IBM Predictive Analytics Solutions for Education can help you improve outcomes
Your data is a record of what’s already happened. But did you know that the same data—combined with the right analytical tools—can give you a forward-looking view of your situation, along with recommendations for decision making?
Read this white paperto learn how predictive analytics can help your institution address a range of challenges, from increasing graduation rates student by student to optimizing recruitment, fundraising and the performance measures that matter most.
– the first goal of this technology instruction is to figure out the current state of technology in K12 settings.
* split in groups * using each group member’s information and experience about technology in general and technology in school settings, use the flow chart above and identify any known technology, which can improve the process of each step in the flow chart.
* reconvene and compare results among groups. Find similarities and discrepancies and agree on a pool of applicable technology tools and concepts, which can improve the process reflected in the flow chart.
Example how to meet the requirements for the first goal: 1. based on your technological proficiency, how can you aid your study using system thinking/systems approach? the work ahead of you is collaborative. What collaborative tools do you know, which can help the team work across time and space? Skype, Google Hangouts for audio/video/desktopsharing. Google Drive/Docs for working on policies and similar text-based documents.
Work on the following assignment:
Trends in technology cannot be taken separately from other issues and are closely intertwined with other “big” trends :
keeping in mind this interdependence / balance, please work in groups on the following questions. Using the available links above and the literature they lead to, as well as your own findings, please provide your best opinion to these questions:
when planning for a new building and determining learning spaces, what is the percentage of importance, which we place on technology, in relation to furniture, for example?
how much do teachers have a say in the planning of the building, considering that they had worked and prefer “their type” of learning space?
who decides what technology and how? how one rationalizes the equation technology = learning spaces = available finances?
how much outsourcing (consulting) on any of the components of the equation above one can afford / consider? How much weight the strategic planning puts on the consulting (outsourcing) versus the internal opinion (staff and administrators)?
how “far in the future” your strategic plan is willing / able to look at, in terms of technology – learning spaces?
How to stay current with the technology developments:
Applications for the 2018 Institute will be accepted between December 1, 2017 and January 27, 2018. Scholars accepted to the program will be notified in early March 2018.
Learning to Harness Big Data in an Academic Library
Research on Big Data per se, as well as on the importance and organization of the process of Big Data collection and analysis, is well underway. The complexity of the process comprising “Big Data,” however, deprives organizations of ubiquitous “blue print.” The planning, structuring, administration and execution of the process of adopting Big Data in an organization, being that a corporate one or an educational one, remains an elusive one. No less elusive is the adoption of the Big Data practices among libraries themselves. Seeking the commonalities and differences in the adoption of Big Data practices among libraries may be a suitable start to help libraries transition to the adoption of Big Data and restructuring organizational and daily activities based on Big Data decisions. Introduction to the problem. Limitations
The redefinition of humanities scholarship has received major attention in higher education. The advent of digital humanities challenges aspects of academic librarianship. Data literacy is a critical need for digital humanities in academia. The March 2016 Library Juice Academy Webinar led by John Russel exemplifies the efforts to help librarians become versed in obtaining programming skills, and respectively, handling data. Those are first steps on a rather long path of building a robust infrastructure to collect, analyze, and interpret data intelligently, so it can be utilized to restructure daily and strategic activities. Since the phenomenon of Big Data is young, there is a lack of blueprints on the organization of such infrastructure. A collection and sharing of best practices is an efficient approach to establishing a feasible plan for setting a library infrastructure for collection, analysis, and implementation of Big Data.
Limitations. This research can only organize the results from the responses of librarians and research into how libraries present themselves to the world in this arena. It may be able to make some rudimentary recommendations. However, based on each library’s specific goals and tasks, further research and work will be needed.
Big Data is becoming an omnipresent term. It is widespread among different disciplines in academia (De Mauro, Greco, & Grimaldi, 2016). This leads to “inconsistency in meanings and necessity for formal definitions” (De Mauro et al, 2016, p. 122). Similarly, to De Mauro et al (2016), Hashem, Yaqoob, Anuar, Mokhtar, Gani and Ullah Khan (2015) seek standardization of definitions. The main connected “themes” of this phenomenon must be identified and the connections to Library Science must be sought. A prerequisite for a comprehensive definition is the identification of Big Data methods. Bughin, Chui, Manyika (2011), Chen et al. (2012) and De Mauro et al (2015) single out the methods to complete the process of building a comprehensive definition.
