The Dongle Is Back

13 06 2012

WaPo:

$1.1 million-plus Gates grants: ‘Galvanic’ bracelets that measure student engagement

In the ‘you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff’ category, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is spending about $1.1 million to develop a way to physiologically measure how engaged students are by their teachers’ lessons. This involves “galvanic skin response” bracelets that kids would wear so their engagement levels could be measured.

(snip)

The foundation gave the awards as part of its Measuring Effective Teachers project , which is experimenting with teacher evaluation systems in seven school districts nationwide. Millions of dollars have gone into these evaluation experiments, which, among other things, have involved the use of standardized test scores to assess teacher effectiveness (a bad idea), as well as the questionable videotaping of teachers. And now, bracelets.

Of course it’s dumb.  But this is Bill Gates we’re talking about here, so in the pantheon of Gates/Microsoft dumb, this ranks fairly low on the totem pole.  Dongles, product activation, WGA, ActiveX, Internet Exploiter, monopoly, BSOD, active desktop, Clippy…need I go on?  If you want to think of this bracelet as a dongle, it’s not even the dumbest MSFT dongle of all time.

But it’s obvious to see where all this is going.  The student’s lethargy will be blamed on the teacher.  This is all part and parcel of the war on experienced white teachers who are stuck with classrooms full of low IQ blacks and Hispanics, with the eventual end game being breaking the union, ditching those teachers, and replacing them with a perpetual conga line of low paid (and often H-1B visa holding) Can’t Teach for America social justice dingbats that flame out in a year or two, only to be replaced with more dingbats behind them.

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