The Role of Data in Student-Centric Learning

This inaugural blog goes to the heart of what we focus on at eScholar  ― utilizing education data to drive collaboration that helps students succeed.

Today, everyone understands that data is valuable in improving education. As the leader in providing, collecting and organizing educational data, we have a unique vantage point from which to observe practices that work and those that don’t. My objective with this blog is to create an interactive platform from which to share some of the successes that we are seeing among our partners in the education industry. It is my hope that as the blog matures you will provide comments, propose topics and share insights into what you are seeing in the education market (both good and bad).

The rate of adoption and breadth of progress in how data is being successfully deployed by the individual user is breathtaking. We see data being used to improve decisions on broad policy issues at both the state and national level. We witness data being used daily at the district level to evaluate programs and initiatives and by teachers to evaluate individual student progress and their own teaching practices. It is at this point, when data is used at the individual level, the whole equation changes.

At the individual level, a teachers use of data varies based on the technology prowess of the district. In some of the more advanced districts, teachers are tracking progress of individual students to understand when students have mastered a concept and can move on, as well as when a lesson missed the mark for a group of students. We have also seen data put to work directly with individual students to set and achieve their individual goals, in the form of initiatives such as interventions, personalized education plans, goal planning and more.

The use of data and its analysis influences daily practices and curriculums to drive systemic change to create student-centric learning. Many students share similar needs and goals but the full combination possessed by one individual is unlikely to exist in any other. We are seeing the emergence of practices that focus on each individual learner to efficiently take advantage of educational resources and deliver better results, both at the individual level and in aggregate.

Examples of how data is being used to impact education on both a big scale and at a fine level of detail are both the teaching effectiveness initiative in New York and the Early Alert initiative in Santa Ana California.  Both are using detailed data to identify and improve practices that help students succeed.  Both are different and I expect we will learn a great deal from each. As the backbone to these initiatives, eScholar has a front row seat as progress is made and obstacles are overcome.  We look forward to sharing information that will help us all.

The next installment of this blog will look at the role that data and skill standards play in helping students achieve a better education.

This blog was created to share with readers our observations and insights into how data is being deployed, the outcomes achieved (both good and bad), and insights that may be helpful to others.  I know this conversation will benefit from different perspectives and I welcome your feedback.

Also, if you believe there are topics where our perspective on the exciting data work occurring across the country could be helpful, please feel free to ask.

Wishing us all success in the most important endeavor there is- education.




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