Monday, 22 September 2014

Big Data: the implications for education and society

I refer to my previous post and Jose Ferreira`s talk about Knewton and its potential to provide each student with an individualised learning plan via its computer programmes. This is now the strength of Big Data which can track users in real time and make predictions about their future behaviour, or as close to that as matters.

It began with a question: `What if your math syllabus could tell you what to eat for breakfast to score higher on your quiz tomorrow?`Jose Ferreira`s talk then focused on the possibilities and benefits of personalised learning, using an example from mathematics. He never mentioned breakfast again.

Common Core in the USA insists that each child should be attached to a computer so that the above type of tracking can take place. (They have Bill Gates to thank for that.) That may appeal to those who view anything to do with computers as modern/hip/cool and the way forward for society. Youngsters in universities are being appealed to in their thousands in order to design such systems. Most of them are politically naive.

What has happened globally is that curricula have been changed in order to fit into the Big Data tracking possibilities. What did you have for breakfast is only the beginning?

Common Core, like Curriculum for Excellence and others, have introduced social and emotional learning into schools. This means that programmes can track attitudes, values and behaviours. If you want to monitor and control populations, that is the kind of information corporations and governments want.
Dr Duke Pesta (see above) gives another talk.

Note it is two hours and more long, but for those who wish to understand how Common Core has been slipped into the USA, under the radar, it is a good place to go. It is also an indication of what is planned for the rest of us.

See also



  1. I haven't the time to watch this now but intend to make the time over the next few days.

    Thanks (yet again) for all you're doing to get this information out.

  2. Something else I haven't actually had time to read yet but it came recommended by a friend:

  3. I like it. I`m going to put the link at the end of the post for reference.

    I see a lot about all the benefits that Big data can bring to businesses and governments, in the way of providing better services - but the point is Big data is about studying us. When your own government is so secretive about it, that`s a worry. When it transforms children`s education and introduces the GIRFEC surveillance system in readiness, that`s terrifying !

    The report raises a lot of the issues that concern people.