The world of technology continues to advance as most of our lives are consumed by some form of technology whether it be emails, social media, shopping, watching TV or staring down onto a phone screen. However, each and every time we use any of these platforms, data is collected in order to help the providers understand our specific needs as users. This allows certain applications to make suggestions and predictions based on what we choose to use technology for. But how does big data work when it comes to an educational environment? Let’s take a look...
As its name suggests, big data is a term that describes a large volume of data. However, the key thing to note is that it’s not the amount of data that’s important, it’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic moves in business and education.
In terms of education, big data is a relatively new concept. However, it plays a pivotal role in determining what methods of teaching, processes, and strategies work within the learning environment. Obtaining specific and unique patterns of data means that educational establishments and those who work in them can cater to students needs and requirements as well as establish what works and what doesn’t.
Understanding emotions and sentiment: When it comes to the online world, particularly in social media, the rise of self-reporting has led users to provide very intimate details of themselves. Many market research companies now use this data by ‘scraping’ the web to obtain detailed examples of the sentiment relating to particular issues, brands, products, and services. This also works in a classroom setting - by obtaining individual data from each student, it helps teachers and professionals build a bigger picture of what they need in order to get the most from their education.
Relationships and interactions: Understanding the way students communicate, interact and relate to others really helps establish more about them on both an interpersonal level and as part of a team.
Speech analytics: The datafication of speech is becoming more common, particularly as conversations are increasingly recorded and stored as part of interactions. As speech recognition improves, the range of voice-based data and meaning that can be captured in an intelligible format grows. This is currently popular in learning environments, but with the continual advancement of technology, it’s not far off.
It is estimated that the amount of information stored in data centers will increase from 1.4 zettabytes to 3.5 zettabytes between 2014 and 2019. It isn’t clear, however, how much of this is specific to educational environments. As technology advances and classrooms become more interactive spaces, big data will certainly go a long way in helping establish strong and supportive learning methods.