It's Not "Big Data vs. Teachers" - It's "Big Data vs. Standardized Tests"

People often think that big data for education is a new thing. And it’s true that using big data the way Knewton does sounds almost like science fiction — our engine passively “norms” content at scale, uses normed content to determine students’ conceptual proficiencies to the percentile, and makes granular content recommendations for each student based on the combined anonymized data of all the other students in our network. But there is an older, bricks-and-mortar type of big data for education: standardized tests.

Engineering Culture at Knewton

“If you want to work on a problem that you feel morally connected with, a problem that you think is important, if you want to work on difficult technical challenges, and you’re entrepreneurial and you want a lot of agency and you want to work in a place that isn’t one homogeneous group of people then you should come work at Knewton.” —Trevor Smith, Engineering Manager.

Education in Brazil & A Growing Middle Class [INFOGRAPHIC] »

Brazil has a population of approximately 200 million and one of the largest economies in the world. What does the educational system look like now, what’s in store for the future, and how will these developments drive economic growth?

Posted on Monday 9 June.
Protecting Student Data: 10 Guiding Principles | Knewton Blog

Last month, I addressed the most common arguments people use today against big data in education. As Knewton emerges as a global leader in big data for education, it is increasingly our responsibility to explain both the benefits and the limits of data. Ever since Knewton was founded, we’ve been as careful as possible with student data (so much so that we don’t even hold any Personally Identifiable Information for our partners’ students).

Posted on Friday 6 June.
Six Years of Knewton | Knewton Blog

In the past year, we’ve seen a massive increase in the demand for proficiency-based adaptive learning, both in the U.S. and internationally. While it was always Knewton’s vision to create an adaptive learning platform to benefit every student in the world, it wasn’t always straightforward for education companies and others to understand this mission. Now, these organizations are using our platform to push the envelope to create products that will have a meaningful impact on student outcomes. Knewton enables our partners to focus on innovating new content and user experiences — while leveraging Knewton’s infrastructure and network effects to provide powerful personalization for students and actionable metrics for instructors.

Knerd Dispatch: Protecting Student Data: 10 Guiding Principles

Five principles we consider inviolable: 1) Student data belongs to the student. Everyone else is only a custodian. Parents should continue to have the authority to make decisions on their children’s behalf until they reach age of consent. Schools and publishers tend to be proprietary about data — they think it’s theirs. It isn’t their data. (They couldn’t sell it to Facebook or Coca-Cola, for instance.) It’s the student’s data. The rest of us have only been given the right to use the data to help improve student learning outcomes.

Posted on Monday 2 June.
How Games Make Thinking Fun

How exactly can educational games fuse cognitive work with entertainment? What exactly imbues games that succeed in transferring skill and knowledge with their alluring, even addictive quality?

Posted on Tuesday 27 May.
Knerding Out: How Data Can Optimize Commute Time

Commute times are the worst. They hurt job satisfaction, and they cause stress and illness, depression, and even divorce… When Knewton was evaluating potential office locations, the issue of commute time was one of the most important decision criteria. As a data company, we decided to examine this criteria in a data-driven way.

World Economic Forum book: Education & Skills 2.0

Download the book here for free. With 2U, our CEO, Jose authored the chapter, Online Education: From Novelty to Necessity which covers the revolution in online education, as played out in two main areas: distribution and big data. It assess the disruptive innovation occurring in higher education today and describes its ramifications for the future of universities.

Posted on Monday 19 May with 2 notes.
Data Stories: Active Time and Intervention//Transforming Data Strings into Actionable Information

At Knewton, our analytics transform strings of data into actionable information that make teachers’ jobs just a bit easier. We generate metrics and predictions that teachers using Knewton-powered learning products can use as they see fit. Rather than overwhelm with endless stats and charts and graphs, we create specialized inferences that serve a clear purpose.

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