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Big Data for development

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By Natalie Shoup, program manager, Data-Pop Alliance.

As a global coalition on Big Data and development, Data-Pop Alliance works together with different actors to promote a people-centered revolution on these technologies. We took advantage of the visit of its program manager, Natalie Shoup, to Barcelona to talk about the challenges and risks of Big Data and Analytics, especially regarding education and development. According to Shoup, we need to engage people both in data literacy and in the ethical and legal discussions around those technologies. Check out her reflections in the short video below.

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What sort of educational tools for the future?

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By Francesc Balagué, educator and founder of Akoranga and Crowdfunding Sherpas.

ICTs have changed many aspects of our lives, and the way we learn has not been an exception. Perhaps big data is a newcomer in that area, but not the only one. MOOCs have been trendy lately, but as education expert, Francesc Balagué wonders whether they might have been displacing other well established tools that were doing a good job at enhancing learning processes. Get his complete reflections in the short video below. This contribution was possible in collaboration with the OuiShare Fest Barcelona event.

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More data to better serve our students

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By Darcy Hardy, Associate Vice-President for Enterprise Consulting, BlackBoard.

A specialist in education technology and e-learning, Darcy Hardy believes that the more data we have the better we can serve our students, but she also alerts that the information derived from that data has to be defined properly and acted upon by the correspondent administration. Check her thoughts on the blog’s main question in the short video below, where she also reflects on how analytics can be useful and about concerns linked to privacy issues. Her contribution was possible thanks to the kind collaboration of the EDEN Conference held in Barcelona.

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Towards a gender neutral curriculum

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By Anne-Marie Imafidon, founder and head of Stemettes.

Big data and analytics are here to stay, and they certainly can allow us to make smarter decisions, but what could they imply regarding STEM education? As founder of Stemettes, an organisation promoting women into science and tech fields, Imafidon sees those areas as an opportunity to advance into a more inclusive curriculum, making STEM fields more attractive to everyone. Don’t miss her reflections on the topic in the short video below. Imafidon’s contribution was possible thanks to the kind collaboration of the TEDxBarcelona Education event.

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Improving learning outcomes, avoiding cognitive biases

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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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Big data for small institutions

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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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Shedding light on personal data, analytics and education

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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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