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Teachers Sound Off on Low Quality of Data from Digital Tools

Teachers Sound Off On Low Quality of Data from Digital Tools

A survey report released from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has revealed that a majority of teachers are not happy with the quality of data they are receiving from the use of digital tools.

Out of the 4,600 teachers surveyed for the report, 93 percent said they used digital grade books and excel spreadsheets to supplement teaching, but only 67 percent are happy with the resulting data, Education Week said.

Many experts, including those at The Gates Foundation, believe that collecting data will help educators better teach and devise successful lessons for individualized instruction. The report, however, reveals that teachers currently feel that collecting data is of little use.

Instead of feeling that data is helpful towards their instruction, teachers feel both flooded by too much data and also want more guidance on how to best apply data results to affect instruction.

Despite wanting more guidance and feeling overwhelmed by data on occasion, though, 91 percent of teachers said data tracking is important and 61 percent say they are better teachers from using digital tools and collecting data, Education Week said.

In other words, teachers don't want to toss data collection to the wayside but rather would like to see a higher quality of the data collected as well as guidance on how to interpret results to benefit teaching individualized lessons.

"The report recommends that product developers create 'developing tools that do not just report what has happened, but also use current and historical performance data to anticipate student learning trajectories and personalize instruction based on each student's performance,'" the article said.

In a perfect world, all schools would be able to function like the start-up AltSchool, a San Francisco-based budding school network that is being hailed as the future of education because it aims to create individualized instruction by compiling data from all aspects of student learning.

In order to help create personalized learning for all students, teachers are supplemented by behind-the-scenes engineers and programmers that help devise "playlists" so that each student is on his or her own track of learning. The school has an expensive price of $21,000 yearly tuition as of now, but its founder hopes expansion will help lower the cost in the future.

Read the full Education Week article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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