No Excuses

E-Readers Know When You Do Your Homework

In the future, your textbook reads you. Nine colleges are testing e-reader software from CourseSmart, a Silicon valley startup, that tracks how often students open their digital textbooks, how long they spend on each page, and whether they’re highlighting important passages. “It’s Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent,” the dean of the school of business at Texas A & M tells The New York Times. Professors and students seem to find the “engagement index” a useful gauge of when students are falling behind and might need help, but critics warn that the data can be misleading and the software easily gamed.