One of the last sessions I sat in today was on incorporating Facebook in a traditional Composition classroom. The session was not particularly revolutionary. The instructor, though, did an excellent job of providing a clear, concise approach to incorporating social media in a traditional, face to face classroom.
In passing at the end of the session, she pointed out the information Facebook provided, the data on the students’ interaction with the site. The conversation quickly shifted to traditional concerns. Classroom management, bad words, and bullying.
Everyone overlooked the powerful tool that she briefly flashed on the screen. She has access to students’ behavior patterns.
This is nothing new. D2L, Blackboard, the old Angel and WebCT platforms all provided similar information. What I found striking is academia’s continued oversight of the implications of that information.
In a conference dominated by vendors extolling various aspects of “analytics” (the latest buzz word appearing on every email out of system) and data collection, nobody seems to spot the potential of the data.
We do not need the precogs to predict the future. We have the data to reshape the present.