Walk into any college classroom and you'll probably see students on their devices. Some are taking notes, but most are also simultaneously monitoring multiple social media feeds. Rather than fight this trend as a problem to be solved, the innovative folks at the Georgia Institute of Technology have figured out a way to turn it into an educational opportunity. Thanks to a recent initiative:
students at Georgia Tech will earn college credit
for their Internet use, automatically.
How does it work? The answer is the network.
campus wifi at Georgia Tech (and most other universities), everyone has to log on with their username and password. At that point their entire network traffic stream is uniquely identifiable and available via log files from switches, routers, and firewalls. Every website visit, post, tweet, photo, and yes, even yaks are available and tied to a user. Each TCP/IP packet is archived and analyzed using high performance computing and advanced algorithms. Grades are assigned using machine learning that has been trained to recognize intellectually valid content. The student receives a monthly report of their progress. The more they use the Internet, the faster they graduate.