Crops of Chaos

MOOC Meanderings

Data Mining and Education

As education shifts  from analogue practices to digital practices, I wonder how data mining may create value for Education.  If data mining and the analysis of of networks /social networks contributes to the efficiency of companies (e.g. preventing fraud) and counterterrorism (as mentioned in The Economist), then certainly data mining also has a significant place in education. Micheal Chui (from McKinsey Global Institute) stresses how this explosion of data and understanding it, will be the key to creating innovation and adding value.

On the one hand, I understand how links, connections in social networks may contribute to change in education; on the other hand, I am intrigued in how connecting, analysing, and linking the huge data available today can be  creatively used in the field of education. It is simple to state that tech trends are converging and big data only matters to companies and consumer industries. However I don’t agree with that attitude, for if big data can create value for companies, for the pubic sector and even for the individual, then there must be value for education as well.

More than using big data in a “Big Brother” sense, the availability of data may provide glimpses of professional trends, job needs in the market, and even company culture. Being able to access this information would help education to keep up with social changes and hopefully, be able to better design and plan for learners, thus creating more value for the learner and in the educational process.

If fields such as health care, the public sector, retail and manufacturing can find new ways of creating value through the analysis of big data, then educational systems can not remain aloof to the results of this analysis. Today this analysis may even be illustrated at the ground level of the classroom – e.g. how a teacher’s performance variability  includes how much a teacher allows learners experiment, learning autonomy and even participation in decision-making in the classroom. The more these performances are illustrated, possibly with participants connecting, then perhaps stronger sense of reliability and trust in the disruptive elements of change may become part of one’s daily practices.

Another aspect which I am keen to learn more about on this course is the mapping of influences between larger segments of society, and how education picks up on this data,  interacts with politics, business and society in general, while creating added value  for teachers and learners.

Big data is accelerating and its analysis can inspire new connections, new outlooks and innovations. Although I still am following #Change11 as a quiet participant, Crops of Chaos is now a learning curve on Learning Analytics and how this may, or not, affect/involve education and social change.


Mining Social Networks – Untangling the Social Web

Big Data – The Next Frontier 


Knowing, Sharing, Knowledge

Sifting through information, knowing, understanding knowledge – all activities which one is constantly engaged in, knowingly or not.

Knowing demands understanding; knowledge  reflects on action. Both need a context  – be that of connections, an audience, or a field of action to make sense. Without action, without an audience to share, hoarding facts and figures is pointless. Libraries only serve their purpose if there are readers. Knowing only realizes its potential if shared with others.

Throughout these weeks I have been reading, listening to  others’ shared knowing and knowledge. I have reflected on how and whether these elements exist in my world of daily practice.

My world is made up of crops. Different contexts. Different values. Different knowledges.

Like scientific paradigms, tensions arise with each demanding to be the only and most superior  form of knowing.

Can connected nodes, connected clusters of knowledge  erode tensions between different cultures of knowledge? Or is the eternal struggle, of  tension between different cultures of knowledge,  what can be perceived as knowing?


Knowledge requires interaction.

Focusing on this MOOC  #change11 demands action of learning in face of such shared  wealth of knowledge.

Listening, Lurking, Learning

The current MOOC – Education, Learning and Technology – #change11 – began some weeks ago. Having known about it since George Siemens first announced the current MOOC in the summer, only now am I crossing the boundary of lingering, loitering  and visibly participating on the course. I have attended some live sessions, and naturally enjoyed reading the many contributions by participants in their #change11 blogs.

Stepping from the shadows into the light takes time.  Time to make sense, time to question, time to connect.

All connections are crops. Fragmentary beads of light and life, of knowledge and knowing, learning and sharing. As crops connect, so too is awareness raised, contributing to the dynamic collective consciousness which impulses one forward. New fields of knowing, new energies to share and pass on to others.

This blog is about crops – connections between windows of questions, reflections, and being an active participant on a MOOC.

As I begin my process of planting, cropping,  reaping connections, my sincerest thanks to all current participants who have shared and taught me so much so far.

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