Commentary: Resisting the Panopticon

Michael Schwalbe
Inside Higher Ed

Excerpt: Panopto is a Seattle-based company that sells software for managing “video learning content.” What the company sells to universities is a system for creating searchable libraries of an institution’s “video assets,” which include “lectures, flipped classroom recordings, campus events, guest presentations, athletic competitions, alumni outreach, live webcasts and more.”

Last spring, I learned that North Carolina State University planned to make Panopto available for faculty use. My understanding was that Panopto would be another option, like Screencast or Mediasite, for putting video-recorded course material online, at each faculty member’s discretion. In August, I learned that my lectures would be recorded automatically. Apparently, someone had decided that faculty would now be expected to allow what transpired in our classes—not just lectures, but every casual remark, every student comment and question—to be recorded and exist permanently in a digital archive.