Big Data refers to massive streams of data now transforming every sector of business globally, including education. Some people like to think of the entire Internet being about understanding and riding this “flow” of data. On a smaller and more local scale, every teacher has felt the flow of learning in their classrooms, and Learning Analytics are an emerging set of technologies designed to allow institutions, teachers and learners to understand and ride on this flow. This is not so much about statistics as it is about tapping into the invisible conversation created by the digital interaction of students and educators with learning content within networks.
While Big Data sometimes evokes a specter of Big Brother, the opportunities within conscientious ownership and careful application of learning data easily outweigh the potential hazards.