There have been some good posts over the past few days about what is clearly — to me, at least — one of the weirdest school reform stories of the year. The Gates Foundation has granted over a million dollars for the testing (and wearing) of “galvanic skin sensors” to see if they could be used “regularly in schools with students and teachers” to measure classroom engagement.
These sensors (which seem to be typically worn as wristbands) measure emotional arousal to stimulation and are used in lie detectors and in the mental health field for biofeedback to help people control stress. They are also used by advertisers and The Church of Scientology (their famous “E-Readers”).
Anthony Cody and Diane Ravitch have written excellent posts on this topic already, so I’ll just link to them in a moment and not repeat their points.
I’ll just point to previous posts I’ve written about the Gates Foundation:
Gates Foundation Minimizing Great Tools For Helping Teachers Improve Their Craft
Videotaping teachers the right way (not the Gates way)
The Best Posts On The Gates’ Funded Measures Of Effective Teaching Report
I had written a more hopeful post about Gates a couple of weeks ago, but who knows?
Now, here are links to posts on this weird sensor project:
Wiring our Students with Galvanic Response Bracelets? is by Anthony Cody at Ed Week.
Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Crazier… is by Diane Ravitch.
$1.1 million-plus Gates grants: ‘Galvanic’ bracelets that measure student engagement is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.
More about Our Brave New World is by Diane Ravitch.
Gates changes Galvanic bracelet grant description is by Valerie Strauss.
Biosensors to monitor students’ attentiveness is from Reuters.
The Gates Foundation’s “engagement bracelets” is from Daniel Willingham.
Let me know if you know of other posts.
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