In conjunction with identifying the methods, volume, velocity, and variety, as defined by Laney (2001), are the three properties of Big Data accepted across the literature. Daniel (2015) defines three stages in big data: collection, analysis, and visualization. According to Daniel, (2015), Big Data in higher education “connotes the interpretation of a wide range of administrative and operational data” (p. 910) and according to Hilbert (2013), as cited in Daniel (2015), Big Data “delivers a cost-effective prospect to improve decision making” (p. 911).
The importance of understanding the process of Big Data analytics is well understood in academic libraries. An example of such “administrative and operational” use for cost-effective improvement of decision making are the Finch & Flenner (2016) and Eaton (2017) case studies of the use of data visualization to assess an academic library collection and restructure the acquisition process. Sugimoto, Ding & Thelwall (2012) call for the discussion of Big Data for libraries. According to the 2017 NMC Horizon Report “Big Data has become a major focus of academic and research libraries due to the rapid evolution of data mining technologies and the proliferation of data sources like mobile devices and social media” (Adams, Becker, et al., 2017, p. 38).
Power (2014) elaborates on the complexity of Big Data in regard to decision-making and offers ideas for organizations on building a system to deal with Big Data. As explained by Boyd and Crawford (2012) and cited in De Mauro et al (2016), there is a danger of a new digital divide among organizations with different access and ability to process data. Moreover, Big Data impacts current organizational entities in their ability to reconsider their structure and organization. The complexity of institutions’ performance under the impact of Big Data is further complicated by the change of human behavior, because, arguably, Big Data affects human behavior itself (Schroeder, 2014).
De Mauro et al (2015) touch on the impact of Dig Data on libraries. The reorganization of academic libraries considering Big Data and the handling of Big Data by libraries is in a close conjunction with the reorganization of the entire campus and the handling of Big Data by the educational institution. In additional to the disruption posed by the Big Data phenomenon, higher education is facing global changes of economic, technological, social, and educational character. Daniel (2015) uses a chart to illustrate the complexity of these global trends. Parallel to the Big Data developments in America and Asia, the European Union is offering access to an EU open data portal (https://data.europa.eu/euodp/home ). Moreover, the Association of European Research Libraries expects under the H2020 program to increase “the digitization of cultural heritage, digital preservation, research data sharing, open access policies and the interoperability of research infrastructures” (Reilly, 2013).
The challenges posed by Big Data to human and social behavior (Schroeder, 2014) are no less significant to the impact of Big Data on learning. Cohen, Dolan, Dunlap, Hellerstein, & Welton (2009) propose a road map for “more conservative organizations” (p. 1492) to overcome their reservations and/or inability to handle Big Data and adopt a practical approach to the complexity of Big Data. Two Chinese researchers assert deep learning as the “set of machine learning techniques that learn multiple levels of representation in deep architectures (Chen & Lin, 2014, p. 515). Deep learning requires “new ways of thinking and transformative solutions (Chen & Lin, 2014, p. 523). Another pair of researchers from China present a broad overview of the various societal, business and administrative applications of Big Data, including a detailed account and definitions of the processes and tools accompanying Big Data analytics. The American counterparts of these Chinese researchers are of the same opinion when it comes to “think about the core principles and concepts that underline the techniques, and also the systematic thinking” (Provost and Fawcett, 2013, p. 58). De Mauro, Greco, and Grimaldi (2016), similarly to Provost and Fawcett (2013) draw attention to the urgent necessity to train new types of specialists to work with such data. As early as 2012, Davenport and Patil (2012), as cited in Mauro et al (2016), envisioned hybrid specialists able to manage both technological knowledge and academic research. Similarly, Provost and Fawcett (2013) mention the efforts of “academic institutions scrambling to put together programs to train data scientists” (p. 51). Further, Asomoah, Sharda, Zadeh & Kalgotra (2017) share a specific plan on the design and delivery of a big data analytics course. At the same time, librarians working with data acknowledge the shortcomings in the profession, since librarians “are practitioners first and generally do not view usability as a primary job responsibility, usually lack the depth of research skills needed to carry out a fully valid” data-based research (Emanuel, 2013, p. 207).
Borgman (2015) devotes an entire book to data and scholarly research and goes beyond the already well-established facts regarding the importance of Big Data, the implications of Big Data and the technical, societal, and educational impact and complications posed by Big Data. Borgman elucidates the importance of knowledge infrastructure and the necessity to understand the importance and complexity of building such infrastructure, in order to be able to take advantage of Big Data. In a similar fashion, a team of Chinese scholars draws attention to the complexity of data mining and Big Data and the necessity to approach the issue in an organized fashion (Wu, Xhu, Wu, Ding, 2014).
