Big, personal data is being collected during the learning process. We know this. It is being collected by institutions like Purdue (discussed in this NPR article,) adaptive software companies, software platforms….we have leap frogged regulation and are in unchartered waters. FERPA cannot help us, and this data, while invaluable to educators and institutions if used properly, is also quite valuable when sold by companies who collect it. There is where Larry Lessig stepped in when digitization infringed on copyright. A new digital paradigm called for new digital creativity. Creative Commons was developed to address the gap between technology’s rapid evolution and established regulation that lagged behind. When will the Larry Lessig of Big Data appear? “When students use software as part of the learning process, whether in online or blended courses or doing their own research, they generate massive amounts of data. Scholars are running large-scale experiments using this data to improve teaching; to help students stay motivated and succeed in college; and even to learn more about the brain and the process of learning itself.But with all this potential comes serious concerns. Facebook caused a furor over the past couple of weeks when the company’s lead scientist published a research paper indicating that the social network had tinkered with the news feeds of hundreds of thousands of people in an experiment to see whether their emotions could be influenced.”
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