Brook’s key point is that data can tell more things about situation or specific subject matter than any tool without bias. Moreover, this helps evaluate the situation at hand with a clearer view, with data we can analyze certain pattern that are in the news, on people, nature, politics, economic, education, and much more, the list goes on. However, he also argues that data not always gives a clear cut, as one can say, or a defined answer. Sometimes, you have to trust your instincts and senses. One can argue that with statistical tools to analyze any set of data is going to give a define answer; however, there are moment where the best choice one can make is based on ones’ personal intuition.
Working with data gives a greater tool to know how you are going to perceive the world in this modern age. Everything is computerized and all that information and all that data can give a wider view of your situation. The thing that is interesting is that data can be combined with one’s own instincts and sense of guidance to analyze and evaluate data. There always going to be an experiment where data and statistical results give you one answer but instinct gives you a different answer; with these two (data and instincts) one can have more advantage to come to a conclusion by evaluating all the key points and factors.
Every day, we see how data and statistic is been used to enhance our ability to analyze information and how we interact with it. I am most interested in learning about our capacity on using data and statistical tools to learn new things better than before and how we are susceptible to small changes to cope with new information. We conduct and analyze data from experiments on how the human being learns new things. However, there have not been a lot of implementations to education from these experiments. The only result we can see are the ones where education is provide online (on the Internet), where students and nonstudents take classes online (virtual classroom or online classroom). We have seem a great interest on online education, however, how can we measure the results of the data that is out there? And, is it better to take classes online (sometimes in our own pace) than to be sitting down, listening, and interacting with an instructor face to face in a classroom? I think we can take advantages of both. Right now there top universities taking advantages of this by giving classes online for free to the general public. Then data on how students learn on this online classroom is than evaluated and applied to real classrooms in their campuses. Data is one of the keys to understand ourselves, but we too need to learn on how our instincts are capable to evaluate things on its own and enhance it in the process.
The reason why I am interested in this topic is because human beings need to learn lot of different things throughout life. Since the day we are born, we are bombarded with information that is around us until the day we die. I think the technology we have in our disposal, will help us understand and learn better and faster than ever before.
The kind of information that I found on this topic is about how data mining help students and teachers throughout all level of education achieve better result to better help education to be more effective and improve the system that we have in place, right now.
Through the United States and the world the education system focuses on given standardized tests while students are in the school to measure the output (capability) of the students. This type of data gathering is obsolete because these tests are so narrow (and sometimes so board) that they do not cover all the subjects (or interest that a student, for example, has) and also that the new tools, like virtual classroom, really are better in predicting the achievement of students throughout school. The relationship between this and Brook is that, we may not be listening to the data the way we should to improve education.
In the matter, “schools have changed. In the last decade alone, technology innovations have created new ways of teaching and learning, far away from the convention of textbooks and other printed resources. How can you grasp what your students need now, and really evaluate their progress? Data. Nowadays, one cannot undervalue the importance of data” (Powe, 2011). In the case of Florida’s Broward County School District we see an implementation of data mining system, like IBM AS/400 running IBM’s DB2, to visualize and analyze the student’s performance throughout the day. Teachers and administrators enter information, for example, “historical view of each child’s academic performance” (Messmer, 2000), of the students in the system in a day to day basic. In addition, this demonstrates one way in which data can help students and teachers improve learning and focus on the areas that are the most weak for the students.
Messmer, E. (2000, 02 29). Data mining student performance. Retrieved 04 01, 2013, from CNN.com: http://archives.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/02/29/high.marks.idg/hs~index.html
Powe, J. (2011). How schools use data to improve student achievement. Southeast Education Network (SEEN) SEENmagazine (Winter 2011), 39.