- Improving data analysis, use, and reporting
Effecting Change Through Creative Data Use
Educational stakeholders have gained access to copious and diverse data sets over the past few years. Advancements in business intelligence, interoperability, and data sharing techniques enable us to merge, reshuffle, and talk about data in new and exciting ways. The information we are discovering, as a result of analyzing the data, is informing implementation of efficacious change in education, communities, and society. This session will focus on examples from Virginia and Kansas. They will share, through the use of multi-media, how their SEAs are using creative and innovative ways to effectively use and share educational data.
Numerous topics are being discussed in education today such as college and career readiness and personalized learning. These topics have national and local interest. Two of the four Race To The Top focus areas are, in part, dedicated to college and career readiness. The number one absolute priority for Race To The Top District is the ability for schools to provide personalized learning environments. These state and district initiatives are focusing on the importance of data-driven decision making to inform education at state and local levels like the example below.
In a discussion about working with educators Flannery and Lydick (2012) share, “…each of these schools now has a team of teachers, principals and parents with new powers to transform their schools from within.”
Flannery and Lydick (2012) continue by conveying how the conclusion drawn from the data empowers decision making, “gathering and analyzing student data, each team is drawing its own plans to close the achievement gap – making data-driven decisions ranging from modified scheduling to appropriate professional development.”
Analyzing available data about students, schools, local organizations, districts, and states leads to these types of informational discoveries and can shed light on positive and negative impacts to education on a daily basis. When utilized, the information enables positive change for students and educators.
Our session, Effecting Change Through Creative Data Use, will present two SEAs’ innovative uses of data to create educational engagement and reform: Bethann Canada, Director, Educational Information Management for the Virginia Department of Education; and Kathy Gosa, Director Information Technology for the Kansas State Department of Education.
Bethann Canada will share how via its SLDS program, the Virginia Department of Education is seeking innovative and creative ways of using and visualizing P-20 education data to inform various educational topics. Her presentation will feature the outcomes of “Apps4VA” (www.apps4VA.org), a program that invites developers, entrepreneurs, and students to develop unique apps and mashups using publically-available data.
Kathy Gosa will share how the Kansas State Department of Education is increasing data use and analysis via a dynamic college readiness dashboard. The dashboard provides actionable information never seen before, in customizable displays, and includes comparative analytics. Educators are finding this new web-based solution to be a “game-changer” in their abilities to make data-driven decisions that result in actual positive change for students. Kathy will also discuss a new initiative focused on a business intelligence solution specifically for school and district staff that creates virtual workspaces to help educators share and further their professional development.
Information shared in this session will highlight how these SEAs are using educational data to better understand pertinent topics such as college and career readiness and personalized learning. Success stories will be shared to demonstrate how implementation of programs, based on information deemed from educational data, can drive positive change in education.
Flannery, Mary Ellen, & Lydick, Mike (January 2012) Connecticut Program Puts Teachers in Charge. NEA Today, Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/37695.htm