reflect:ed 2 December 2010 – Analytics and Metrics in Education

To let the year wind down I would like to say a couple of words in order to thank you, my readers and subscribers, for your support and encouragement throughout 2010.

This year has been a big step in my personal career as I was able to realize some personal goals and new projects like the reflect:ed newsletter, I did more consulting on educational projects as well as going on with my altruistic Deutsch Happen project on Youtube and taking the blog and the EDUKWEST interviews to a new level.

I’m grateful to have met many new inspiring people and was fortunate enough to collaborate with some you.

Today, the second reflect:ed newsletter comes out and I’m pretty proud of it and I would like to give you all the possibility to get an idea what it’s all about.

[...] The first group we should talk about are the so called helicopter parents.
There has been written a lot about helicopter parents / moms this year. According to Wikipedia there are two reasons for the rise of helicopter parenting.
One being the rise of the mobile phone, the other one the rise of tuition costs and therefore the need to protect the “financial investment”.
Yet another important factor can be found in the social shift we are going through, where women need to balance out career and parenting whilst showing their parents that they can do at least as well as if not better than them.

This often leads to frustration, especially in the well educated upper-middle class families. And I think here lies one big pain point to solve for online education. Those parents know that the information they are looking for is out there. It is stored in computers, the same machines they are using daily in their jobs. As a consequence they also know that it is basically not that difficult to hand them this information out.
But as we are still in a transition period this data is handled like during the past decades, hidden behind walls and kept secret by door keepers.

Therefore parents seem to try out other ways to receive this information, like “stalking” their children or teachers with “modern” devices.
I still remember my parents say “What do I need a mobile phone for? I don’t need to be reached all the time.” and I think you would agree that those times are definitely over. We expect everyone to be accessible when we have a question. For children it used to be that situation when they come home and parents asked “How was your day? Do you have homework to do? How was the test?” etc and for teachers it was this meeting with the parents once or twice a year being asked “OK, how does my child perform? Is everything how we expect it to be?”.
Today however, parents can ask this question via phone call, email or SMS anytime they want.

The frustration then comes from the reaction on the other side, may it be the children or teachers who, for good or bad reasons, ignore them.
It’s basically the same as before but the speed of this ping pong game changed dramatically and therefore the time until escalation, too. [...]

I will of course appreciate new subscribers to it or seeing you buy your individual copy but even just knowing you read its exerpt and my blog in general makes me happy.

I even get happier when my readers get in touch with me and we start an exchange of ideas.

In that sense, Happy 2011 to all of you!

Kirsten