Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big Data...Big Concerns.

Lindsey Own (@LindseyOwn) posted an interesting read titled "How Big Corporate Marketing Analytics Can Disrupt Education - Crazy, Right?" - totally worth checking out. Here is my comment on her post, cross-posted here for reference.

This is one of those crossroads moments for me as an educator and tech enthusiast - I see so much potential in how tech can be applied to actually increase student and teacher learning and, I believe, change how we learn (in terms of both how we learn and how we structure learning). And then my department tells me today that in two years, the infamous and almost existent PARCCs will be administered in NYS to 9th, 10th, AND 11th grade ELA. That, and they will be given in two sittings: a three-day and a two-day (not full days, but double the length-wish of the current Regents exam). I hear this, and I have to ask myself if this a best practice to collect this data. I say no, there has to be a better way, a way we can use tech to give standardized formative assessments often, with real and lasting feedback for both student and teacher. shift the funding away from the pockets of the test-maker and use it to provide the test-taker (i.e. the students) with a viable way to create their learning. The politicians are sorely misled here.

I love the concept of using "big data"in my practice, and I hope that the right people get their voices heard soon.

On a related tangent, I found out about this tool at the Harvard Future of Learning session in 2011, but haven't followed up on it yet. Has anyone had experience with Disco tests (https://discotest.lectica.org/index_discotest.html)? I remember being blown away by the idea of using multiple, small, frequent standardized tests that provided real time data.