Holt Think: Ed, Creativity, Tech, Administration


Posts tagged with "data"

The Internet Right This Second

Cool animated graphic of what is happening on the internet this very second. Show your students how fast information is being created and used:
Click the animation to open the full version (via PennyStocks.la).

What Parents Need To Know About Big Data And Student Privacy

Click on title to go to article

See “Is Big Data Always Bad?

Every Data Point Tells a Story: Making Mental Post It Notes

Think about the last time you listened to a presentation that had a lot of statistics in it. For instance, student test data. Now think about how much of that data you actually remember.

Chances are, you don’t remember too much. You may have remembered the gist of the presentation, you may have remembered the setting, but chances are the actual data is lost to your memory.

Now think about the last time you heard someone tell you a story as part of a presentation. A keynote perhaps, telling about how they struggled through poverty as a child, or overcame adversity, or a funny story that made you laugh.

Chances are here that you actually remember the presentation with the story better than you remembered the presentation with the statistics.

Take a moment to watch “Persuasion and the Power of Story” by Jennifer Aaker.

Aaker, a professor of Marketing at Stanford has some interesting things to say there don’t you think? One of my take aways is that story trumps data when trying to get people to understand a topic.

Story trumps data.

I thought about that when I thought about how schools present information to their parents and teachers. Often, they present just the raw statistics: Our school had this many pass the test. This many were exemplary, this many failed.

Indeed, in Texas, the yearly school reports that the state makes about each campus is called a “report card.” Statistics fill the report card. It is not very memorable and I suspect you would be hard pressed to find a parent that even can remember getting one, even though they go out to every parent in the state.

Harldy ever is there a story attached to that data. Yet, Aaker would tell us that without story, the data gets lost in the background noise.

Stories need to be woven into the data in order for the audience to become connected to it. “When data and stories are used together, they resonate with audiences on both an intellectual and emotional level.”

The power of the story is that the audience can personalize the story to themselves. (This has to do more with how the brain is wired than how the heart is wired, but suffice to say that without story, the audience remains detached from the data.)

So how can we present data in such a way that it might be meaningful using story?

Can stories be added to data?

I once heard about a school that had a “War Room” where all of the student data was posted on the wall. Teachers and administrators would use the “war Room” as a planning place to address student needs based on al of the posted data. Where the students were, where they need to go. The data was just that: points of information on charts and tables hung up on walls. Teachers would come in, look at the charts, and then leave.

The administration was wondering how to make the data more meaningful. How could we connect the numbers to the teachers in such a way that they would have an emotional attachment to the data? That is where story came in.

The principal decided that the teachers needed to understand that the data was more than just points on a graph. She exchanged the points of data with the actual student pictures.

Teachers began to see the STORY of the students instead of just the points when the picture of the student was placed with the data.

All of a sudden, the story and the data came together. Teachers began talking about the STORY of the student once the picture was , not just talking about the excuses of why the student failed or passed. The power of the story took over once the story, the students that they knew, replaced the nameless faceless points on a graph.

The power of storytelling is evident even in business. Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind wrote ” Story represents a pathway to understanding that doesn’t run through the left side of the brain.” In other words, the creative emotional portion of the brain makes a connection with a story.

In their book “Made To Stick" the Heath brothers spend a considerable amount of time speaking about using stories in order to make information "Sticky." They use the story of Subway’s Jared, a man who lost over 200 pounds on a diet of Subway sandwiches. His story was much more real, had much more emotion, much more "sticky" than the original marketing that Subway used where they just said they had 6 sandwiches with 7 grams or less of fat (6 under 7).

Brain Rules,” author John Medina says “When the brain detects an emotionally charged event, the Amygdala releases dopamine into the system. Because dopamine greatly aids memory and information processing, you could say it creates a Post-It note that reads, ‘Remember this.’

Storytelling is the post-it note for the brain. If you want something to stick, you need to add a story to it.

A good administrator will not only just present the date to their faculty, but also create the story that goes with them. Why is it important the Joe pass the test? What happens if he doesn’t? How does that affect him, his family, his future? What story does Joe have that we can help him with?

Stories are of course not the only way to present information, but they are a powerful tool, especially if you are trying to provide information that you want retained over a long time.

