|By Mark van Rijmenam||
|May 19, 2013 02:00 PM EDT||
New technologies allow schools, colleges and universities to analyze absolutely everything that happens. From student behavior, testing results, career development of students as well as educational needs based on changing societies. A lot of this data has already been stored and is used for statistical analysis by government agencies such as the National Center for Educational Statistics. With the rise of more and more online education and the development of MOOCs all the data gets a completely new meaning. Big Data allow for very exciting changes in the educational field that will revolutionize the way students learn and teachers teach. To stimulate this trend, the US Department of Education (DOE) was part of a host of agencies to share a $200 million initiative to begin applying Big Data analytics to their respective functions, as described in a post by James Locus.
The overall goal of Big Data within educational systems should be to improve student results. Better students are good for society, organizations as well educational institutions. Currently the answers to assignments and exams are the only measurements on the performance of students. During his or her student life, however, every student generates a unique data trail. This data trail can be analyzed in real-time to deliver an optimal learning environment for the student as well to gain a better understanding in the individual behavior of the students.
It is possible to monitor every action of the students. How long they take to answer a question, which sources they use, which questions they skipped, how much research was done, what the relation is to other questions answered, which tips work best for which student, etc. Answers to the questions can be checked instantly and automatically (except for essays perhaps) give instant feedback to students.
In addition, Big Data can help to create groups of students that prosper due to the selection of who is in a group. Students often work in groups where the students are not complementary to each other. With algorithms it will be possible to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student based on the way a student learned online, how and which questions were answered, the social profile, etc. This will create stronger groups that will allow students to have a steeper learning curve and deliver better group results.
All this data will help to create a customized program for each individual student. Big Data allows for customization at colleges and universities, even if they have 10,000s of students. This will be created with blended learning, a combination of online and offline learning. It will give students the opportunity to develop their own personalized program, following those classes that they are interested in, working at their own pace, while having the possibility for (offline) guidance by professors. Providing mass customization in education is a challenge, but thanks to algorithms it becomes possible to track and assess each individual student.
We already see this happening in the MOOCs that are developed around the world now. When Andrew Ng taught the Machine Learning class at Stanford University, generally 400 students participated. When it was developed as a MOOC at Coursera in 2011, it attracted 100,000 students. Normally this would take Andrew Ng 250 years to teach the same amount of students. 100,000 students participating in a class generate a lot of data that will deliver insights. Being able to cater for 100,000 students at once, also requires the right tools to be able to process, store, analyze and visualize all data involved in the course. At the moment, these MOOCs are still mass made, but in the future the can be mass customized.
With 100,000 students participating in a MOOC, it will give universities the possibility to find the absolute best students from all over the world. Based on the individual behavior of the students, their grades, their social profile and their networking skills, algorithms can find the best students. These students can then receive a scholarship that will increase the overall level of the university.
When students start working on their own, in their customized blended learning program, the vast amount of teaching, which most of the time is covered by general topics that have to appeal to all students from different levels, can be done online and by themselves. The professor can monitor all students in real-time and start a much more interesting and deeper conversation on the topic of choice. This will give students the possibility to gain a better understanding of the topics.
When students are monitored in real-time, it can help to improve the digital textbooks and course outlines that are used by the students. Algorithms can monitor how the students read the texts - which parts are difficult to understand, which parts are easy and which parts are unclear. Based on how often a text is read, how long it takes to read a text, how many questions are asked around that topic, how many links are clicked for more information, etc. If this information is provided in real-time, authors can change their textbooks to meet the needs of the students thereby improving the overall results.
Even more, Big Data can give insights into how each student learns at an individualized level. Each student learns differently and the way a student learns affects the final grade of course. Some students learn very efficiently while other may be extremely inefficient. When the course materials are available online, it can be monitored how a student learns. This information can be used to provide a customized program to the student or provide real-time feedback to become more efficient in learning and thus improve their results.
All these analyses will improve the student results and perhaps also reduce dropout rates at universities or colleges. Dropouts are expensive for educational institutes as well as for society. When students are closely monitored, receive instant feedback and are coached based on their personal needs, it can help to reduce dropout rates. Hortonworks mentions that an early warning system like this can bring down dropout rates.
Using predictive analytics on all the data that is collected can give and educational institute insights in future student outcomes. These predictions can be used to change a program if it predicts bad results on a particular program or even run scenario analysis on a program before it is started. Universities and colleges will become more efficient in developing a program that will increase results thereby minimizing trial-and-error.
After graduation, students can still be monitored to see how they are doing in the job market. When this information is made public, it will help future students in their decision when choosing the right university.
Big Data will revolutionize the learning industry in the coming years. More and more universities and colleges are already turning to Big Data to improve overall student results. Smarter students who study faster will have a positive effect on organisations and society. Therefore, let's not wait and let's embrace Big Data in education!
This story was originally posted on BigData-Startups.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 26, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 950
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 26, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,259
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 26, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,231
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:45 PM EST Reads: 1,187
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,309
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 26, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,220
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,424
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,391
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,824
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,839
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,896
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,783
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,720
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 2,078
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,819
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,181
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,030
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 2,192
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,133
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 2,209