What are the benefits of libraries in this day and age?
Like a good librarian, Tony Marx of the New York Public Library has some answers. Today’s libraries still lend books, he says. But they also provide other services to communities, such as free access to computers and Wi-Fi, story times to children, language classes to immigrants and technology training to everyone.
“Public libraries are arguably more important today than ever before,” Marx says. “Their mission is still the same — to provide free access to information to all people. The way people access information has changed, but they still need the information to succeed, and libraries are providing that.”
Or as Andrew Carnegie said many years ago: “A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.”
In recent years, two communities have grown around a joint interest in how big data can be exploited to benefit education and the science of learning: Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics. This article discusses the rela- tionship between these two communities, and the key methods and approaches of educational data mining. The article discusses how these methods emerged in the early days of research in this area, which methods have seen particular interest in the EDM and learning analytics communities, and how this has changed as the field matures and has moved to making significant contributions to both educa- tional research and practice.