Technology tools for data-driven teachers
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
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!
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.