An exploration of the 'bleeding edge' applications of data in K-12 education.
2020 marked a year of massive disruption. During this time, digital capabilities rapidly improved and technology and tools transformed the way education has had to work. Teaching remotely was challenging for many reasons, not least of which was the inherent ‘disconnect’ teaching staff experienced in no longer being able to interact with students or colleagues in person. One outcome of this has been that alongside the continuing focus on measuring growth, schools are increasingly concerned with measuring ‘engagement’, whether it was within their student cohorts, their communities and importantly, their teaching staff.
In 2019, RTG partnered with SIMON Learning Management System and Intellischool to help deliver effective analytics into SIMON schools. As part of RTG’s work in this partnership, we wanted to measure the impact Covid and find some "silver linings" - so we surveyed 35 ‘non-SIMON’ schools to see what they’d learned about technology in education. Some of the findings from this analysis are included in this report by way of providing context for the analytics initiatives described.
So much of what is done in schools is reliant on face-to-face interactions in classroom teaching and manual work with the collation of information. While we never want to return to having to run schools exclusively remotely, there are ways in which work changed which have forced us to rethink the structures we have in place for supporting students and staff. The resulting increase in desire for more practical analytics, for one, has been incredible.
This exploration of the current state of analytics in education is by no means an exhaustive list of the many innovations taking place. Rather, it seeks to categorise areas of innovation we’re seeing and have been involved with by the problems the innovations are seeking to address.
These innovations are being driven by:
- educators have become more aware of the potential of the data routinely collected and available;
- the influence of other sectors and the ways in which data shapes their practice and culture.
To read more about the latest innovations in educational analytics, download the "Analytics in Education: developments just over the horizon" white paper.