04 août 2014

Student Data, Privacy, Ideology, and Context-less-ness

https://s3.amazonaws.com/hackedu/audreywatters_75.jpgBy . I want to pick back up on some of the ideas I started to flesh out yesterday, based on Tressie McMillan Cottom’s recent talk on ideologies and identities in digital domains. Again, not sure where I’m going with this…
Tressie highlighted the ways in which new educational technologies – MOOCs for example – assume a student free of place, free of context. "Free." That’s a deeply ideological assumption, no doubt, one that erases race, class, and gender for starters. I tried to link her arguments to a tweet by Knewton CEO Jose Ferreira, who defending his company from parent-privacy activists, tweeted that Knewton “can help students understand their learning history without knowing their identity.” There, I argued, we see this nod to “identity-less-ness” – a notion that with the right engineering, the right algorithms ed-tech can be personalized to your academic needs without knowing your person. More...

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