Big Data in Schools: How to (Ethically) Backup and Analyze Them?

school big dataWhile many parents are protesting on the possibility of having their children private data shared with non-profit inBloom Inc., developed by education service provider Amplify, funded by The Gates Foundation and News Corp., we can’t deny the fact that schools need a way to handle big data.

You see, student and teacher data is huge. Analyzing school’s Big Data will bring great benefits, such as discovering new ways to improve student learning process, and so on.

That is at least what inBloom Inc. is trying to do. The partner schools joining the program will feed the database with student data, from which they can develop products better-customized to the students’ need.

One caveat: Privacy issues

But sharing private data, such as names, addresses, grades, and so on is an invasion of privacy – not mentioning the still-questionable security or the cloud and other potential data abuses, which I think parents should have a say on that.

Let’s just see how it goes – but for now, what schools badly need right now is the ability to protect their Big Data. There are many solutions, one of them is IBM’s.

Bill Smoldt of Store Server, an IBM Business Partner shares his story of how his company helps a local school system with a centralized Community Cloud solution for student and teacher data backup.

Once they have deal with the backup issue, THEN they can decide on what to do with their Big Data, in my opinion.

What schools can do with Big Data?

Well, participating in inBloom Inc. is a way, but with the potential privacy concerns, why don’t schools analyze their own Big Data? Services like Google’s BigQuery can just do that affordably. There are also consultants that can help schools conduct big data analysis efficiently and effectively.

What do you think? Should schools join services like inBloom Inc. or should they just do their own analysis? Please share your comment!

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