Biometric device to measure student engagement? Some aren’t so sure this is what Gates should be funding… Here are some article clips:
Biometric bracelets, produced by a Massachusetts startup company, Affectiva Inc, send a small current across the skin and then measure subtle changes in electrical charges as the sympathetic nervous system responds to stimuli.
[Some] call the technology creepy and say good teachers already know when their students are engaged.
“It’s absurd to think spikes in teenagers’ emotional arousal necessarily correspond to learning.”
The engagement pedometer project fits neatly with the Gates Foundation’s emphasis on mining daily classroom interactions for data
The Gates Foundation has spent two years videotaping 20,000 classroom lessons and breaking them down, minute by minute, to analyze how each teacher presents material and how those techniques affect student test scores
The foundation has spent $45 million on such research, under the umbrella name Measures of Effective Teaching.
The biosensors are intended to give teachers feedback rather than evaluate their effectiveness
Some educators … have long been critical of the Gates Foundation’s efforts to boil down effective teaching to an algorithm
The sensors do not distinguish between fear and interest, between boredom and relaxation
Educators could also deploy the sensors to test different approaches: Are ninth-grade algebra students more engaged by an online lesson, by math-related video games, or by a traditional teacher lecture at the blackboard?