GRAD 5104 – Tech & Innovation in Higher Ed

This is an interesting reflection I wanted to share. In summary, the takeaways for me are the following:

  • Machine learning and big data analytics are proliferating higher ed
  • Their purpose is in complementing human skills and not replacing them
  • Should not be thought as replacing “human social interactions”
  • Striking the right balance is key
  • Three aspects where machine learning and big data analytics can play a role: teaching and learning; predictive analytics; and student support.
  • Risk: privacy
  • According to the author the balancing act to reap the benefits, “higher education may have to either commit to a certain level of privacy invasion — students will have to volunteer more and more data to refine the models — or sacrifice certain analytic power to provide students the relative privacy they want to maintain.” but acknowledges that can be tricky.


  1. I appreciate the idea that technology should complement humans. There should be a more collaborative approach to working with technology in higher education. This perspective might alleviate concerns that machines will eventually take away our jobs and roles. Machines and technology should improve our work and practice and not cause us to be in constant fear.


  2. I agree. Technology is changing how we respond to challenges facing our society. Universities are in a unique position to impart digital knowledge into society. However, if we are not digitally equipped or digitally literate about the opportunities that social media and technology can provide for us, we will lose out and fall behind. As a society, we must adapt to the digital landscape and change the way we approach technology.


    1. Especially when you think about the attitude held by some that higher ed is not useful to society, technologically ill-equipped graduates will not make a strong case to the contrary.


    1. As someone interested in technology, what I see is that every new technology has potential risks to which we need to pay attention. Otherwise, the risks will undermine the great benefits we can get from them.


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