Big Data and Student Privacy – Is Too Much, Too Little?

On April 21, 2014, Mary Jo Madda (@mjmadda) wrote in EdSurge:

“In less than two years, inBloom went from being a sort of Holy Grail for student data services to a sacrificial lamb that has brought data and privacy discussions to the forefront.”

This article, plus a host of others over the last week, examined the pros and cons of Big Business collecting a pool of student data. They asked: Is this river of data good for society? Does this sea of data invade a student’s privacy? And, most importantly, where do we draw the line — at which point do we say that the ocean of data-ostensibly required to steer our education policy, is simply not worth the potential harm to individual students? While these are valid and important issues in this debate, I found myself wondering if our national conversation was ignoring another crucial question: Is even a drop of this data being used to benefit any actual students?


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