Bruns (2013) shifts the conversation from the “macro” architecture of Big Data, as focused by Borgman (2015) and Wu et al (2014) and ponders over the influx and unprecedented opportunities for humanities in academia with the advent of Big Data. Does the seemingly ubiquitous omnipresence of Big Data mean for humanities a “railroading” into “scientificity”? How will research and publishing change with the advent of Big Data across academic disciplines?
Reyes (2015) shares her “skinny” approach to Big Data in education. She presents a comprehensive structure for educational institutions to shift “traditional” analytics to “learner-centered” analytics (p. 75) and identifies the participants in the Big Data process in the organization. The model is applicable for library use.
Being a new and unchartered territory, Big Data and Big Data analytics can pose ethical issues. Willis (2013) focusses on Big Data application in education, namely the ethical questions for higher education administrators and the expectations of Big Data analytics to predict students’ success. Daries, Reich, Waldo, Young, and Whittinghill (2014) discuss rather similar issues regarding the balance between data and student privacy regulations. The privacy issues accompanying data are also discussed by Tene and Polonetsky, (2013).
Privacy issues are habitually connected to security and surveillance issues. Andrejevic and Gates (2014) point out in a decision making “generated by data mining, the focus is not on particular individuals but on aggregate outcomes” (p. 195). Van Dijck (2014) goes into further details regarding the perils posed by metadata and data to the society, in particular to the privacy of citizens. Bail (2014) addresses the same issue regarding the impact of Big Data on societal issues, but underlines the leading roles of cultural sociologists and their theories for the correct application of Big Data.
Library organizations have been traditional proponents of core democratic values such as protection of privacy and elucidation of related ethical questions (Miltenoff & Hauptman, 2005). In recent books about Big Data and libraries, ethical issues are important part of the discussion (Weiss, 2018). Library blogs also discuss these issues (Harper & Oltmann, 2017). An academic library’s role is to educate its patrons about those values. Sugimoto et al (2012) reflect on the need for discussion about Big Data in Library and Information Science. They clearly draw attention to the library “tradition of organizing, managing, retrieving, collecting, describing, and preserving information” (p.1) as well as library and information science being “a historically interdisciplinary and collaborative field, absorbing the knowledge of multiple domains and bringing the tools, techniques, and theories” (p. 1). Sugimoto et al (2012) sought a wide discussion among the library profession regarding the implications of Big Data on the profession, no differently from the activities in other fields (e.g., Wixom, Ariyachandra, Douglas, Goul, Gupta, Iyer, Kulkami, Mooney, Phillips-Wren, Turetken, 2014). A current Andrew Mellon Foundation grant for Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries seeks an opportunity to view “both macro and micro perspectives, multi-user collaboration and real-time data interaction, and a limitless number of visualization possibilities – critical capabilities for rapidly understanding today’s large data sets (Hwangbo, 2014).
The importance of the library with its traditional roles, as described by Sugimoto et al (2012) may continue, considering the Big Data platform proposed by Wu, Wu, Khabsa, Williams, Chen, Huang, Tuarob, Choudhury, Ororbia, Mitra, & Giles (2014). Such platforms will continue to emerge and be improved, with librarians as the ultimate drivers of such platforms and as the mediators between the patrons and the data generated by such platforms.
Every library needs to find its place in the large organization and in society in regard to this very new and very powerful phenomenon called Big Data. Libraries might not have the trained staff to become a leader in the process of organizing and building the complex mechanism of this new knowledge architecture, but librarians must educate and train themselves to be worthy participants in this new establishment.
The study will be cleared by the SCSU IRB.
The survey will collect responses from library population and it readiness to use and use of Big Data. Send survey URL to (academic?) libraries around the world.
Data will be processed through SPSS. Open ended results will be processed manually. The preliminary research design presupposes a mixed method approach.
The study will include the use of closed-ended survey response questions and open-ended questions. The first part of the study (close ended, quantitative questions) will be completed online through online survey. Participants will be asked to complete the survey using a link they receive through e-mail.
Mixed methods research was defined by Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004) as “the class of research where the researcher mixes or combines quantitative and qualitative research techniques, methods, approaches, concepts, or language into a single study” (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004 , p. 17). Quantitative and qualitative methods can be combined, if used to complement each other because the methods can measure different aspects of the research questions (Sale, Lohfeld, & Brazil, 2002).
Online survey of 10-15 question, with 3-5 demographic and the rest regarding the use of tools.
