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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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Analytics by and for students

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By Maarten de Laat, professor, Open University of the Netherlands.

Professor of professional development in social networks, De Laat interests in big data and analytics rely on the idea that they can make more visible and transparent what people are talking about in educational environments, making easier for other students to engage in a group with shared interests. He is also a strong defender of releasing the information obtained through analytics to students, instead of keeping it within a teaching/administrative level, so that they can use it to facilitate their own learning processes. Get De Laat’s complete reflections in the short video below. We would like to thank the EDEN Conference organisation for this contribution.

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Looking for solutions in wrong places

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By Audrey Watters, journalist, founder of Hack Education.

A writer specialized in education technology with her own blog on that topic — called Hack Education —, Watters believes that regarding the learning process we should focus on the individual level, rather than the massive one. Is big data going to give us the measure of “learning”, no matter how subjective the word is? Has this measure necessarily to be a number? By focusing on big data, wouldn’t be looking for the solutions in the wrong places? Get Watters’ reflections in the short video below, which was recorded at the EDEN Conference held in Barcelona.

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For personalized education big data is a must

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By Nuria Oliver, scientific director at Telefónica R&D.

According to computer scientist Nuria Oliver, there are three main key elements regarding big data in education, being the first one the so promised personalization, so that teachers could get precise information of how students are doing and thus adapt their methodology to specific needs. Secondly, large scale data could also be extremely useful for official statistics: e.g., how a city, a specific region or even a whole country is doing in terms of education. And, finally, we also need to make sure students’ data is securely stored and kept under high privacy standards. We would like to thank the TEDxBarcelona Education event for this contribution.

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Getting to Know Ourselves (Really)

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By Alyssa Wise, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University.

How much do you really know about how you learn best? While most of us would like to think that we know ourselves pretty well, research shows that our recollections of how we go about learning something (or studying for a test or writing an essay) are actually quite poor.

This is an area in which learning analytics can be especially helpful by providing us with accurate data about what we do when learn online and whether or not how we are currently going about things is effective for us.

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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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Personalised learning and the new role of teachers

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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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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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