Technology tools for data-driven teachers

In addition to the white paper that I wrote for Microsoft that summarized essential data-driven decision-making concepts for teachers and principals, I also wrote a second white paper that summarized the various technology tools that school districts are using to manage summative and formative data.


Technology Tools for Data-Driven Teachers is only seven pages long and is a brief overview of data management and analysis (DMA) systems (i.e., data warehouses) and instructional management and assessment (IMA) systems. DMA systems are primarily used for management and analysis of summative data, such as those from yearly state assessments, and typically interface with districts' student information systems, electronic gradebooks, and other district databases. IMA systems typically are not integrated with DMA systems and are used to separately store and analyze data from ongoing progess monitoring efforts. I also briefly discuss in the white paper some other options that school districts have if they can't afford these often-expensive data systems.

Technology Tools for Data-Driven Teachers is a nice overview for educators who are unfamiliar with the technology options available for storing and analyzing student and school data. The white paper is deliberately written in non-technical language to facilitate easy understanding by administrators and teachers who probably are not technology wonks. Whether your district is reexamining existing tools for managing data or is looking for new solutions, the white paper can help give your educators get the big picture of what's out there as they try to make sense of different vendor offerings.

Two other resources that may be helpful are my ongoing lists of DMA system vendors and IMA system vendors. School districts often don't have the ability or inclination to do a full market scan of possible products and thus often miss vendor solutions that may better fit their needs. I don't claim that my categorization is perfect - sometimes products blur the lines between categories. If you have a vendor to add to one of these two lists, please comment on this post!

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

Videos
  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less

Why modern men are losing their testosterone

Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?

Flickr user Tom Simpson
Sex & Relationships
  • Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
  • While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
  • The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Keep reading Show less

Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
Keep reading Show less