1-2 open-ended questions at the end of the survey to probe for follow-up mixed method approach (an opportunity for qualitative study)
data analysis techniques: survey results will be exported to SPSS and analyzed accordingly. The final survey design will determine the appropriate statistical approach.
Complete literature review and identify areas of interest – two months
Prepare and test instrument (survey) – month
IRB and other details – month
Generate a list of potential libraries to distribute survey – month
Contact libraries. Follow up and contact again, if necessary (low turnaround) – month
Collect, analyze data – two months
Write out data findings – month
Complete manuscript – month
Proofreading and other details – month
Significance of the work
While it has been widely acknowledged that Big Data (and its handling) is changing higher education (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=big+data) as well as academic libraries (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2016/03/29/analytics-in-education/), it remains nebulous how Big Data is handled in the academic library and, respectively, how it is related to the handling of Big Data on campus. Moreover, the visualization of Big Data between units on campus remains in progress, along with any policymaking based on the analysis of such data (hence the need for comprehensive visualization).
This research will aim to gain an understanding on: a. how librarians are handling Big Data; b. how are they relating their Big Data output to the campus output of Big Data and c. how librarians in particular and campus administration in general are tuning their practices based on the analysis.
Based on the survey returns (if there is a statistically significant return), this research might consider juxtaposing the practices from academic libraries, to practices from special libraries (especially corporate libraries), public and school libraries.
Adams Becker, S., Cummins M, Davis, A., Freeman, A., Giesinger Hall, C., Ananthanarayanan, V., … Wolfson, N. (2017). NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Library Edition.
Andrejevic, M., & Gates, K. (2014). Big Data Surveillance: Introduction. Surveillance & Society, 12(2), 185–196.
Asamoah, D. A., Sharda, R., Hassan Zadeh, A., & Kalgotra, P. (2017). Preparing a Data Scientist: A Pedagogic Experience in Designing a Big Data Analytics Course. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 15(2), 161–190. https://doi.org/10.1111/dsji.12125
Cohen, J., Dolan, B., Dunlap, M., Hellerstein, J. M., & Welton, C. (2009). MAD Skills: New Analysis Practices for Big Data. Proc. VLDB Endow., 2(2), 1481–1492. https://doi.org/10.14778/1687553.1687576
Daniel, B. (2015). Big Data and analytics in higher education: Opportunities and challenges. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(5), 904–920. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12230
Daries, J. P., Reich, J., Waldo, J., Young, E. M., Whittinghill, J., Ho, A. D., … Chuang, I. (2014). Privacy, Anonymity, and Big Data in the Social Sciences. Commun. ACM, 57(9), 56–63. https://doi.org/10.1145/2643132
De Mauro, A., Greco, M., & Grimaldi, M. (2015). What is big data? A consensual definition and a review of key research topics. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1644(1), 97–104. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4907823
Emanuel, J. (2013). Usability testing in libraries: methods, limitations, and implications. OCLC Systems & Services: International Digital Library Perspectives, 29(4), 204–217. https://doi.org/10.1108/OCLC-02-2013-0009
Hashem, I. A. T., Yaqoob, I., Anuar, N. B., Mokhtar, S., Gani, A., & Ullah Khan, S. (2015). The rise of “big data” on cloud computing: Review and open research issues. Information Systems, 47(Supplement C), 98–115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.is.2014.07.006
Philip Chen, C. L., & Zhang, C.-Y. (2014). Data-intensive applications, challenges, techniques and technologies: A survey on Big Data. Information Sciences, 275(Supplement C), 314–347. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ins.2014.01.015
Sugimoto, C. R., Ding, Y., & Thelwall, M. (2012). Library and information science in the big data era: Funding, projects, and future [a panel proposal]. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 49(1), 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1002/meet.14504901187
Tene, O., & Polonetsky, J. (2012). Big Data for All: Privacy and User Control in the Age of Analytics. Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, 11, [xxvii]-274.
van Dijck, J. (2014). Datafication, dataism and dataveillance: Big Data between scientific paradigm and ideology. Surveillance & Society; Newcastle upon Tyne, 12(2), 197–208.
Waller, M. A., & Fawcett, S. E. (2013). Data Science, Predictive Analytics, and Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform Supply Chain Design and Management. Journal of Business Logistics, 34(2), 77–84. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbl.12010
Wu, Z., Wu, J., Khabsa, M., Williams, K., Chen, H. H., Huang, W., … Giles, C. L. (2014). Towards building a scholarly big data platform: Challenges, lessons and opportunities. In IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (pp. 117–126). https://doi.org/10.1109/JCDL.2014.6970157
W3Schools – Fantastic set of interactive tutorials for learning different languages. Their SQL tutorial is second to none. You’ll learn how to manipulate data in MySQL, SQL Server, Access, Oracle, Sybase, DB2 and other database systems.
