Big Data – More risks than chances?

There is an elephant in the room, at every conference in nearly every discipline. The elephant is so extraordinary that everyone seems to want to watch and hype it. In all this trouble a lot of common sense seems to get lost and especially the little mice, who are creeping around the corners, overlooked.

The big topic is Big Data, the next big thing that will revolutionise society, at least when you believe the advertisements. The topic grew in the past few years into something really big, especially as the opportunities of this term are regularly demonstrated by social media companies. Funding agencies and governments have seen this and put Big Data at their top of their science agenda. A consequence are masses of scientist, sitting in conference sessions about Big Data and discussions vary between the question on what it is and how it can be used. Nevertheless, there are a lot of traps in this field, who might have serious consequences for science in general. Continue reading

MOOC – the future of lecturing?

In the past couple of month I had taken a look at Massive Open Online Courses, better known under its abbreviation MOOC. These courses received some attention recently and from time to time you hear that they will be the future of lecturing at Universities. In this post I would like to talk about some of my own impressions on this topic and show where the problems and chances of these systems can be found.

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