Dear Bill and Melinda,
I can probably help you out with your research regarding student engagement.
If the student is asleep because he stayed up all night listening to his father beat his mother, not engaged. If a student is randomly filling in the circles of a standardized test, not engaged. If a student is actually trying on a standardized test, not engaged. If a student is spelling his city’s name 10 times, not engaged, but who cares, he needs to learn how to spell it. If a student is reading quietly without noticing movement in the classroom, engaged. If a student is diligently collaborating on a group project, engaged. If a student is reading carefully to earn a good grade on a TEACHER MADE TEST, engaged.
I could go on, but I think you get my point.
You can send a half a million dollars my way any time for my classroom based observations to support your research interests. Teacher paychecks keep dropping and the community can’t afford much anymore. My school could use an auditorium for the 100+ students that take band and choir each year. (We are a small school in a rural area.) We can also use the money to send students to academic competitions. That is much more engaging than a standardized test. And I guarantee you that I can make that observation without bracelets!
Imagine what a half a million dollars would do for a school instead of simply supporting a couple of researchers at a university designing bracelets that measure engagement!