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.