big data and student academic performance

Researchers use an app to predict GPA based on smartphone use

Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Austin have developed an app that tracks smartphone activity to compute a grade point average that’s within 0.17 of a point.

More on Big Data in education in this blog:

less boys, more girls in college

Why Girls Tend to Get Better Grades Than Boys Do

New research shows that girls are ahead in every subject, including math and science. Do today’s grading methods skew in their favor?

The latest data from the Pew Research Center uses U.S. Census Bureau data to show that in 2012, 71 percent of female high school graduates went on to college, compared to 61 percent of their male counterparts. In 1994 the figures were 63 and 61 percent, respectively.

Girls succeed over boys in school because they are more apt to plan ahead, set academic goals, and put effort into achieving those goals.

The weaker sex

Big Data. Tracking Students’ Grades Minute-By-Minute: Help or Hindrance

Flanagan, L. (n.d.). Tracking Students’ Grades Minute-By-Minute: Help or Hindrance? MindShift. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from
For all the data and feedback they provide, student information systems interfere with learning.
“School isn’t about learning. It’s about doing well.”
The singular focus on grades that these systems encourage turns learning into a competitive, zero-sum game for students.
My notes:
the parallel with the online grades systems at K12 is the Big Data movement at Higher Ed. Big Data must be about assisting teaching, not about determining teaching and instructors must be very well aware and very carefully navigating in this nebulous areas of assisting versus determining.
This article about quantifying management of teaching and learning in K12 reminds me the big hopes put on technocrats governing counties and economies in the 70s of the last centuries when the advent of the computers was celebrated as the solution of all our problems. Haven’t we, as civilization learned anything from that lesson?

mobile technology, badges, flipped classrooms, and learning analytics according to Bryan Alexander

Very short video of Bryan Alexander, senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, discussing the issues and opportunities facing mobile technology, badges, flipped classrooms, and learning analytics: