Author Archives: Ben Williamson

Learning lessons from data controversies

Ben Williamson This is a talk delivered at OEB2018 in Berlin on 7 December 2018, with links to key sources. A video recording is also available (from about 51mins mark) Ten years ago ‘big data’ was going to change everything … Continue reading

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The app store for higher education

Ben Williamson A government competition aims to make choosing a degree as easy as swiping a smartphone. Image by Garry Knight App stores are among the most significant aspects of contemporary cultures. Commercial environments where consumers choose digital products, they … Continue reading

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The mutating metric machinery of higher education

Ben Williamson Higher education increasingly depends on complex data systems to process and visualize performance metrics. Image by Dennis van Zuijlekom Contemporary culture is increasingly defined by metrics. Measures of quantitative assessment, evaluation, performance, and comparison infuse public services, commercial … Continue reading

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The tech elite is making a power-grab for public education

Ben Williamson Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are linking public education into their growing networks of activity and influence. Image by Steve Jurvetson   In the same week that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced a major move into education provision, the FBI issued a … Continue reading

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Genetics, big data science, and postgenomic education research

Ben Williamson A diagram visualizing the genetic variants associated with educational attainment. Image by Emily Willoughby. An international consortium of genetics researchers has established a link between genes and educational attainment from a study of over a million people. One … Continue reading

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Edu-business as usual—market-making in higher education

Ben Williamson The Nido Spitalfields Tower, the world’s tallest student accommodation, sits on the boundary of the  financial district of London. Image by UggBoyUggGirl The global education business Pearson has established itself as a major player in higher education around the world. With … Continue reading

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Comments on ClassDojo controversy

Ben Williamson The educational app ClassDojo has been the target of articles in several British newspapers. The Times reported on data privacy risks raised by the offshoring of UK student data to the US company–a story The Daily Mail re-reported. The … Continue reading

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