Treasure Data – The best way to learn is to work towards a goal. That’s what this helpful blog series is all about. You’ll learn SQL from scratch by following along with a simple, but common, data analysis scenario.
10 Queries – This course is recommended for the intermediate SQL-er who wants to brush up on his/her skills. It’s a series of 10 challenges coupled with forums and external videos to help you improve your SQL knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles.
TryR – Created by Code School, this interactive online tutorial system is designed to step you through R for statistics and data modeling. As you work through their seven modules, you’ll earn badges to track your progress helping you to stay on track.
Leada – If you’re a complete R novice, try Lead’s introduction to R. In their 1 hour 30 min course, they’ll cover installation, basic usage, common functions, data structures, and data types. They’ll even set you up with your own development environment in RStudio.
Advanced R – Once you’ve mastered the basics of R, bookmark this page. It’s a fantastically comprehensive style guide to using R. We should all strive to write beautiful code, and this resource (based on Google’s R style guide) is your key to that ideal.
Swirl – Learn R in R – a radical idea certainly. But that’s exactly what Swirl does. They’ll interactively teach you how to program in R and do some basic data science at your own pace. Right in the R console.
Python for beginners – The Python website actually has a pretty comprehensive and easy-to-follow set of tutorials. You can learn everything from installation to complex analyzes. It also gives you access to the Python community, who will be happy to answer your questions.
PythonSpot – A complete list of Python tutorials to take you from zero to Python hero. There are tutorials for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners.
Read all about it: data mining books
Data Jujitsu: The Art of Turning Data into Product – This free book by DJ Patil gives you a brief introduction to the complexity of data problems and how to approach them. He gives nice, understandable examples that cover the most important thought processes of data mining. It’s a great book for beginners but still interesting to the data mining expert. Plus, it’s free!
Data Mining: Concepts and Techniques – The third (and most recent) edition will give you an understanding of the theory and practice of discovering patterns in large data sets. Each chapter is a stand-alone guide to a particular topic, making it a good resource if you’re not into reading in sequence or you want to know about a particular topic.
Mining of Massive Datasets – Based on the Stanford Computer Science course, this book is often sighted by data scientists as one of the most helpful resources around. It’s designed at the undergraduate level with no formal prerequisites. It’s the next best thing to actually going to Stanford!
Hadoop: The Definitive Guide – As a data scientist, you will undoubtedly be asked about Hadoop. So you’d better know how it works. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to build and maintain reliable, scalable, distributed systems with Apache Hadoop. Make sure you get the most recent addition to keep up with this fast-changing service.
Online learning: data mining webinars and courses
DataCamp – Learn data mining from the comfort of your home with DataCamp’s online courses. They have free courses on R, Statistics, Data Manipulation, Dynamic Reporting, Large Data Sets and much more.
Coursera – Coursera brings you all the best University courses straight to your computer. Their online classes will teach you the fundamentals of interpreting data, performing analyzes and communicating insights. They have topics for beginners and advanced learners in Data Analysis, Machine Learning, Probability and Statistics and more.
Udemy – With a range of free and pay for data mining courses, you’re sure to find something you like on Udemy no matter your level. There are 395 in the area of data mining! All their courses are uploaded by other Udemy users meaning quality can fluctuate so make sure you read the reviews.
CodeSchool – These courses are handily organized into “Paths” based on the technology you want to learn. You can do everything from build a foundation in Git to take control of a data layer in SQL. Their engaging online videos will take you step-by-step through each lesson and their challenges will let you practice what you’ve learned in a controlled environment.
Udacity – Master a new skill or programming language with Udacity’s unique series of online courses and projects. Each class is developed by a Silicon Valley tech giant, so you know what your learning will be directly applicable to the real world.
Treehouse – Learn from experts in web design, coding, business and more. The video tutorials from Treehouse will teach you the basics and their quizzes and coding challenges will ensure the information sticks. And their UI is pretty easy on the eyes.
Learn from the best: top data miners to follow
John Foreman – Chief Data Scientist at MailChimp and author of Data Smart, John is worth a follow for his witty yet poignant tweets on data science.
DJ Patil – Author and Chief Data Scientist at The White House OSTP, DJ tweets everything you’ve ever wanted to know about data in politics.
