Schools Look To Algorithms To Flag Students Who May Harm Themselves

Companies like Gaggle are typically used by school districts to track student online behavior, but now they are tracking something else—self-harm. Machine learning flags words that might indicate a student is thinking of hurting themselves. “It gives us insight into what the student's thinking.” Gaggle identified 64,000 student references to suicide and self-harm. The company claims to have saved 927 student lives. In Mason City, districts receive alerts when a student’s search is flagged. “Nicole Pfirman says there have been a few times where she believes an alert saved a kid's life.”

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