UW-Madison School of Education - News Connections

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Making sense of big data: New tool offers lens to study culture and human behavior

Making sense of big data: New tool offers lens to study culture and human behavior

UW-Madison's David Williamson Shaffer has developed a new research method, known as quantitative ethnography, to tease out rich, real-time insights buried in the digital records we all generate on a daily basis. The tool weaves the study of culture with statistics to help understand human behavior. Shaffer is the university's Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Learning Sciences and is a faculty member with the School of Education's No. 1-ranked Department of Educational Psychology. He will deliver a presentation, "The Importance of Meaning: Going Beyond Mixed Methods to Turn Big Data into Real Understanding," at Union South on Tuesday, Oct. 16, from noon to 1 p.m.
October 04, 2018
The Wisconsin State Journal recently posted a report about Breathe For Change (B4C), a Madison-based company that’s designed to enhance the health and well-being of teachers, students and school communities through yoga, mindfulness and social-emotional learning. Breathe for Change was founded by Ilana Nankin, who earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2016. The State Journal reports: “The company runs the world’s only 200-hour Wellness and Yoga Teacher Training for Educators, and offers an app with recorded meditations and yoga classes as well as live interactive video sessions with wellness experts. It now employs 20 full-time team members and 125 part-time trainers, and has certified over 2,000 educators positively impacting over 250,000 students across the country.”
 
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