University research will evaluate physical data to gauge teacher effectiveness

GSR technology could give an advantage to 'tyrannical' teachers, Ravitch says.

A student’s physical reaction to a classroom lesson soon could be used to judge how successful—or unsuccessful—an educator is in keeping students engaged.

Researchers and Clemson University received a nearly $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November to study Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) bracelets, which house sensors that measure a student’s physical reaction to learning—such as increased sweating—and uses the data as a way to grade an educator’s performance.

Wireless sensors produce readouts showing whether students are alert, anxious, bored, or excited in the classroom, and as Clemson researchers determine the reliability of this experimental technological gauge, many in education are skeptical of the GSR bracelets as a mainstream classroom tool.…Read More

Ravitch: Why college-for-everybody is a sham

The corporate reformers like to say that everyone must go to college if they want to have good jobs in the future, says education historian Diane Ravitch for the Washington Post. Now, let me be clear that I love education and I think everyone should get as much education as they want and should keep on getting better educated all their life. Thanks to the Internet, the means of self-education are easy and inexpensive. But I don’t think that college-for-all is a reasonable goal. There are many young people who don’t want to go to college; they shouldn’t be forced by social pressure to do so. College changes if it is turned into a higher level of compulsory education. It becomes like high school or even junior high school if unwilling and unready students are pushed into college. And the very claim that the jobs of the future require a college education is not true. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of the jobs that will open up in the next few years do not require a B.A. In fact, only about 25% do. The other 75% do not. They need on-the-job training…

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