The advent of big data and its various ramifications have become a much talked about topic lately. Educators have realized that teaching and learning can be more effective and even fun when data is used to supplement traditional teaching methods. This new teaching approach takes a big leap forward in the direction of personalized instruction, where a teacher can use data from e-learning to improve the effectiveness of lessons and make learning fun for students.
The first benefit of big data in education is the use of it as a tool for instructional design. Today, there is much greater emphasis on personalized teaching because of the increased complexity of teaching tasks involved with e-learning. Students no longer respond well to a one size fits all approach; rather they need to be engaged and involved with the learning process in order for the lessons to be meaningful. Traditional teaching tools such as lecture notes are now being replaced by web-based notes and handouts, making the entire lesson and entire classroom experience more engaging and dynamic.
Another benefit of edtech is the implementation of technologies that help students share information online. High school students, for example, may be more likely to engage in social media-based activities such as chat rooms or discussion boards than traditional classrooms where face-to-face communication is highly valued. Today’s younger generation is more likely to use technology to communicate with their peers and with faculty members in ways that wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago. As more teachers take advantage of these newer technologies, it will only be a matter of time before it becomes common practice to include technology in all aspects of teaching and learning.
Social media has also played a major role in student engagement. E-learning platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have helped to create a new dialogue between students and their instructors that were not possible before. Teachers can get immediate feedback on student performance and can use this feedback to build curriculum based lesson plans and test study. Teachers can also use these social media platforms to promote classroom discussions and discussion boards. On a larger scale, students can use e-learning software in schools and colleges to create and develop their own lessons. Students can use their Facebook or Twitter accounts to create discussions on a wide range of topics ranging from technology, science, politics, and even animation.
The implementation of big data is not just limited to using it as a tool for instruction. It has also been used in the classroom. In the past, teachers relied on handwritten notes and lecture notes for various reasons. Today, notes are no longer required, and many teachers are finding that they simply do not have the time or desire to spend filling out countless paper forms. Instead, many schools are embracing edtech solutions such as online distribution of coursework and exams so that instructors can easily grade students.
Some school systems have turned to integrating video into lectures, which has proven to be a great way to visually present ideas and demonstrate scientific concepts. Another popular edtech application is web-based student assessments that ask questions about a student’s learning while they are online. Data mining is another popular application in education. This involves finding patterns, trends, or anomalies from massive amounts of data and using this information to make educational decisions
With the advent of technology and Web 3.0 it remains to be seen whether there will be a massive paradigm shift in education as some experts claim. Until then, technology and exploiting Big Data application, can certainly help educators on all levels.