New Pearson Report Navigates the Digital Ocean of Data

In a new report released today by Pearson, authors (and GlassLab scientists) Kristen DiCerbo and John Behrens argue that new technologies unleash a tidal wave of data that should fundamentally change the way we think about education, and break down the barriers between learning and assessment. According to the report, this transformation from ‘digital desert to digital ocean’ has the potential to help decipher how students learn and to help them succeed.

Impacts of the Digital Ocean on Education highlights the many possibilities and challenges that technology – including a new wave of game-based learning and assessment tools such as those produced and studied by GlassLab – presents in capturing relevant data and turning it into meaningful information that teachers can use to assist their students. DiCerbo and Behrens say that ‘the data itself is only a starting point that is necessary, but not sufficient to transform education.” There is a long process that the data needs to go through for it to be applied successfully: from analysis and interpretation, to communication and use in decision-making.

The authors acknowledge that the digital ocean requires changes to technological systems and to some of our statistical and data analysis procedures, but contend that the biggest hurdle is the required change in our thinking. As we move forward in the age of the digital ocean, the challenge is to move beyond the understanding of new technology as a new means to acquire old end. Instead, we need to re-invent our way of thinking to take advantage of a digital-first, data rich world.

The tidal wave of data seems inevitable, but educators and policy-makers will need to understand how to take advantage of it, as well as embrace the new technology, before learners will fully benefit.

To learn more or download the full paper, visit Pearson Research.

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