Quantifying Students

Hi everyone, thanks for a great discussion in class last night. On my way home I was reminded of this recent research that’s garnering lots of discussion from critical educational technology folks on Twitter, posted here by Chris Gilliard (we’ll be reading some of his work in a few weeks):

Gilliard’s whole Twitter thread is worth a read, and here’s the original announcement of this research from the University of Arizona: Researcher Looks at ‘Digital Traces’ to Help Students

What are the implications of quantifying students in these ways?

Author: Maura A. Smale

Maura Smale is Chief Librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center.

1 thought on “Quantifying Students”

  1. When I was a kid shopping at Macy’s in Herald Square, I remember a crazed man in a trench coat standing on a milk crate and screaming out a warning of the future. Chips! We would be surgically invaded and be forced to wear chips that would track our every move. He gave me a flyer as well and I remember it clearly. “Be warned the chip is coming!” and then something something about having our privacy invaded at every step and then it was a sketch of how it would be done. The flyer had a large hand sketched out and an arrow pointing to an incision on the fleshy spot between the thumb and index finger. This is where we would carry the chip. I had saved it for years jokingly laughing at it with friends. But this probably tells more of my age than anything new! When I see these kinds of mappings and surveillance of youth, I am very frightened and disgusted. Were the students aware that they were being tracked? How can tracking data like that predict student success?

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