Data

Using better metrics to build better schools

Envision runs a group of three charter high schools in the Bay Area. They champion, as many schools do these days, “deeper learning” and “21st century skills.” Envision enacts this philosophy through a “Know-Do-Reflect” process that uses projects, portfolios and presentations to integrate assessment with learning. They prompt students to turn the lens both inward […]

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Almost 70% of teachers are not engaged. Here’s why that matters so much

Wednesday Gallup released a major report on the State of American Schools. Their data paints a picture of schools performing as a complex ecosystem, with the wellbeing, engagement, and performance of teachers, students, and principals all intertwined. The report combines decades of surveys of 5 million American teachers and principals with the results of the Gallup […]

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The fate of big data after inBloom

Yesterday, a $100 million startup lost its last customer. According to a Politico article, the state of New York, inBloom‘s last remaining client, will delete all student data on the repository due to privacy concerns. InBloom’s company spokesperson told Politico the nonprofit was “pushing forward with our mission,” though at the moment there are no known state partners. The […]

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The top 5 #EdInnovations to watch

The benefit of a big conference like SXSWEdu is a sort of ambient exposure to trends. Here are five concepts that everyone (or at least key, smart people) were talking about at last week’s conference, and that bear keeping an eye on for the future.   1) ConnectED . Companies including Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Autodesk, Adobe, […]

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SXSWEdu: Gates Foundation vs. Microsoft Education: What’s the difference?

On my first day in Austin I had a terrific hourlong conversation with Cameron Evans, Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft Education. He had a lot of candid observations and great lines: “The vast amount of data in our education system can be used for good, and also for bad actors and bad reasons,” and on […]

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Amplify unveils new digital curriculum

Amplify, the digital education brand owned by News Corp, unveiled its new digital curriculum today at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, TX. They offered me a preview on February 21st. At last year’s conference Amplify announced its own custom-built educational tablet with great fanfare. Since then it’s had a rocky rollout with a recall in […]

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#Schoolprivacyzone: emerging best practices for a contentious issue

Advocacy group Common Sense Media held a summit in Washington, DC on Monday as part of a national campaign on the highly contested topic of student data privacy. A recent study by Fordham University Law School found that as schools and districts adopt cloud computing services, they are transferring student information to third-party providers, often […]

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Guest Post: A new approach to accountability

Note: Through March 27th I’ll be sharing this Digital/Edu space with some excellent professionals in the area of learning and innovation for one weekly guest post. In addition to bringing new voices and ideas to our readers, this will help me as I finish the first draft of my forthcoming book, The Test, on the […]

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Measures of the heart: non-cognitive skills tests

Being smart isn’t all you need to succeed. Non-cognitive or meta-cognitive skills such as self-awareness, self-control, empathy, communication and cooperation are as important or even more important to long-term success than cognitive factors like math and reading ability. The evidence is undeniable, but US school assessment and accountability systems are currently limited to measures of […]

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Should “data literacy” be part of teacher licensure?

Data is a hot topic in education. In 2009, under Race to the Top, all 50 states committed to creating data systems with 12 key elements. These included tracking each student by a unique statewide identifier, and seeing what happens when they leave school: do they graduate? Enroll in college? Do they need remedial classes in […]

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