I think I know what the problem at my work is. The calendar says it is 2019 but according to the Weller piece we have not moved past the year 2000. For this post we are supposed to pick one lesson and even Weller states a lesson should resonate with most practitioners. How about all eighteen of them. No let me correct that because there is some technology, we have not even discovered yet. So, they cannot be even be a problem yet-can it?
My section is about to embark into the world of Learning Analytics. Weller describes the notion that the “edtech field needs to avoid the mistakes of data capitalism: it should embed learner agency and ethics in the use of data, and it should deploy data sparingly”. The ethics of monitoring keystrokes of students to see what resource is being visited can quickly lead to a slippery slope of privacy invasion. Specific to my situation is that my colleagues and I are proposing measuring student performance in a simulated environment. Digitizing the data (yes -unbelievably we are still using paper and clipboard) will allow analytics to detect trends in a single student, allows trends across cohorts in the same year and allow cyclic trends over a number of years. We also are contemplating utilizing tombstone data (age, gender, education, language) in conjunction with performance to detect what recruiting should seek in the next person signing up. This is definitely “reduc[ing] students to data and that ownership over the data becomes a commodity in itself” (Weller, 2018, p44). However, executed with the right intent and it might lead to the detection of discreet signals where changes in the academic stages preceding the simulation phase may lead to greater success rates. It might also allow predictability as to how long a phase of training should be and reduce the cost of overall training or get them to their next assignment quicker.
All to say it is an exciting time. I remember opening up the Globe and Mail newspaper in 1983 and the sports section had a new category* for the NHL player. Along with listing goals and assists it had what was called a player’s plus-minus (+/-). It revolutionized hockey data and now every second of every movement is captured. I remember thinking that even back then with something that simple we worried about how data was being captured and what allowances were being made for the power-play or the shorthanded situation or the fact that ice time varied between forward and defenceman.
*it has actually been recorded since 1968 but no one was rewarded or punished for it and it was not published
Weller, M. (2018). Twenty years of EdTech. EDUCAUSE Review, 53(4).