A tidal wave of data could personalise learning

From the site:

It can hardly be denied that technology is fast becoming the fabric of our lives in more ways than one. It is ubiquitous and pervasive, and by the same token, the technology is capturing numerous aspects of our lives ready to be recalled, analysed, and used.

Authors Kristen DiCerbo and John Behrens argue that this transformation from ‘digital desert to digital ocean’ has the potential to help decipher how students learn and to help them succeed. According to a study by John Hattie in which he analysed 800 studies about factors that influenced students’ achievement, the most important factor was when teachers use information about their students’ learning. The report sets out the ways in which the variety and abundance of data captured when students carry out their school work could provide teachers with the key to help students learn.

Impacts of the Digital Ocean on Education highlights the many possibilities and challenges that technology presents in capturing relevant data and turning it into meaningful information that teachers can use to assist their students. More research also needs to be carried out to determine how the data relates to student achievement, problem-solving ability, and other skills developed in learning. For example, is a student who spends longer on a problem necessarily struggling with a particular concept? DiCerbo and Behrens themselves state that ‘the data itself is only a starting point that is necessary, but not sufficient to transform education”. They stipulate that there is a long process that the data needs to go through for it to be applied successfully including its analysis, interpretation, communication, and use in decision-making.

However, one of the immediate advantages of data is that it can provide immediate feedback to students on their progress, making the feedback instantly relevant and usable. Instead of waiting a week for teachers to mark assignments in an exercise book, and the student not reading the feedback, or re-doing the problem to fix the errors, work completed on a computer can tell a student when they have done something wrong and provide helpful hints on how to correct it immediately.

The tidal wave of data seems inevitable, but educators and policy-makers will need to understand how to take advantage of it, as well as embrace the new technology, before learners will fully benefit.

This article is a summary of ‘Impacts of the Digital Ocean on Education’ originally written by Kristen E. Di Cerbo and John T. Behrens and available to download below.


- See more at: https://research.pearson.com/digitalocean#sthash.nc2QC4m1.dpuf

K12 Dynamics dashboard gives you easy to understand access to loads of district data.

Visualize This: How to Tell Stories with Data | Brain Pickings

from the site: Brain Pickings:
Visually stimulating, intellectually illuminating and creatively compelling, Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics is equal parts practical vocabulary for an essential modern language and conceptual testament to the power of data visualization as a new form of journalism and a powerful storytelling medium.

Jan 8

CES 2013: McGraw-Hill to Debut Adaptive E-Book "SmartBook" for Students - Digits - WSJ

Anyone see issues with this? 

From the article:

"The company pulls from an “enormous database” of student behavior models that drive the software to chart the most efficient path to learning a subject area, Mr. Christensen said. “Everything that you do is being tracked and it assesses you throughout” the questions and answers in each chapter, he said.

That could raise privacy concerns for some students. McGraw-Hill says it sometimes even shares their learning behavior data with instructors so they can further personalize courses. A McGraw-Hill spokeswoman said that “we take the protection of this data very seriously, and at all times we stay within our stringent privacy policy and make data security our first priority.”

McGraw-Hill’s Mr. Kibby predicted that in 36 months, “what we will see is that we won’t be offering print textbooks” but “dynamic, adaptive, personalized learning environments” instead. The company plans to make the SmartBook product available for about 90 different course areas in the late spring.

The K-12 e-learning market in the U.S. is roughly $5.4 billion currently, a tiny portion of the money spent on traditional educational materials like textbooks. While the market is growing, a number of companies including News Corp NWSA -1.13%., which owns The Wall Street Journal,Pearson PLC PSON.LN 0.00%and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. are vying for a piece of the pie. Meanwhile, states have been cutting back on spending on textbooks.”

From the Website:

SmartBook is the first and only adaptive reading experience available for the higher education market. Powered by an intelligent diagnostic and adaptive engine, SmartBook facilitates the reading process by identifying what content a student knows and doesn’t know through adaptive assessments. As the student reads, the reading material constantly adapts to ensure the student is focused on the content he or she needs the most to close any knowledge gaps.

