Asleep at the Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking

Faith Boninger, Alex Molnar, Kevin Murray, National Education Policy Center, Aug 18, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A new report from the National Education Policy Center (55 page PDF) argues that schools should be prohibited from collecting student data unless rigorous safeguards are put into place, that algorithms used in personalized learning should be openly available for examination, and that the use of such technology shoulds require thirs-party assessments for validity and utility, including examinations of the technology (including, presumably, data sets) for bias and error. It's hard to disagree with such requirements (and I don't), but there are some open questions: who does the assessing? And how do we prevent the cost of such assessments from effectively elimining free and open source technology from the options available to schools?

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