I liked John Legend’s portrayal of Jesus in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, but there was one moment I really needed a heavy-metal scream from him and didn’t get it. (As a sometime chorister, I understand! Heavy-metal screams are tough on the throat.)
In this Big-Data-brownnosing Chronicle puff piece, the movers behind Unizin and its grossly invasive Big Data platform make plain what lots of us (self included) suspected: this is an Orwellian-telescreen Bentham-panopticon play.
But as important or more, says Hilton, is what can be learned from Unizin’s capacity for data collection and analysis. Members have access to the online-learning platform Canvas and its associated data — not only from each member institution but also collective, anonymized data. That will increasingly enable discovery of broad trends from the overall membership, as well as micro-information for every class. Combine that with data on students’ demographics and background, Unizin says, and you have a powerful tool to make predictions, spot problems, and improve pedagogy.
“Anonymized” data isn’t, not at the level of detail Unizin is planning. “Micro-information for every class” means labor surveillance. The default is surveillance-on, of course, and it may well be the only option. As for Brad Wheeler? I’ve seen his big ideas before. One thing I personally, in-person, my own self, noticed is that he steamrolls everyone he can—especially women. (Cis male higher-ed educators in Unizin shops, you need to speak up, and the time you need to speak up is now.)
I am heavy-metal screaming right now. My classroom should be a house of learning! But you have forced in these data thieves!
Get out. GET OUT!