What do Electronic Payments have to do with Education?
I was watching “Press Here” a local program that shares technology trends where they discussed electronic payments. All of this made me think about how companies are changing how we interact with money and what that will mean for our future. Then I put two and two together on the use of algorithms and what that means for our children. I wanted to share some of the new advances for mobile payments where companies use the label “personalization” before I bring up the use of algorithms in education.
How many of you have used Uber or Lyft? Think about how easy they are to use. You sign up to one of them or both and need a ride somewhere. You pull up one of the apps and there you are on the map with several cars nearby. Choose one! Then a few minutes later the car is at your door. No money changes hands — at least that you have to do during that event. It is all behind the scenes on your phone attached to your bank account.
Consider what this means for electronic payments in the future?
Will this affect everything including education?
(I write about this at the end of this post)
Here are a few more apps that are changing the way we pay for things:
There is an app called paybyphone that lets you do just that in the US and Europe.
- Download the app
- Enter the location code you wish to park in
- Enter the time you want to stay there
- Extend your time from anywhere using app
paybyphone offers you multiple ways to signup or use their service: online, through a text, or even by phone.
sessionm is a mobile marketing cloud platform integrating what you are doing online and in social media to build brand loyalty and personalize your experience.
Why am I talking about this now when mentioning the future of payments? This app is in the background of many of your payments. One I want to talk about is Starbucks. You go into Starbucks and purchase a specific drink that you tend to order a few more times. This behavior is now part of the data Starbucks collects on you. In the future when you walk in the door, up comes your most recent purchase. You may end up getting points or rewards based on your behavior.
This is called mobile marketing automation with “personalization” and data management to act in real-time at the moment of impact.
Mmmmm….. Think there are a few more I need to reflect on before talking about “personalization” and education.
Metromile offers pay-per-mile insurance that could save you money if you don’t drive that much. Then they go steps further by powering smart driving that can…
- Track and optimize your tips.
- Always know where your car is parked and the best way to get there.
- Get a diagnosis of your car’s running condition.
- Street sweeping alerts in some cities.
There are also ways to get “personalized” recommendations with companies that offer a flat or annual fee program for unlimited ad-free access to products.
- Flat fee payments for movies with Netflix so I can watch as many TV shows, documentaries, movies, and more that I want when I want to.
- One annual fee for Amazon Prime so I can get free shipping and discounts on products, movies, and books. There are options now for monthly rates for Prime Music, Prime Photos, and Kindle Owners Lending Library.
I just received a Plenti card that is a rewards program that gives me points with multiple companies: Rite Aid, AT&T, Exxon, Macy’s, Mobil, Nationwide, Direct Energy, Enterprise, and Hulu.
Okay – now why am I talking about money and “personalization”? It’s because companies want to “personalize” your shopping experience. They are using algorithms to give you points, rewards, recommendations, offers, and more based on your behavior. This is PUSH technology as its best — or is it? We are going to see more and more of this information like Plenti and be connected in ways we will never know. But we need to be careful who we give our personal data to and track what they do with it.
Have you received recommendations for a book or movie
that you definitely would never read or watch?
Remember the algorithm these companies use is based on your behavior not what you think. You may be clicking around just to see a different movie that is not in your comfort zone. Then look at your list of recommendations and you see more like it. Is that really “Personalization?”
Now I need to bring up “personalization” and what that means for education as I asked at the beginning of this post. Don’t give up on me yet!
There are companies that are using algorithms and data in the background to “personalize” our children’s learning experiences. This type of programming is called an “adaptive learning system” where a learner typically answers a multiple choice question and moves to the next question based on their answer.
The concern I have is that one company, in particular, Knewton announced in their press release that its “adaptive learning system” will be available to anyone and that it allows teachers to upload their quizzes and tests. Teachers really don’t have to be involved in assessment according to Knewton. Now Knewton can use the algorithms to grab the data and “assess” the content for each learner. Now, this is why I’m writing this post and want you to be aware of companies like Knewton. I read the following quote on Audrey Watters blog HackED “The Algorithmic Future of Education“:
“We literally know everything about what you know and how you learn best, everything” Jose Ferreira, Knewton CEO and Founder says in a video posted on the Department of Education website. “We have five orders of magnitude more data about you than Google has. …We literally have more data about our students than any company has about anybody else about anything, and it’s not even close.”
“The way that Knewton describes it, this technology is an incredible, first-of-its-kind breakthrough in “personalization” – that is, the individualization of instruction and assessment, mediated through technology in this case. “Personalization” as it’s often framed it meant to counter the “one-size-fits-all” education that, stereotypically at least, the traditional classroom provides.”
No — No — No!!!
This is not “Personalized Learning” and is not the same as the companies I listed above who are “personalizing” marketing strategies. Our kids are not driving the learning or a part of this hijacking of education. Ferreira’s idea of knowing how learners learn best is not based on research or on neuroscience on how we learn best.
Don’t fall for it!!!
Read these posts:
- Put the Person back in Personalization
- Didn’t We Do this Already?
- This Time It’s Personal and Dangerous
Our kids need the skills to know when they are being manipulated so they can take control of their learning and their life. They also need to know that if they get a recommendation from a company to purchase something, they don’t have to buy it. They need to be skeptical, curious, and critically consider what will be best for them. That’s our job as educators. It’s about encouraging learners to have a voice and choice so they are intrinsically motivated to want to learn.
Let’s help them navigate the new world of payment and what some call “personalization.” But let’s be clear what that means for teaching and learning and fight for our kids so they are the ones personalizing their learning experiences with teachers guiding the process not a company that is using their data to tell them that they know best how they learn.
We need kids that are not “compliant” following the leads from a company based on clicks. They are so much smarter than we give them credit. We need to encourage learners at a very young age to learn how to learn, to reflect on their learning, and to be the ones in control of their learning so they are lifelong, self-directed learners.
Interested in checking out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and reflections, click on the podcast tab at the top, the logo below, or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
For more information about Barbara’s book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, questions, and links.