This is my piece of fiction submitted for the my digital artefact for the amazing MOOC #edcmooc from the University of Edinburgh.
Op Ed by Bark Fullerberg, president of CourseX. Friday June 24th 2024
CourseX funded in 2015 is a Fortune 50 company and the most important global Education provider in the US with a total of 92% of enrolled US children. It was a result of the merger between Coursera and EdX. CourseX serves educational content for 200,000 schools and colleges from Pre-K to Higher Ed.
In 2022, it incorporated Driscoll, the last classic school that still existed, in Brookline MA. And earlier this year Harvard University was finally, assimilated into CourseX’s network of subsidiaries. CourseX employs directly 500 persons and englobes a network of 50,000 part-time content providers. It has been nicknamed by its detractors as the Walmart of education.
There have recently been rumors and unfounded stories attacking CourseX and our Education model, EduAll. I would like to take this opportunity to responds to these attacks.
Ever since we started CourseX in 2015 we had one goal and one goal only. To bring the best education possible to our children and our students in the USA. In the early 2000’s our education system was broken in many ways. From low quality, high prices and a strong disconnect to the job market. In comparative international ratings, US schoolers were no longer in the top 50 of nations. At CourseX we aimed to change that and by God we succeeded!
As you are aware, since the Brin and Page bill of 2017, also known as the Free Big Data bill, Congress voted to free all our personal data. In order to secure our future and our way of life, privacy had to go. There is barely a field where this decision to do away with privacy had a bigger impact than in Education. Education was reinvented. Education was reborn.
As you know all your children activities are now tracked and available to the EduStaff, you the parents and potential employers. This tracking enables us to build what is called the EduID. An extremely precise profile of your child personality, abilities, character and market relevance.
The EduID is the profile that is created for each child or teen ager by analyzing all the data that is related to him or her. It’s the student DNA. And the key to our decision making algorithms.
A child’s EduID stems from 6 different type of tracking.
Objects: Thanks to the internet of things, the way your son or daughter uses or misuses his possessions is tracked and recorded. No more secrets in the locker, no more illegal activities, drugs, smoking alcohol or unofficial contraception, … without the parents and the EduSup knowing. Beside the added safety this has brought to your kids, the way they handle their objects also tells us a lot about their personality. Do they care? Are they orderly? Are they cautious? This is an important part of their EduId.
Eating: We also track your kid’s eating habits. And of course what’s in your fridge and kitchen. This has tremendous health repercussions and has allowed Insurance companies to serve everyone better. More healthy students make better students.
Location: The student whereabouts are tracked through their imbedded chips and phones. For you as a parent that meant no more worrying where you daughter or son could be. For the EduSup, it meant knowing how much time a student spends doing his homework, working at his desk or playing.
Messages: All email, text and voice correspondence is now analyzed. By knowing your child social network we can issue warnings when the child is associating with children that are judged inappropriate for his EduID type. We can also analyze the content of the correspondence to rate the child language proficiency and detect rebellious or counter-productive thoughts thanks to our EduDetect technology.
Online: The picture would not be complete if we did not know what the kids did online when accessing the Internet. “All your online activities are belong to us” to quote an ancient video game. The way you search, what you search for, what you say, buy or think, …, no wait, …, we still don’t know what you think but I would say with all we know about a child behavior this is no longer relevant. Who cares what a child thinks when you can predict exactly how he or she will behave.
School: But the most important factor in establishing the EduID is that everything the child or the student does at school is of course recorded. The way he clicks, where he pauses in a video, how he searches, how fast he reads, what he reads, …, we have all the data. And thanks to your enhanced glasses, EduGlass, even the child eye ball movements are recorded. We know how the kid works, how efficient he is at performing tasks, how his brain is wired, how his memory functions, how creative is his thinking.
Data based decisions
What do we do with all this data? We do many many things. Simply put, our pool of data crunching, prediction, regression and decision algorithms enable us
- to adapt the courses to best suit the kids learning profile. It’s called adaptive learning.
- to perfectly evaluate the kids abilities and skill set
- to exactly predict how he or she will behave in various settings and as a result to establish a list of perfectly suited jobs where the student will perform best.
One of biggest impact of our EduAll model has been to get rid of exams. We have removed human grading, which is often biased, and restored objectivity. We got rid of exam induced stressed and many kids and parents thank us for that.
Rumours of failing level in all subjects are simply not true. Thanks to ADHD drugs, and the new Focus tm diet supplemental by BestStudents (a subsidiary of CourseX), kids can now stay focused on their task for more than 8 hours a day. Kids achieve scores never before attained.
Evidently some subjects had to be removed from the general curriculum. Classic literature for instance is not suited to computer and algorithmic evaluation. But in the end, there’s always a time later in life when to read War and Peace.
But the true benefit of this amazing technological revolution is that our children are now perfectly adapted to the job market.
By modifying our school curriculum to fit the technology, by constantly adapting the courses to the students needs, by removing the human factor in teaching, and more importantly using all the available data to adaptively and constantly evaluate students we are now able to get closer to a perfect society. A society where everyone will have the job that is best suited to his or her abilities, wishes and intelligence. A society where each and every kid has the eduction he deserves, the one that is best suited for him or her.
We have removed the “human” from education and the world is a better place for it.
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