Video: On website

Texas Public Schools Explorer | The Texas Tribune

Do other states have something like this?—TBH

The Texas Tribune Schools Explorer is our most comprehensive public education tool to date and the only one of its kind in the state. This database combines key academic, enrollment and financial records on all of Texas’ 1,300 districts and 8,500 public schools, including hundreds of charter schools and alternative campuses. It makes school statistics easy to navigate.

View Statewide Data

Take a bird’s eye view of public education in Texas with these statewide statistics before drilling down into individual school districts and campuses.

Driving Miss Daisy and Her Data | edtechdigest.com

From the article:

For many in education, ‘data dashboards’ are something new—but just think about a car for a minute. Driving along, you glance down. Just the right amount of data is always within easy view. While driving you can take a quick glimpse to find out how fast you’re going, how much gas is in the tank, what the engine temperature is at, if the lights are on, is the air low in your tires, and if any doors are still open. Sure, there’s much to know about how the car and the engine works, but we aren’t told everything—just what we need to get us safely from point A to point B. The dashboard doesn’t assume we’re a mechanic, it simply alerts us—in just a couple seconds—to what might stop us or slow us down.

May 2

Is Data-Driven Instruction Dehumanizing? Link and My Response (Below)

My response to this nonsense because they probably won’t post what I put down. Click on the title to go to the article.—TBH


                                                 Lori Fey 

If you were’t working for the an organization that is pushing a product that is a data-based decision making solution, I might have sided a bit more with you. However when I got to the end of the article and saw who you were and worked for, your objectivity came into question.

Let me push back another story about “data driven decisions,” and see who you think about it:
In many districts, the standardized test rule the day. So, the “data” in Data Driven Decision/Instruction Making (DDDM) is all about looking at the data to see how test scores can be raised and nothing much more. You may have a few anecdotes about a teacher here and there using data for something else, but the vast of majority of data decisions are driven by testing. If you think otherwise, you have not been in a public school lately, or at least in a tested grade level.

Consider the following:
There are districts in the US that spend gobs of money to hire data consultants that can come in, run a few tests through SPSS , print out fancy colorful regression analysis, and see exactly where each child has been, where each child is at, and with some degree of accuracy, where each child is going. They can tell you what child will pass the test with little intervention, which will never pass the test no matter what you do, and which ones are sitting on the fence and could go either way. They can even tell you which fence sitting kids will probably pass which portions of the tests, down to the question and the standard…It gets that granular. For the most part, they are fairly accurate. 

So what is a district to do that is facing sanctions, AYP, has limited finacial resources, and other threats because of the tests? They throw all of their weight of instructional interventions towards the kids on the fence. Because the Data Analysis told them to. So the kids that will pass the test are ignored, and more troubling to me, the kids that the data knows will never pass are forgotten, because, hey, whats the use any way? That kid isn’t gonna pass the test. 

Try explaining that to a kid’s mom. “Well, the data told us…”

So throughout this country, there are perfectly normal kids being ignored academically because they have shown little or now growth on a standardized test over a period of years. Ignored. And they are being ignored BECAUSE of your Data Driven Decision Making.

So, you tell me, in those instances, is Data Driven Decision Making inhuman? I say in many cases, it is.

On a side note, what is the true purpose of the Ed-Fi program which you work for? On the page “About” your product, the term “Student” shows up 4 times. The term “Vendor” shows up twice as many times. 

There is some data for you.

The Learning Registry Now Online.

Thank you Bonny Sutton for sharing this info:

The Learning Registry is a new approach to capturing, sharing, and analyzing learning resource data to broaden the usefulness of digital content to benefit educators and learnerThe Learning Registry: Use, Share, Find, Amplify.s. 

Not a website or repository… not a search engine… and not a replacement for the excellent sources of online learning content that already exist… 

…the Learning Registry is an open source technical systemdesigned to facilitate the exchange of data behind the scenes, and an open community of resource creators, publishers, curators, and consumers who are collaborating to broadly share resources, as well as information about how those resources are used by educators in diverse learning environments across the Web.

Use & Share

Use the Learning Registry to share…
metadata that describe learning resources
-  ratings, reviews, comments, and other annotation data
-  alignments to educational standards
-  usage information such as favoriting, foldering, remixing,    embedding, and other social metadata / paradata
-  resource updates, relationships between resources, and      other 

Get Started…
Technical specifications and implementation guides are available to help connect you to Learning Registry.