Teachers Seek Ways to Make Data More Useful

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A recent Edweek Market Brief written by Sean Cavanagh illustrates the continuing debate over data collection and use in today’s classrooms. In his article, Make Classroom Data More Useful, Teachers Tell Ed Tech Developers, Cavanagh discusses the results of two recent surveys conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The results show teachers confident that data will help them meet students where they are, but also show a wide range of data collection and analysis skills. The end result appears to be teachers looking for the kind of data that can be found using formative assessment- the kind of data that is instrumental in modifying classroom practices to ensure student success.

Cavanagh writes, “Much of the talk about student data these days focuses on worries about how to protect it, and safeguard privacy. But a new survey of classroom teachers underscores a different, and perhaps no less fundamental concern: that much of the data educators receive is of little use to them in their efforts to improve instruction.”

“The results, based on a nationwide survey of educators sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were outlined during a presentation at the South by Southwest Education conference here today.”

“Gates has actually conducted two recent nationwide surveys of educators, one focused on their use of data, the other on their use of, and attitudes toward digital instructional tools. They’re both the latest installments of a series of reports called “Teachers Know Best,” meant to gauge teachers’ views of ed-tech.” Article continued

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