Big data has surely earned its laurels from the business sectors, but not everyone does the concern for data privacy ring well. Education has been a sector where big data has left its mark from the early days and yet, a section of the people has been hostile towards it. Parents don’t like it because it’s a breach of privacy, there was a little bit of hacking involved in the process too.
Also, commercial developers have taken the data for marketing purposes which should never be the usage of educational data. However, the tremendous potential that educational sector has remained unexplored because of outdated and faulty educational programs. Interactive education, administrative data and parental control level can have great impact on big data and vice versa. So, no matter how enraged some people are, big data is necessary to revolutionize education and make the most of human capital.
What are the possible benefits?
Educational research has to adopt modern techniques and there is no technique more modern than big data itself. Of course, the impact is there on family as well as student privacy, but the stakes on the other side is much larger. Educational changes can be politically benefitting too since shaping a futuristic and visionary educational policy is part of every country’s growth.
The report identified the necessity for teaching families about the longstanding benefits and how big data is committed to achieve it with minimum risk. Of course, the researchers have to do the dirty job themselves if they want long-term success. Student privacy is now being heavily protected by the law. The current laws are quite stringent regarding the collection of student data and storing it in a proper manner. They also demand a level of transparency so that better communication is achieved between parents and researchers.
The researcher’s job now
Now that the laws have created guidelines, it is up to the researchers to create the proper data environment as well select the right kind of data since all kinds of data formats are not allowed. Also, regulations, parental permission etc. are there and not all kinds of analytical tools can be applied on it. Hence, amidst the restrictions, the researchers have to do their best to make some useful contributions using big data.
Researchers need to keep a track of data collection first. What kind of data is being transacted between which parties- this is the question that must be addressed first. Then, the researcher must determine the way this data is used and there should be no lack of transparency in the purpose. Then, the ways to protect data and granting access has to be determined. There has to be an hierarchy of sharing and access in this regard.