inBloom

inBloom: Welcome to the Big Data Backlash

For those of us who live, eat, and breathe technology, the cloud is something we take for granted. At a high level, the cloud refers to a collection of technologies for deploying applications and storing data across multiple servers and computing appliances. There are public clouds from which businesses can essentially rent capacity and private clouds on which organizations host their own data but leverage the technology and inherent flexibility of a cloud infrastructure. The cloud, whether public or private, has enabled all sorts of innovative applications, lowered computing costs in the Internet Age, and is a proven technology that is absolutely here to stay.


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Picture: “New York – Brooklyn Bridge” by Daxis via Flickr

Christopher Dawson is EDUKWEST's Editor at Large. He is also Senior Contributing Editor at Ziff Davis and The Channel Company.

  • Paul Smith

    Excellent perspective Chris. I I’ve read and reread the NY bill and it seems to boil the ocean. http://goo.gl/HJae19

    Here’s what the legislation specifically bans:

    “SHARED LEARNING INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICE PROVIDER” OR “SLISP” SHALL MEAN ANY ENTITY THAT COLLECTS, STORES, ORGANIZES, OR AGGREGATES STUDENT INFORMATION AND CONTRACTS WITH OR ENTERS INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF PROVIDING STUDENT INFORMATION TO A DATA DASHBOARD OPERATOR FOR USE IN A DATA DASHBOARD. PROVIDED THAT THE TERM SLISP SHALL NOT INCLUDE BOARDS OF COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES OR REGIONAL INFORMATION CENTERS OPERATED BY BOARDS OF COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES OR OTHER PUBLIC ENTITIES.”

    So, eScholar has been in NY since 2004, aggregating PII at the state level and providing data dashboards. I suppose, that if their dashboards are only available at the local level then it’s okay? But I don’t see how that’s different from what inBloom was trying to do. If inBloom was doing state-level dashboards, couldn’t they just kill that part of the service for NY? Why delete all the data?

    IMO, I don’t see the need to aggregate PII at the state level. However, I do think it would be extremely valuable to answer questions like:
    – What is the chronic absenteeism rate across the state and by district/school?
    – What is the suspension rate rate across the state, by district/school and by demographic subgroup?
    – What is the current final grade percentage for Algebra for all freshman across the state, by district/school and by demographic subgroup?
    – Etc., and how have these numbers changed over the past 3, 5 and 10 years?

    We don’t need any PII to answer questions like these.