Say goodbye to ‘Teacher Influencers’ and hello to ‘Educational Data Advocates’

Year: 2019

Author: Arantes, Janine, Buchanan, Rachel

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The use of apps and platforms in K-12 Education has seen the role of the teacher change. In the last decade, predictive analytics have become an increasingly common tool within the apps and platforms that teachers use on a day to day basis. This has changed the platform from being a tool that the teacher uses, to the teacher being a tool that the platform uses. ‘Teacher influencers’, who act as brand ambassadors for platforms are part of the educational ecosystem and a powerful marketing conduit for commercial platforms. The ‘Apps in Australian Classrooms’ Project, collected data from 214 surveys and 23 semi-structured interviews with K-12 teachers across Australia. One of the common themes in the Project evidenced that K-12 teachers are resisting the notion of teacher influencers and expressing interest in what will be called here, ‘Educational Data Advocates’. An educational data advocate speaks on behalf of the teacher and debates how big data and analytics may impact educational practice from an immanently ethical viewpoint. The goals is to create a position that acts as a shared tool between the commercial platform, the teacher and the designers of the analytics. Using the example that explores the difference between ‘personalized learning’ and ‘personalization’, the paper will present how immanently ethical differences are impacting the role of the teacher and how educational data advocates could reshape the current educational ecosystem.