Big Data and Student Privacy

In the rising era of digitization and big data, debate has been raging on its effect to the education sector. The education institutes have for a long time been collecting and maintaining different records. The information maintained include students’ names, addresses, grade books, attendance rate, transcripts, disciplinary records, health information, and family income. Stakes in concern in education data has been increased with the digitization of the records. The federal government supported the digitization initiative through funding the creation of a system referred to as the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS). These systems marked the commencement of big data in education thereby expanding the ability to store and process information on remote serves. I support the idea of gathering and using student data in education.

Big data has yielded positive benefits to the education sector. Schools, universities, colleges, and education boards are known to hold large amounts of data about students and faculty. The data may be analyzed to acquire insights that can assist in improving the operational effectiveness of the education institutions. The availability of the big data allows statistical analysis where students’ behavior, exam results, students’ progress and changing educational needs as per dynamic educational requirements (Parakh, 2018). Another major benefit of utilization of big data is on improving instructional programs where the lessons can be more personalized and thereby improve students’ performance and learning. Big data allows matching of students to programs and thereby allows the students and parents to get the best school and education program (Drigas, Leliopoulos, 2014). Big data has worked in other sectors such as the healthcare sector. The health care sector has had a lot of support from the federal government in developing the big data capabilities. The data privacy within the health sector has been maintained despite the digitization of the patient’s information. I therefore believe that with proper policies in place, students’ privacy can be achieved even with records being maintained in form of big data

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I believe that peer grade is part of instructional method and therefore not a violation of FERPA laws. Peer grading is a practice in education where the teachers require the student to exchange, tests, and grade another’s work. It may also entail reading out the grade for the teacher to record. The US Supreme court indicated the results of peer grading did not fall under the classification of education records and therefore not covered under FERPA. New regulations spelt out this issue through defining that education records were in exception of grades on peer-graded papers before they were collected and recorded by a teacher (FERPA, 20 U.S.C.). It is therefore clear that peer-graded papers are not against the laws on FERPA. 

References

Drigas, A. S., & Leliopoulos, P. (2014). The use of big data in education. International Journal of Computer Science Issues (IJCSI)11(5), 58.

Parakh, M. (2018). How is the Big Data Influencing the Education Sector? . Retrieved from https://dzone.com/articles/how-is-big-data-influencing-the-education-sector

Rights, F. E., & Act, P. (1974). USC 1232-34 CFR Part 99.

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