Trends | Swimming in a Digital Ocean

CREDIT Open Ideas researchTechnology is ubiquitous and pervasive in our society, each day capturing numerous aspects of our lives, creating oceans of data ready to be recalled, analyzed, and used. In a new report, Impacts of the Digital Ocean on Education, Kristen DiCerbo and John Behrens of Pearson’s Research and Innovation Network argue that in education, harnessing the power contained in the digital data oceans offers huge potential benefits for students, educators and education stakeholders. One recent study investigating factors that influenced students’ achievement found the most important variable was when teachers use information about their students’ learning. The Impacts of the Digital Ocean on Education report sets out the ways in which the variety and abundance of data captured when students carry out their school work could provide teachers with the key to help students learn. The new report highlights the many possibilities and challenges that technology presents in capturing relevant data and turning it into meaningful information that teachers can use to assist their students. As DiCerbo and Behrens themselves state, “the data itself is only a starting point that is necessary, but not sufficient to transform education.” They stipulate that there is a long process that the data needs to go through for it to be applied successfully including its analysis, interpretation, communication, and use in decision-making. Download the full report here.

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