|By Keith Cawley||
|August 5, 2014 11:15 AM EDT||
Behavioral economists theorize that "when presented with many options and little information, people find it difficult to make wise choices." This is the root of the movement to incorporate Big Data into the classroom. By compiling student data from an early age, we are able to better understand learning processes and identify issues, ultimately resulting in wiser, more informed decisions. Now when a teacher threatens that "this will go down on your permanent record," they really mean it.
The widespread adoption of tablets and devices in schools lets us track key performance indicators like how long a student hovers over a question before answering, how digital activity during a homework assignment relates to their understanding of the subject matter, and therefore identify what lessons were most and least successful. Publishers receive feedback regarding textbooks, based on length of time students spent on certain chapters and their overall grasp of the subject matters, so the books can be revised easily and often.
Skeptics argue that using this data will turn students into numbers in a dehumanized system where their personal information is practically public and teachers are replaced by machines. A premature overreaction perhaps, but it's these serious concerns versus the potentially astounding benefits that have us all wondering what our own digital trail of breadcrumbs would have revealed and how Big Data can make its way into the classrooms of the future.
Effective data use lets teachers pinpoint how specific initiatives impact a student's future successes immediately, instead of relying on yearly standardized testing to gauge their students' progress. Nationwide analysis would generate far more detailed and accurate comparisons of school districts, than disparate data that can easily be seen out-of-context.
The time and energy alone we put into ensuring children receive a good education seems to increase at triple the rate of inflation. Each year things get a little bit more competitive, and more expensive. Parents start saving for their children's college education at birth, if not sooner. Four year olds are "interviewing" for acceptance into Pre-K programs which begin the college prep they'll endure throughout their next 13 academic years. Yet despite all of these efforts, many capable students find themselves utterly unprepared when they reach freshman year of college. In 2013 only 71.9% of those freshman returned for their sophomore year and a mere 52.6% will actually graduate from a four year university within five years. Faced with hundreds of majors to choose from and classes that all sound the same on paper, students are overwhelmed and many end up spending extra time and money making up for poor decisions they made early on.
Many college campuses are testing the use of Big Data, including Arizona State University (ASU) and Austin Peay University in Tennessee, to help students make better choices when it comes to their education. At ASU, freshmen are required to declare a major early on. After this, eAdvising (a digital education platform) tracks the courses they take and the grades they receive, to ensure they remain "on track" to graduate in four years. The roadmap feature displays required courses for the entire four year degree timeline, frontloading key courses so that the students can determine early on if the major is not the right fit. Even then, the program will suggest alternate routes based on the student's interests and past successes. If a student fails to maintain course requirements or their grades for two semesters in a row they are deemed "off track" and required to choose a new course of action.
Austin Peay developed a similar program which gives students suggestions on classes that they have the highest chance of success in, based on their past performances. Recommended courses are presented using the familiar star ranking system, much like you would see on Netflix. The goal is to take a decision that involves hundreds of variables and break it down into actionable advice. Students are aware of the course requirements for their majors but often there are multiple choices that will fulfill that one requirement. The algorithm pools the student's grades, high school GPA, and ACT scores along with data from other students who have taken courses in the past, then uses the data to predict the courses in which you are statistically most likely to succeed.
Will these intuitive programs result in a generation of students who are more focused because they spent less time and money paying for mistakes they made during college, or will it end up crippling college grads by essentially making tough decisions for them? It will take years to know the answers to such questions, but the use of business intelligence in education is quickly becoming the norm.
Have you experienced the effects, positive or negative, of data use in the classroom? What do you think the future of Big Data in the academic world should look like?
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
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SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
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Jan. 26, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 2,088
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Jan. 26, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,254
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Jan. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 3,857
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
Jan. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,314
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Jan. 26, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,522
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
Jan. 26, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,056
“The age of the Internet of Things is upon us,” stated Thomas Svensson, senior vice-president and general manager EMEA, ThingWorx, “and working with forward-thinking companies, such as Elisa, enables us to deploy our leading technology so that customers can profit from complete, end-to-end solutions.” ThingWorx, a PTC® (Nasdaq: PTC) business and Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider, announced on Monday that Elisa, Finnish provider of mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions, will deploy ThingWorx® platform technology to enable a new Elisa IoT service in Finland and Estonia.
Jan. 26, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,565
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
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As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
Jan. 26, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,845
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...
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Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Jan. 26, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 2,511
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Jan. 26, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,340
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
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Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
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SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Jan. 26, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,638