Bad Feeling About Data Mining – Ep. 91 – Ed Tech Weekly

Bad Feeling About Data Mining – Ep. 91 – Ed Tech Weekly

Bad Feeling About Data Mining – Ep. 91 – Ed Tech Weekly

Bad Feeling About Data Mining

In this episode, Ricky talks about the ed tech news of the week including how data is being mined to learn about how feelings effect the learning process

Ed Tech News RunDown


Data Mining and Personalized Learning

An article explains how social-emotional learning and data mining are coming together rapidly to help figure out how emotions are a part of learning. The somewhat frightening part is that it is being done in free software platforms like Algebra Nation. And as most adults struggle with understanding how sites like facebook track and use their data, 8th graders certainly aren’t fully aware of these things either. This is part of a $8.9 million federal grant project that’s ultimate goal is to improve teaching by understanding more about when, why, and what students are feeling during learning. They are using keystroke and many other data mining points, including surveys, to learn more about feelings a student has during learning. The hope is that figuring out when students give up and when they want to try can be addressed in the teaching process. Personalized learning is a huge buzzword that we often address on this show and I guess this is really what the end goal is… using every way possible to make learning as personalized as possible.

1o Questions Ed Tech Start-Ups Should Be Able to Answer

A story from talks about the 10 questions that ed tech entrepreneurs and startups should be able to answer without any hesitation. I know most of our listeners are the ones asking questions and that’s why I wanted to talk about this article… because these are questions we should be prepared to ask and expect an intelligent and relevant answer. As a person who has been in meetings with ed tech companied, I rarely heard these questions being asked so I think it is vitally important to think about these questions if you are in education. The questions are:

  • How effective is your product or service?
  • How much time does it take to learn how to use and implement it?
  • Do you provide on-site training?
  • Do you arrange for ongoing professional development and support? If so, is there an additional cost?
  • Why should a teacher use your product over one that is similar?
  • How will your product/service make a teacher’s life easier?
  • How will your product/service better the lives of students?
  • How is your product in the best interest of the students?
  • How do you store and protect student data?
  • How does your product/service serve a real and valuable purpose in the classroom?

And after seeing those questions I think it is so important to ask for “proof” or data to back up their answers. Please check out for the link to this story if you are in the room when ed tech companies are presenting their product or service.

4 Loopholes to Close in Your Data Recovery Plan

An ed tech magazine article explains the 4 loopholes you should be closing in your data recovery plan. First, if you don’t have a data recovery plan then you need to get on that ASAP. The article notes that 60%… yes 60… of higher ed institutions have experienced a data breach. I don’t think I need to spend a lot of time explaining that is a bad thing. So what are the loopholes? 1st, the recovery strategy is too loosely defined… not sure about this? Then you should be staging threat simulations to help you get a better grasp on defining strategies. Second, Communication about the recovery plan is insufficient. The easiest step may be to put your chief information officer on the presiden’t cabinet. Third, Authority among IT staff is not clearly assigned. Institutions should designate a team or department to manage and coordinate the response process. And finally, Leaders fail to gather intelligence from previous breaches. My wife says they do “hot-washes” after exercises to help improve the process and this is what should happen after a data breach… fixing it is not the end, you have to learn from it and improve the process. If your institution is not actively doing these things then they better get going because as the article states, data breaches are not an “if” scenario, they are most certainly a “when”. And with the type of data that Universities… and all data in every area of education, for that matter, not doing everything you can just isn’t acceptable.

Micocredentials Helping Educators?

Another ed tech magazine story talks about how microcredentials help educators develop new tech skills. I think it has been well documented that I have a bit of a pet peave when it comes to the term “micro”. From aggressions to learning, nothing quite bothers me like adding a micro in front of it. That doesn’t mean, however, that just because I don’t like the term that there isn’t value to the thing they are naming that way. Digital badges are essentially what they mean when they say “micro-credentials”. Basically anything that isn’t big enough to be a certification or a degree but still promotes growth for an educator in this case. This does allow for teachers to choose more specific things that will help them so it can certainly be a good thing. There is also an argument to be made that using digital badges reinforces the need for more digital expertise. Many districts are adding micro-credentials to be used as a part of professional development requirements. And in that way it can provide more tailored instruction than larger professional development initiatives.  The bottom line here is that the “micro-credentials” have quality learning experiences behind them. Just like anything in technology, especially ed tech, it is much more important that the information is useful and delivered well than the name of the delivery system. My only real concern with micr-credentials is that if we feel it is important for teachers, how can we be sure all teachers are getting the information they need and it is similar to the information others are getting?


Check out Episode 61 Where we talk about data, data, and more data.

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