it shows they're in class regardless of where they are. That would be worthy of an A.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

how will the 3rd party software work on the iphone without going through an extensive review by iTunes. I guess Jailbreak is on it's way to Japan too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this was news last week, things a little slow on JT?

this system in kind of scary, reminds of '1984'. Big brother is watching

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just attending class is part of the grade? I know you have to attend to pass the course but if the material is so weak that you can pass by cutting class I'd raise the teaching standards first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't take attendance for my classes, but I find that the students you rarely see and those who only show up for exams tend to get very low scores and fail. The good students show up for all the classes, even if they are already familiar with the subject.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess they didn't read the iPhone manaual that explains how to easily TURN OFF the location services to prevent GPS tracking!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I must be one of those solitary ignoramuses who does not know that:

We all know that after entrance into any Japan university, you are virtually guaranteed to graduate, as long as you pay your tuition...

Luckily for me, my students are generally bright and have to work pretty hard to graduate.

Why don't they just save everyone the hassle and mail the diploma's along with their acceptance letter... Don't these teacher's take attendance...? What a joke...

Furthermore, they know when an apostrophe should be used to distinguish between the possessive and the plural.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites