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Improving learning outcomes, avoiding cognitive biases

By Volker Hirsch, mobile, gaming and digital media entrepreneur and executive.

A lawyer by education, Volker Hirsch has mixed feelings about the main question of this blog. On one hand he sees the main benefits of data analysis coming from educational processes, but he also points out that teachers will remain the most important element in students’ progresses and achievements. He alerts also of the dangers of thinking that it is possible to get any outcome one may want with a big enough data set. Check his complete reflections in the short video below. Hirsch contribution was possible thanks to the kind collaboration of the TEDxBarcelona Education event.

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The importance of context

By Julià Minguillón, Associate Professor, UOC-eLC.

We are living in the information age. Or maybe in the knowledge one, according to the DIKW pyramid, which stands for data, information, knowledge and wisdom. But there is neither information nor knowledge without data, which is nowadays massively and continuously generated.

As inhabitants of a digital world, all our actions are under a constant surveillance, and we leave a myriad of traces of even the most mundane everyday experiences. We voluntarily use our smartphones, credit cards or ID badges, leaving such digital traces, but we are also involuntarily recorded in traffic cameras or when browsing the Internet, for instance.

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Big data for small institutions

By John Roberts, co-founder and President, Open University of West Africa.

Is big data a useful tool either for small or medium educational institutions as well as for the larger ones? What are the benefits? Is there any downside? Check the short video below and get John Roberts’ reflections about those issues according to his own experience as a president of the Open University of West Africa (OUWA). Roberts’ contribution would not have been possible without the kind collaboration of the TEDxBarcelona Education event.

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Aape Pohjavirta

Personalised learning and the new role of teachers

By Aape Pohjavirta, chief evangelist and founder at Funzi.

What advantages entail the use of big data in education? Are there issues against it? How the big data and analytics revolution will transform learning in the following years? And what will be the role of the teachers in this new scenario? Aape Pohjavirta is a passionate of new ways of learning — and a big Asimov fan — who gives us his point of view on these questions in the short video below. This contribution would not have been possible without the kind collaboration of the TEDxBarcelona Education event.

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Angel A. Juan

Shedding light on personal data, analytics and education

By Angel A. Juan, Associate Professor, UOC – IN3.

Welcome to this new blog on Analytics and its social impact on Business, Smart Cities, and, specially, Education. In particular, through the opening question of the blog we are interested in analyzing how Analytics and Big Data are transforming our society, from the way people move around modern cities to the way governments and enterprises use customers’ data — sometimes crossing ethical boundaries — to infer and influence their behavior.

In effect, organizations have now access to an enormous amount of personal data describing our habits, tastes, and social or professional links. The proper combination of these data with current computing power and analytic methods allow these organizations to extract and infer individual and collective behavior patterns.

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About the Question
Are Big Data & Analytics shaping a smarter society?

Every day we generate a huge amount of big data, but we need to resort to analytics to make abstract information meaningful and get valuable knowledge from it. In education, learning platforms let us easily gather an immense quantity of data regarding students’ behaviour, interactions, preferences and opinions. When properly analysed — through learning analytics — all these data might provide useful insight on how to make learning processes more adaptive, attractive and efficient.

Are these techniques allowing us to provide better support to our students? Are we taking advantage of big data and analytics to help shape the citizens of the future?

Big Data and Simheuristics
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