Student Data Principles gain 40 official supporters

Principles intend to build commitment to secure students’ personal information, promote data use in service of learning

data-studentThe Data Quality Campaign (DQC) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today announced that 40 national education organizations officially support the Student Data Principles.

Launched in March 2015, the Principles are a dedicated effort by major national education associations to articulate commonly held principles around the use and safeguarding of student data. To see the full list of supporters, please visit:

“Growing support for the Student Data Principles is a clear affirmation of the education community’s commitment to the effective and responsible use of student data,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “Everyone who uses data to help students achieve should adhere to and build upon these 10 principles.”…Read More

Stopping teacher turnover in its tracks

How do you retain the best educators? Observation and feedback, says one school

turnover-teachersGetting new teachers into the classroom has been a major focus of districts across the country during the last 30 years, as turnover has increased, especially in historically underserved communities. School leaders at high need urban schools and elsewhere have resorted to signing bonuses, merit pay, and strong benefits in an attempt to lure teachers in. One public school in Arizona even advertises a four-day work week as a selling point to get them in the door.

Recruitment is important. However, the retention of high quality teachers is equally, if not more, crucial. More organizations are realizing the necessity of developing ways to support teachers to raise retention. Keeping effective teachers in classrooms, particularly in a high needs school, is becoming more of a focus for administrators. One way to achieve retention is through building a common mission and vision. Teachers want to be part of a high quality organization dedicated to a common goal for success.

Milwaukee College Prep, where I serve as COO, is a high achieving urban K-8 charter management organization with four campuses and 2,000 students. The campuses are located in the most poverty-stricken areas in Milwaukee. As a successful urban CMO, one of the most important questions often asked is, “How do you train and retain outstanding educators?” To which I often reply that giving teachers support through observations and feedback is perhaps the most vital piece. Teachers who are passionate about education pursue opportunities to perfect their skills. They appreciate feedback and specific action steps to guide self-improvement.…Read More

Informal survey suggests disconnect between teachers and data

Vendor’s poll hints at gaps in identifying and acting upon problems using data

data-gapsAt this year’s ISTE conference Lexia Learning polled more than 200 educators in an informal survey, which suggests teachers are not using collected data to pinpoint skill deficiencies in a timely manner.

According to the survey, only 35 percent of respondents felt that teachers at their schools had a high or very high level of comfort connecting data to instruction.

The survey also found that fewer than half (48 percent) of respondents felt that their current screener assessments provide clear categorizations of which students were on track and which needed more attention. This compounds the problem where a majority of learners are not receiving the support they need, and indicates that some of their teachers may not even be aware that there is a problem to solve.…Read More

Instructure launches Canvas Data

Canvas Data provides insight into teaching and learning data for institutions

canvas-dataInstructure, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company and creator of the Canvas learning management system (LMS), has released Canvas Data, a hosted data solution providing fully optimized data to K-12 and higher education institutions capturing online teaching and learning activity.

As a tool for education improvement, the basic version of the service will be made available to Canvas clients at no additional cost, with premium versions available for purchase.

“Education data transforms the way we teach and learn by making the invisible — visible,” said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure. “However, its impact relies on how the data is analyzed and applied, and how the underlying platform is used. The Canvas platform has consistently higher adoption rates than legacy learning management systems, making its data more complete and valuable than other solutions.”…Read More

D2L launches newest Brightspace Insights

Educators can access a variety of data to help predict at-risk learners and help them in real-time

brightspace-d2lD2L (formerly “Desire2Learn”) recently unveiled the newest version of its Brightspace Insights analytics suite. With this release, D2L can now aggregate and capture streamed student data from across the entire learning ecosystem (including learning apps, content publishers, online tools, and different learning management systems) and empower instructors to act on one complete view of the student at the moment of learning.

With Brightspace Insights, instructors can now see where learners are succeeding or struggling and intervene in real-time to improve outcomes and degree attainment rates.

The new Brightspace Insights track, measure, and monitor student progress and aim to help improve engagement at every step. With the transmission of IMS Caliper learning events from tools like the Kaltura Video Platform, Microsoft Office Mix and Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook Creator into Brightspace, faculty and teachers now see a richer view of learning activities across all tools.…Read More

What do teachers really think of data tools?

Gates Foundation study aims to outline, assess teachers’ opinions on classroom data use and the tools to support it

data-reportTwo-thirds of teachers in a Gates Foundation study said they are not completely satisfied with the data, or tools designed to help them work with data, which they are able to access on a regular basis.

Teachers Know Best: Making Data Work for Teachers and Students examines digital instructional tools that help teachers collect and use student data and attempts to outline the challenges teachers face when working with these digital tools.

Teachers in the national survey (in which about 4,600 participated) said they believe they have a responsibility to support each and every student, and that they should adjust instruction based on each student’s strengths, needs, and interests. In fact, 86 percent seek ways to engage students based on who student are, and 78 percent said they think data can help define where students are and where they can go.…Read More

Skyward expands use of the Ed-Fi Data Standard

Comprehensive data technology is intended to improve school districts’ data submissions

data-edfiSkyward, a K-12 school administrative software provider, has broadened the use of the Ed-Fi Data Standard in a move that it hopes will dramatically improve data interoperability between districts and state agencies.

Unifying, standardizing and organizing data is a major challenge for many education agencies. Because each state agency typically creates its own regulations, SIS vendors are required to develop one-off approaches to meet the customization of local data-reporting requirements.

Due to the complexity associated with making these adjustments and supporting ongoing changes in data needs by the agencies, school districts generally also have to commit additional resources to maintain compliance.…Read More

Quick Key integrates with SIS PowerSchool for data flow

Mobile grading app joins forces with student information system, enabling teachers and administrators to take action based on real-time achievement data

grading-dataQuick Key, the mobile assessment software that targets student performance and aims to eliminate hand grading, has announced a collaboration with Pearson through an independent software vendor (ISV) partnership agreement that hopes to help educators quickly score assessments using Quick Key’s mobile scanner app and instantly upload results to the PowerSchool student information system.

“Quick Key and PowerSchool are a perfect match,” said Kyle Hansen, PowerSchool Administrator at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork, Utah. “When I found Quick Key last year, I loved it. Now that class rosters and assessment results are automatically synced between the two platforms, tracking and analyzing student assessment data has become truly effortless.”

The integration enables educators and administrators to take action based on real-time data, to identify which students need help and which lessons need to be re-taught. Hours previously spent hand-grading assignments can now be spent focusing on how to best meet individual students’ needs.…Read More

Turning Technologies signs Student Privacy Pledge

Company is latest to promise to safeguard students’ personal information

privacy-pledgeTurning Technologies has joined the growing list of education service providers to sign the Student Privacy Pledge.

Introduced by the Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association, the pledge is a commitment by school service providers to safeguard student privacy regarding the collection, maintenance and use of student personal information.

The Student Privacy Pledge holds providers accountable in the proper management of student data. Signatories commit to not sell student information, not engage in target advertising, to use data for authorized, education purposes only, not change privacy policies without notice and choice, enforce strict limits on data retention, support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s information, provide comprehensive security standards and accordingly be transparent about collection and use of data.…Read More