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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Conference Papers and Proceedings
Author(s): Williamson, Ben
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Title: Smarter learning software: Education and the big data imaginary
Citation: Williamson B (2015) Smarter learning software: Education and the big data imaginary. Big Data—Social Data, Warwick, 10.12.2015-10.12.2015.
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Date Deposited: 18-Jan-2016
Conference Name: Big Data—Social Data
Conference Dates: 2015-12-10 - 2015-12-10
Conference Location: Warwick
Abstract: Big data and smarter learning software systems are beginning to impact on education, particularly within the schools sector. This paper traces the emergence of a ‘big data imaginary,’ a vision of a desirable future of education that its advocates believe is attainable through the application of big data technologies and practices. Firstly, it identifies a ‘first wave of big data’ in nineteenth-century education exhibitions and its continuities with the visualization of large-scale educational data today. Secondly, it details the emergence of ‘educational data science’ as an exemplar of how ‘second wave big data’ has entered the imagination of many actors within education. Thirdly, it then demonstrates how education is being reimagined in relation to ‘smart cities’ that depend on big data for their functioning, before fourthly detailing the recent appearance of ‘startup schools’ that are being established by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to run as testbeds of smarter learning software systems. A concluding section discusses how the future of education may be governed by the production and circulation of the ‘data and algorithms of the powerful.’
Status: AM - Accepted Manuscript
Rights: Author retains copyright. Proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details should be given.

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