A few weeks ago there was a small eruption when word of a Gates Foundation* funded experiment with bracelets that might measure student engagement became an internet sensation. It was a pretty typical episode with the usual mix of polemics, bad information, and so forth. And at this point who knows if it’s a good idea, it’s too soon to know, but it’s not crazy or unethical on its face (assuming the trails are conducted responsibly). But none of that stopped some advocates and analysts – including some who otherwise claim to be empiricists who bravely go where the evidence points — from going berserk at the mere prospect of this idea. It’s died down but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read this short essay by Dan Willingham, a sensible – and personal – take on the whole thing.
*They fund BW, too.