Big Data in education is still more prediction than reality.
„Alexa, can you tell me my appointments for today, please?“ – With this question I usually start my day when entering my living room in the morning. Alexa knows everything: what kind of music I love to hear, how will be the weather in my hometown tomorrow or who I will meet next week. But Alexa is just the newest, most perceptible appearance of Big Data in my house. Long ago companies started to fill my digital and analog mailbox with adverts according to what I had bought in past, my sex, age, income and interests. So, in private life I feel surrounded by Big Data already.
More of a prediction than reality
In my profession as a teacher in teacher’s education Big Data still is more a prediction than reality. It seems that the cobweb-theorem comes true again: The technological progress is always one step ahead. It takes too long for the educational system to react on new development. Four years ago, the first scientific articles about Big Data in education appeared. And still there happened just a very few concrete implications yet.
Lack of user-competences
One application that comes a bit closer to what Big Data in education could be is the Learning Management System Moodle. It offers the possibility to record how students handle specific content in a course, how long they stay online at the course, their click-behaviour etc. Although these possibilities are there, they are only used by a very few of my colleagues at the University for Teacher’s Education. Reasons for the denial of this technology are the lack of user-competences for Moodle and of course data security aspects.
No fear of Big Data
That’s why we offer continuing education in these topics in our department for multimedia education. Our aim is to get over the cobweb-theorem and make many of us teachers to early adopters. Teachers shouldn’t fear Big Data. There is no need of being afraid human teaching could get obsolete within the near future. Big Data could help us in one of the most important future challenges in our classrooms: the implementation of more differentiation and individualization.