October 31, 2004

Remote-control teaching

I'm considering letting students have remote controls in class next semester.

A few weeks ago, a McGraw-Hill representative had a new techie toy along with the typical book display in our department conference room one day. E-instruction looked like a television remote, except it's designed to be linked to a receiver that a teacher programs. I'm sure it was originally designed for mass-given multiple-choice tests. But there are easily several other uses, from more private surveys of student attitudes/prior ideas to quick gauges of comprehension. I need to ask a few more questions about capacity (I have a wonderful idea of how to use it to queue students up in discussion), but I might try it out next term.

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Posted in Teaching at 8:56 PM (Permalink) |

October 26, 2004

Age-specific data from 20th c.

In working on my paper for the History of Education Society meeting in 12 days, I've been thinking about the work involved in historical data here. There are snippets of data in Harvard's Gutman Library (or otherwise gathered) from Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, New York, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Some are from states (Arizona, Delaware, and Georgia), while others are from cities (Phoenix, Atlanta, NYC, Boston, Philadelphia). I expect I can get some very long runs of data from Georgia, NYC, and Philadelphia, and probably Arizona and Delaware. Not sure about Louisiana. But it involves quite a bit of travel.

Not that I mind the travel, but juggling various schedules will be interesting. I suspect I can get to the Georgia state archives in early January, and the rest will require a bit of work.

What I'd love in addition to the age-specific historical data would be age-specific data from states, so I wouldn't have to worry about the retention rates. Ages are nice and clean. Retention/promotion rates are much messier. I suspect I might be able to extract some help from here in Florida. I'm not so sure about other states. More legwork!

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Posted in Research at 1:58 PM (Permalink) |