Learning with Big Data– the longer term of Education
Lessons personalized to the individual. Homework and tests optimized to what works best. Textbooks that talk back to teacher and author.
Big data changes learning.
Big data transforms learning by measuring aspects of education that have evaded empirical scrutiny for hundreds of years. this can be different than simply adding engineering to varsities. We’ve been doing that since the 1980s, with the result that plenty of old IT junk had to be carted away. And MOOCs merely democratize the distribution of education — it’s the standard “sage on a stage” except it’s via a screen.
However, the important change happens once we apply big data to learning. Then almost everything gets upended. we will collect and analyze how students interact with the fabric, so we’re ready to see what materials work best and teachers can improve their performance too. Students can learn at their own pace. We get unprecedented visibility into the training process. the main focus here isn’t to spy on students, but to be told about learning.
Learning with big data brings three main changes. we will collect feedback data that was impractical or impossible to amass before. we will individualize learning, tailoring it to not a cohort of comparable students, but to the individual student’s needs. and that we can use probabilistic predictions to optimize what they learn, after they learn, and the way they learn. As these changes unfold, we’ll find that several of the tools and institutions we depend upon must themselves change.
The e-textbook, the digital lecture, the very university becomes a platform or nexus for the acquisition and analysis of knowledge. this might result in an unbundling of the academic experience and maybe bring new competition to several areas of education, as new players emerge.
However, the wedding of massive data and learning also brings significant dangers. One is that the permanence of knowledge about evanescent aspects of our lives, which may give them undue significance. There’s also the danger that our predictions may, within the guise of tailoring education to individual learning, actually narrow a person’s educational opportunities to those predetermined by some algorithm. Many probabilistic learning reduce education from a shared experience to at least one that’s custom-made—but so insular that we’re atomized.
Among our remedies could be a concern a shift from regulating how data is collected to rules regarding how it’s used. this can allow us to be told from data while at the identical time it places strong constraints on big-data analyses that risk tarnishing a student’s future through probabilistic predictions. We also argue for tough enforcement and skilled specialists—algorithmist—to assess the effectiveness and navigate the intricacies of big-data systems.
We have always seen in new technologies the prospect to reform education, whether through CDs, television, radio, telephone, or computers. “Books will soon be obsolete within the public schools,” inventor stated confidently in 1913. “It is feasible to show every branch of human knowledge with the picture. our faculty system are going to be completely changed within ten years.” Will big data really go where other innovations have barely made a dent?
Yes it’ll. Big data will fundamentally alter education. By gathering and analyzing more information about how each folks learns, we’ll be ready to tailor the experience to the precise needs of individual students, a selected teacher, and a selected classroom. the character of education fundamentally changes, because with big data, society can finally find out how to find out.