Professors monitor laptops

Some Seton Hall professors have begun using surveillance software to monitor student activity on their laptops during class.

DyKnow software allows professors to monitor student’s laptop activity during class. The professor downloads the DyKnow software, which allows the professor’s laptop monitor to become a surveillance screen.
Other features of DyKnow include student polling and chatting between professor and students.

Professor James Kimble of the communication department is one professor who uses this software.

“I’ve grown increasingly concerned that internet access is a distraction for my students, so much so that I feel confident in my growing belief that it is affecting student learning and, ultimately, student grades,” Kimble said.

The professors that use this software are required to tell students in advance and if they would like to use their laptops in class, as students must sign up for it on their own.

“The DyKnow software is a bit of a check on a useful tool that can be abused,” Kimble said.

Other professors, such as philosophy professor William Smith, do not use any form of monitoring system in class. Smith said while laptops can be a distraction to students, he feels if students are not going to pay attention in class, they are taking the risk of doing poorly.

Some students whose professors use DyKnow, such as freshman Ashley Moniez, said students should be responsible for their laptop usage.

“We are responsible for ourselves and our actions, and it’s our choice to play around on the computer or use it for notes and other academic reasons,” Moniez said.

Kimble said he finds his students tolerate the purpose of the software “fairly well.”

Alexandra Lubischer can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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