How data has changed the educational landscape
By Guest Blogger on June 5th, 2012
Anyone who follows education knows that “differentiated instruction” is one of the hottest topics out there. While the topic gets a lot of “ink” and nearly everyone agrees it’s the right strategy, the data collection and analysis upon which it depends is not yet widespread. As a manual process, gathering and analyzing multiple data points for each student is a herculean task for classroom teachers. However, with technology all that changes. Sam Howe, Scholastic Vice President Academic Planning & Analysis and data guru is here to discuss how data has changed the educational landscape.
Thanks to a new generation of educational software programs, teachers, students, and parents now have access to valuable data to help all children achieve academic success. Here are a few examples of educational data discussions that are now possible.
The leading educational software programs collect continuous data on student successes, challenges, and time on task. Teachers are able to examine data reports to provide personalized instruction to individual students and small groups.
Teachers can also use these new software tools to track the progress of individual and whole classes of students over the course of a school year. This type of progress monitoring allows educators to identify challenges in areas such as reading and mathematics as soon as the trouble starts — the best time to intervene and get kids back on track.
Thanks to advances in dashboard software, students are now able to work with their teachers and parents to set challenging academic goals for the year and track their steady progress – just as they do when they play popular videogames. On my regular visits to reading intervention classrooms across the nation, I have spoken with proud students who happily report how many lessons they have completed, books they have read, and their reading achievement growth. Scholastic’s READ 180 reading intervention program is an exemplar of this new generation of educational software. The program has dashboards showing key data on usage plus gains for students, teachers, and district leaders plus growth reports for parents in multiple languages.
Of greatest excitement to me, as a parent, is how technology has transformed the parent – teacher conference. I can now sit down with the teacher and review my daughter’s progress on key assessments, examine digital examples of her work, and discuss her progress not only this school year but also over the last several years. I can see that she is on a path to be ready for algebra in grade 8 and that if she continues with her current reading habits; she will probably be college ready by the end of 11th grade. That’s empowering for all of us – the teacher, the parents and most of all, the student!
No comments yet