In the near future, Sony and IBM plan on putting all education eggs in one basket: the Blockchain Ledger. This is very, very bad. Especially when Sony wants artificial intelligence to analyze the information for the classroom.
Beyond making it easier to share information, Sony said also that the stored data sets could potentially be analyzed using AI to provide feedback and improvement ideas for educational institutions and their curriculums and management.
According to Techcrunch, this wouldn’t roll out until next year and it is in the experimental stages now. The idea is to use some school districts as a model. What would be in this digital portfolio? Test scores, diplomas, education records which I can only assume will include social-emotional measurements, discipline records, and health records. While the system touts itself as being the most secure on the planet, that also means all that data would follow a student from cradle to grave. In the article, they talk about how it can be helpful for future employment. My fear is children will be judged based on test scores and potential behavior issues they might have exhibited when they were a teenager. To me, this is a huge mistake.
I wrote about Blockchain and its capabilities in education a year ago. Delaware passed it into law for banking purposes earlier this summer. Both Delaware Governor Carney and former Governor Jack Markell wanted those laws to pass. While much of that was for the financial viability of the state in getting Delaware in on the ground floor, the impact on public education was sure to be a discussion point during these decisions. Governor Markell has always touted himself as the “education Governor” and pimps many corporate education reform companies in Delaware and across the country.
The future I’ve been dreading is coming to pass, right before my eyes. Artificial Intelligence should never replace human decision-making capabilities but our education leaders seem to welcome this corporate invasion of public education. I have no doubt I will be writing more about this in the future. While we can all agree public education needs some changes, this is not the way to go. Our children’s future depends on human interaction, not algorithm, data sets and artificial intelligence. This was why all the states had to create longitudinal data systems during Race To The Top all those years ago. It wasn’t setting up Common Core. It was setting this up. Are we machines or are we human?