By Barbara Kurshan
Successful edtech entrepreneurs are data-driven in their approach to innovation and seek to measure the impact of their solution on the problem it attempts to address. The data they use often comes in the form of “Big Data,” which Lev Manovich (2011) defines as “data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.” Given the possibilities Big Data offers for assessing impact, many edtech entrepreneurs incorporate ways to gather user data when developing their products. Other edtech entrepreneurs try to obtain student data from schools/school districts and typically encounter challenges in doing so. While Big Data provides the opportunity for edtech entrepreneurs to create innovative technology solutions to address critical problems in education, it also has ushered in a wave of privacy incursions. For ethical and legal reasons, edtech entrepreneurs must understand student data privacy laws and related privacy issues.