In their own words: US Dept of Ed, Learning Registry and vendors on gathering student data
Today, we bring you “In their own words.” What the US Department of Education says:
This U.S. Department of Defense/Department of Education video talks about inserting EMITTERS into classrooms, via Promethean SmartBoards, to capture what is happening in classrooms, using online instruments to gather information and learn about who the student is, and about the need to partner with outside vendors and institutions to help gather and deliver the student data.
This press release explains that the Federal Learning Registry is a joint student data gathering project between the Department of Defense and the Department of Education.
Partial transcript from this 2011 video presentation explaining what the Learning Registry hopes to do:
11:59 time stamp: “What’s important is right now  we collect only a little bit of data and really realistically how many fields are filled out in that massive structure for each individual resource? only 4 or 5 and very thinly at that. So there’s really not that much data coming out at the resources. But then if we track what, how the services are interacting with the resource, what people are connecting to the resource, how are they deploying it, how long did they stream it. These kind of questions, that’s a bit more data about the resource, right, and then, the application: We can actually find out this teacher assigned this material; this teacher emailed this to someone else; this teacher dragged it onto a smart board for 18 minutes. Right? This kind in information is coming out in the community data. Which is: these teachers are talking about this thing; these teachers are assembling things into larger structures that can be actually captured and seen in the digital community that we exist in.
17:49 time stamp: “Promethean is a company that is interested in potentially putting with appropriate anonymization (?) emitters into Learning Registry on their smart boards so as teachers are interacting with resources, dragging in and doing this sort of thing, …permits a smart board to know specifically what learning what course are being taught at that time and ship all that context out to the registrant… “
18:40 time stamp: “Moodle uses: Similarly, we’re talking about instrumenting the learning environment.
Moodle users can have instruments (with) proper permission (?) interactions that say we think it’s good for another purpose. National Science digital library, PBS, all these users can begin to contribute into a common time-line and then what I call black math, which is where the university research comes in.
19:01 time stamp: : “the math that I don’t understand which allows you to say let me know something about who you are and then let me do some mathematical operations against a very large data set and see if I can pair you with the appropriate relevant resource“
13:08 time stamp: “Amazon and these institutions are making billions of dollars on this observation right and I think that it’s a simpler problem for them than for us right, so it is to their credit that they’re early. But I think that there’s a big opportunity in the education space to go after this type of data collection. It’s going to take significant research effort to develop the right ways to do this because it will not work like Amazon it will be something different but I think that the University research our community is the one that’s going to develop a lot a reason to be honest I think there’s a lot of money to be made as well.”
14:36 “A Common meta data timeline–that is the Learning Registry, a very simple piece of infrastructure; it doesn’t do a lot and that’s really important to say. We require a lot of other partners if this thing is going to work at all. It does not work on its own it and its not an application; it has no user interface. It has no user community, has no search capability. right. It doesn’t do many things that the user will need; so it’s these intermediaries institutions on the outside at the time line who are going to be intermediating the data that goes into the registry with the user base .” -Steve Midgley, Learning Registry 2011, Nottingham Seminar
Now, fast forward to present day and remember the need for outside partners: the intermediary vendors and institutions to deliver the student data to the Learning Registry.
October 29, 2015 OERs (Open Ed Resources= online curriculum)
“The U.S. Department of Education announced today the launch of #GoOpen, a campaign to encourage states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials. … “In order to ensure that all students – no matter their zip code – have access to high-quality learning resources, we are encouraging districts and states to move away from traditional textbooks and toward freely accessible, openly-licensed [online] materials,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “Districts across the country are transforming learning by using materials that can be constantly updated and adjusted to meet students’ needs.”
- Amazon will provide infrastructure and developer support for the Department of Education’s Learning Registry, which runs on AWS Cloud, for two years, ensuring that it remain robust and freely available for all 15,000 school districts in our country so every child can benefit from these resources, cutting waste and allowing teachers to focus their time and efforts more fully on teaching. In addition, Amazon is collaborating with education partners to leverage their technology and expertise in content discovery and distribution to support open education resources initiatives and the Learning Registry.
- Edmodo, the leading K-12 education network for teacher and student collaboration, announced an upgrade to its resource sharing platform, Edmodo Spotlight, to enable searching, curating, and sharing openly licensed educational resources from the Education Department’s Learning Registry. Edmodo will also provide professional learning resources for districts to curate, organize and share openly licensed educational resources in Edmodo Spotlight.
- Microsoft is committed to index content from the Learning Registry by creating a new app so educators can search and access openly licensed educational resources through LTI compliant learning management and publisher systems. In addition, Microsoft announced enhanced features to Docs.com, Sway and OneNote Class Notebook to enable educators to create, discover, rate, and share openly licensed educational resources. The products are fully integrated with Microsoft Office and will enable tailored curation of resource collections, and encourage reuse by supporting open licenses and metadata sharing.
- Creative Commons, the global leader in open licensing to enable use and re-use of content, announced they will lead workshops across the country with thousands of district leaders to help them scale the use of openly licensed educational resources with the goal to replace old, expensive textbooks in their districts with new, up-to-date, openly licensed educational resources. Creative Commons will provide the hands-on help that districts need to propel them to a new model of empowering their teachers to create, share, customize, and improve openly licensed educational resources.
- ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, announced they will provide ongoing professional development resources and webinars for Future Ready school districts* committing to help train educators on the use of openly licensed educational resources. ASCD will work with district leaders to support districts pledging to replace one textbook with openly licensed educational resources by next fall.
*read about The Future Ready Pledge
But that’s not all. There are far more “outside partners”. IMS Global partners with the Federal Learning Registry on many things, such as data badges, (and more on the work with data badges and competencies here–note the partners at the bottom). They were also crucial players in creating the interoperable data standards (data tags, originally talked about at the launch of the DQC in 2006) that we currently use in our state SLDS and CEDS data dictionaries. IMS Global is also instrumental in the shift to “digital curriculum, based on open interoperable data standards”.
You would be surprised to see the number of vendors and institutions that partner with IMS Global. REALLY. You won’t want to miss it. Here are several partners of IMS Global.
Perhaps, after hearing about this data collection, you may want to ensure transparency and ” privacy permissions” and “appropriate anonymization” are truly happening with your child’s data. If you would like to be able to see the data collected about your child and see who has access to it… or if you simply want to say NO…
Sign this petition created by a dad, that asks for parental and student rights regarding testing and a child’s data.