If you have been wondering why data mining matters so much,
you will want to see this video.

Please note that the U.S. Department of
Education’s logo is on this video.

In it, an entrepreneur named Jose Ferreira, CEO of Knewton, shares his vision for a future in
which education of every individual child is completely determined
by data. Education today happens to be the most “data-mineable
industry in the world,” he says.

His firm and Pearson can map out whatever your child knows and doesn’t know, design lessons, and do
whatever is necessary to “teach” the concepts needed. There is
nothing about your child that they don’t know, and they will know
more about him or her next year than they do this year. If this is
the future, then teachers will be mere technicians, if they are
needed at all. What do you think?

Peter Greene saw the video and
thought it was scary. He wrote: “Knewton will generate this giant
data picture. Ferreira says presents this the same way you’d say,
“Once we get milk and bread at the store,” when I suspect it’s
really more on the order of “Once we cure cancer by using our
anti-gravity skateboards,” but never mind. Once the data maps are
up and running, Knewton will start operating like a giant
educational match.com, connecting Pat with a perfect educational
match so that Pat’s teacher in Iowa can use the technique that some
other teacher used with some other kid in Minnesota. Because
students are just data-generating widgets. “Ferreira is also
impressed that the data was able to tell him that some students in
a class are slow and struggling, while another student could take
the final on Day 14 and get an A, and for the five billionth time I
want to ask this Purveyor of Educational Revolution, “Just how
stupid do you think teachers are?? Do you think we are actually
incapable of figuring those sorts of things out on our
own?””