Nate Silver – He’s Editor-in-Chief of FiveThirtyEight, a blog that uses data to analyze news stories in Politics, Sports, and Current Events.
Andrew Ng – As the Chief Data Scientist at Baidu, Andrew is responsible for some of the most groundbreaking developments in Machine Learning and Data Science.
Bernard Marr – He might know pretty much everything there is to know about Big Data.
Gregory Piatetsky – He’s the author of popular data science blog KDNuggets, the leading newsletter on data mining and knowledge discovery.
Christian Rudder – As the Co-founder of OKCupid, Christian has access to one of the most unique datasets on the planet and he uses it to give fascinating insight into human nature, love, and relationships
Dean Abbott – He’s contributed to a number of data blogs and authored his own book on Applied Predictive Analytics. At the moment, Dean is Chief Data Scientist at SmarterHQ.
Practice what you’ve learned: data mining competitions
Kaggle – This is the ultimate data mining competition. The world’s biggest corporations offer big prizes for solving their toughest data problems.
Stack Overflow – The best way to learn is to teach. Stackoverflow offers the perfect forum for you to prove your data mining know-how by answering fellow enthusiast’s questions.
TunedIT – With a live leaderboard and interactive participation, TunedIT offers a great platform to flex your data mining muscles.
DrivenData – You can find a number of nonprofit data mining challenges on DataDriven. All of your mining efforts will go towards a good cause.
Quora – Another great site to answer questions on just about everything. There are plenty of curious data lovers on there asking for help with data mining and data science.
Meet your fellow data miner: social networks, groups and meetups
Facebook – As with many social media platforms, Facebook is a great place to meet and interact with people who have similar interests. There are a number of very active data mining groups you can join.
LinkedIn – If you’re looking for data mining experts in a particular field, look no further than LinkedIn. There are hundreds of data mining groups ranging from the generic to the hyper-specific. In short, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Meetup – Want to meet your fellow data miners in person? Attend a meetup! Just search for data mining in your city and you’re sure to find an awesome group near you.
real-time impact on curriculum structure, instruction delivery and student learning, permitting change and improvement. It can also provide insight into important trends that affect present and future resource needs.
Big Data: Traditionally described as high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information.
Learning or Data Analytics: The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.
Educational Data Mining: The techniques, tools and research designed for automatically extracting meaning from large repositories of data generated by or related to people’s learning activities in educational settings.
Predictive Analytics: Algorithms that help analysts predict behavior or events based on data.
Predictive Modeling: The process of creating, testing and validating a model to best predict the probability of an outcome.
Data analytics, or the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data, is driving decisionmaking in many institutions. However, because of the unique nature of each district’s or college’s data needs, many are building their own solutions.
For example, in 2014 the nonprofit company inBloom, Inc., backed by $100 million from the Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, closed its doors amid controversy regarding its plan to store, clean and aggregate a range of student information for states and districts and then make the data available to district-approved third parties to develop tools and dashboards so the data could be used by classroom educators.22
Tips for Student Data Privacy
Know the Laws and Regulations
There are many regulations on the books intended to protect student privacy and safety: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
— as well as state, district and community laws. Because technology changes so rapidly, it is unlikely laws and regulations will keep pace with new data protection needs. Establish a committee to ascertain your institution’s level of understanding of and compliance with these laws, along with additional safeguard measures.
Make a Checklist Your institution’s privacy policies should cover security, user safety, communications, social media, access, identification rules, and intrusion detection and prevention.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Students, staff, faculty and parents all need to know their rights and responsibilities regarding data privacy. Convey your technology plans, policies and requirements and then assess and re-communicate those throughout each year.
“Anything-as-a-Service” or “X-as-a-Service” solutions can help K-12 and higher education institutions cope with big data by offering storage, analytics capabilities and more. These include:
• Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): Providers offer cloud-based storage, similar to a campus storage area network (SAN)
• Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): Opens up application platforms — as opposed to the applications themselves — so others can build their own applications
using underlying operating systems, data models and databases; pre-built application components and interfaces
• Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): The hosting of applications in the cloud
• Big-Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS): Mix all the above together, upscale the amount of data involved by an enormous amount and you’ve got BDaaS
Use accurate data correctly
Define goals and develop metrics
Eliminate silos, integrate data
Remember, intelligence is the goal
Maintain a robust, supportive enterprise infrastructure.
Prioritize student privacy
Develop bullet-proof data governance guidelines
Create a culture of collaboration and sharing, not compliance.