It’s just what you always wanted when you were a kid: A computer that tracks your every facial move and lets your teacher know when you’re struggling with a given assignment. Technology Review reports that researchers at North Carolina State University have been using computers’ cameras to watch students’ emotional states in an effort to help teachers understand when they’re having difficulty with a particular problem. NC State researcher Joseph Grafsgaard tells Technology Review that his goal with the project is to help struggling students “bolster their confidence and keep them motivated” so that they don’t fall behind their peers. The report also notes that this sort of research is part of a broader trend of “affective computing” projects that “measure skin conductance” or “assess voice tone or facial expressions” to record users’ emotional states.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.