Big Data: November 20, 2013
When I was first introduced to the term “big data” I believed that it was a term used mainly by marketing companies and researchers who wanted to better understand and relate to our society. I soon realized that the term ‘big data’ can be applied to every aspect of peoples lives in the 21st century. From our purchases on amazon to our visits to the doctor office, data is being collected on us. The article I chose sheds light on big data in education and ties into David Golumbi’s thoughts and ideas in this weeks reading. Written by Doug Guthrie in U.S. News and World Report, “The Coming of Big Data Education Revolution” explores the development of big data in the field of eduction, and how the collection of big data will change education more than the devleopment of MOOCs (an online learning tool). Guthrie argues that,”Big data in the online learning space will give institutions the predictive tools they need to improve learning outcomes for individual students. By designing a curriculum that collects data at every step of the student learning process, universities can address student needs with customized modules, assignments, feedback and learning trees in the curriculum that will promote better and richer learning.”modeling of google one click personalized advertising, colleges will do the same and customize courses to the individual. This articles reflects the evolution, strength and importance of ’computing’ discussied in Golumbi introduction. Golumbi states, “I argue that the current vogue for computation takes this old belief system-that something like rational calculation might account for every part of the material world, and especially the social and metal worlds-and repurposes it in such a way so as to give every appearance of it being something new.” Education is an old institution, but with the expansion of online applications and big data educators can focus on the individual versus the whole and create a new learning environment. Educators are taking an old way of ‘computing’ (meaning evaluation) and creating a new way of testing individual learning abilities through applications presented in Guthrie article. He writes,”Smart universities are looking for ways to adapt using big data and community-building technologies. They know that students will seek opportunities that allow them to virtually cross borders and boundaries in learning. Beyond online learning, administrators understand that big data can be used in admissions, budgeting and student services to ensure transparency, better distribution of resources and identification of at-risk students.” Here big data is being utilized in a positive aspect by tailoring classes to the individual, rather then the group. Education is just one institution to implement big data into their everyday needs.
Through my reading of Guthrie and Golumbi it shed light on the difference between my past views on what ‘big data’ and what truly is entailed in big data. Big data can be applied to everyday life, either in a positive or negative. Overall I find that big data can be a good and bad thing for society. it can provided information on how to tailor education to better serve a student or it can be invasive in our personal lives. Big data will be forever ingrained into our society, due to the evolution, importance and relevence of ‘computing’.