Big data has been the story of the past year. Nearly every industry sector has been hit by the urge to quantify, measure, and analyze, and they are using that information to improve their products and services, which in turn is improving our lives on both the micro and macro scales. (Can you even remember what shopping was like before personalized product recommendations?)
In this week’s Sunday Review we learn that less than 1 in 5 public school teachers in the US are non-white. Also, walking boosts creativity. Why Chile’s education system gets overhauled. MOOC’s disruption is just beginning. Overconfident men win against competent women. Google’s LMS and more.
Cengage Learning announced a partnership with Celebrus Technologies which aims to capture and analyze behavioral data of students and teachers to better understand how educational content is used in the classroom.
Celebrus Technologies’ big data software will be implemented in CengageNOW, Aplia and MindTap. The software will track log-in time, most visited pages and length of time spent on a page and the data is going to be used in research and development for existing and future digital products.
Full Release after the break
“In less than two years, inBloom went from being a sort of Holy Grail for student data services to a sacrificial lamb that has brought data and privacy discussions to the forefront.”
This article, plus a host of others over the last week, examined the pros and cons of Big Business collecting a pool of student data. They asked: Is this river of data good for society? Does this sea of data invade a student’s privacy? And, most importantly, where do we draw the line — at which point do we say that the ocean of data-ostensibly required to steer our education policy, is simply not worth the potential harm to individual students? While these are valid and important issues in this debate, I found myself wondering if our national conversation was ignoring another crucial question: Is even a drop of this data being used to benefit any actual students?
Excelegrade is a project Nikea Davis, Lauren Miller and Jason Brein who I interviewed for this episode of edugogo. The team wants to provide teachers and principals with a tool that tracks student performance on a question by question basis. Excelegrade also compares the overall performance of the class or school with others in the US, enabling teachers and principals to check where their school stands in the national ranking.
Excelegrade enables teachers create tests in under two minutes. This way they can immediately verify if students understood the topic at that very moment.
The software is cloud based and device agnostic which means it works on iOS devices, Android, and any modern browser. Besides that Excelegrade also supports classic print out tests. This is crucial for schools that take part in the BYOD movement and also helps to bridge the digital divide in classrooms where some students might not have access to technology like smart phones, tablets or laptops.
Excelegrade also features a pre-populated database of common core aligned test questions which teachers can use to create their tests. This is a great help in the transition period to the national common core standard teachers are facing from this school year on.
The software is already working and being tested by teachers. You can watch a product demo here. For more information, visit excelegrade.com and fill out the survey to get access to a free trial of Excelegrade. And of course check out the Indiegogo campaign where you can get heavily discounted subscriptions for individual teachers up to entire grades.