Is “Personalized” online learning a form of self incrimination?
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Data: IF THEY CANNOT TELL YOU WHAT DATA IS COLLECTED and HOW IT IS USED, SAY NO.
You may have heard the phrase, “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.” America’s school children (and their parents) might do well to utter that phrase–until the online programs that collect MASSIVE amounts of hidden data are required to tell you what information they are collecting and how they are using it to make decisions about children’s futures. (Nuremberg law states that “voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential” and human subjects have a right to know what data is collected and how it will be used. Why aren’t we demanding that this law be enforced prior to collecting data on our children?)
“Personalized” or “adaptive” or “competency based education“ means companies collect data about the student. They do this by using computer programs called algorithms– to detect everything from anxiety, ADHD, personality, voice inflection, income, facial expression and emotion, you name it. Then they can combine all that data with other available data to create huge PREDICTIVE profiles of each child, and determine what that child needs what that child will likely be suited for, based on this hidden (possibly inaccurate data).
This is a wakeup call America. Education is moving rapidly to online, (#GoOpen, “free” online curriculum) and eventually education will be schools-without-walls. The data industry will know everything about school children. How that information will be used as a digital footprint to determine insurance underwriters’ decisions, college entrance, future career tracks, future criminal activity score etc. is unknown.
Before you answer that survey, before you upload any information, think and ask how that information may be used against you, to incriminate you or your child in the future.
Think this is not already happening with BigData? Think again. Everything you do on the internet is monitored, analyzed and can be used to profile you, and PREDICT future crimes, future opportunities. Think about the lifetime of a child who uses online “personalized” instruction daily.
Algorithms are unjust. If you believe the hype that having internet access solves the equity problem, you would be wrong. Online data collection, and algorithms are themselves inequitable and biased.
READ these articles showing that algorithms are often wrong and often biased.
The Internet and data collecting algorithms are anything but equitable.
ProPublica is doing an entire series on Machine Bias and algorithmic injustice:
Humanizing Education’s Algorithms-EdSurge
“Personalized learning is a lofty aim, however you define it. To truly meet each student where they are, we would have to know their most intimate details, or discover it through their interactions with our digital tools. We would need to track their moods and preferences, their fears and beliefs…perhaps even their memories.
There’s something unsettling about capturing users’ most intimate details. Any prediction model based off historical records risks typecasting the very people it is intended to serve. Even if models can overcome the threat of discrimination, there is still an ethical question to confront – just how much are we entitled to know about students?” read more…