The eraser pencil was patented over 150 years ago. In a world of rapidly evolving technology, it’s hard to believe that an instrument a century and a half old endures as a staple in schools today. At less than five cents each, students are able to express individual thought, calculate maths, and even correct their own mistakes. A lot of edu technology has come and gone (here’s looking at you overhead projectors and mimeograph machines) but other innovations stand the test of time. Like everyone’s favorite #2 pencil, they stick around because they continue to meet the needs of those who use them.
Staying on top of the latest and greatest tech can be a job in and of itself. Knowing that technology and methods change rapidly, how do savvy superintendents stay ahead of the curve?
1) Leaders are Using Data Visualizations to Identify Aggregate Student Data Trends
In the last few years, big data analytics tools have started making a difference in monitoring student data and identifying students who are at-risk, earlier. The key is being able to visualize previously disparate data points in a way that makes next steps clear, and actionable.
The types of data collected is also a difference maker. Including information related to student behavior or including data like parent communication metrics greatly helps educators to see the whole student.
When a district has the ability to customize how they recognize the potential at-risk factors of their students, they are afforded an opportunity to head off negative outcomes before they happen.
At-risk factors within your district may look different than your neighbor a few counties over. Immigrant and military populations can produce transient groups of students, for example - and diasporic communities offer up language barriers. Whatever the challenges in your district, being able to customize and easily digest relevant student data is key to stepping into a student’s life before it’s too late.
Student data visualizations go even further when complex questions are displayed on a real map.
The power of data visualization is being able to reveal trends where spreadsheets can fall short. Mapping dynamic lists of students based on layered ‘and/or’ queries created from otherwise divergent data points is a specialty of SchoolStatus. School data analysis software can offer visualizations on a real map that reveal communities with special needs, students living outside of the school district, and problematic bus routes. These insights help with grant writing, community building, and recurring attendance issues.
2) Schools are Moving from Paper Call Logs to Digital Parent Communication Records
When an educators’ main focus is student growth and success, spending time filling out manual forms documenting parent communication can feel like a chore. That’s because hours spent every week recording details in a parent communication log does little to capture the content and emotion of communication - and it takes away time from other important tasks. Even worse, the tedium of the process makes communication less appealing and therefore less likely to take place with frequency.
Imagine having to record details of every communication you share via text or phone with your significant other. You would likely begin to call less often, or the written details of your conversation would become increasingly vague. In education, relationships matter above everything else. Parent engagement is built through genuine and regular communication with educators. Why then, would we keep using any form of record keeping that impedes that process?
Savvy superintendents are leading their districts to parent-teacher communication tools that automatically record conversations and the resulting benefits are obvious. When communication is automatically recorded, proof of contact is taken care of- making compliance a breeze. Additionally, conversations can be revisited for clarification in cases of dispute, or for a district-level administrator to quickly get the full picture of a student, including the parents' interaction with the school, prior to making contact or developing an intervention. And perhaps best of all - when record keeping is no longer a chore, teachers are likely to reach out more often increasing positive relationships between school and home.
SchoolStatus makes parent communication easy by putting tools for calling, texting, and emailing on their Student Card. The Student Card, a digital cumulative folder, is the first and best source of details on any student in your district. With all assessments, discipline, attendance, grades, IEPs, and all prior communication records, alongside tools to call, text, and email, conversations are more informed and more productive than ever.
3) Superintendents are Ditching Tools for All-In-One Solutions
Advancements in edtech offerings have major benefits, but the multitude of solutions can be a drawback on their own. Scheduling nightly extracts of student data from dozens of sources is not only an immense lift for district Technology Directors but managing multiple logins for disparate data points is a stress on all educators and delays action based on that data.
Student data analysis is most effective when student data is easily accessible and when otherwise disparate data points are able to talk to one another. Superintendents with an eye towards saving time and simplifying processes are choosing solutions with powerful analytics and automated integrations that put all student data programs behind one login and on one pane of glass.
SchoolStatus aggregates student data from assessments, benchmarks, discipline, academics and parent communication so that administrators can discover trends that can make a difference. The SchoolStatus integrations team handles the heavy lifting to put all data together behind one login with maximum security so that you can rest easy knowing you are seeing the whole picture.
Staying ahead of the curve in edtech today is all about smart use of data. With visualizations that lead to new insight, automation that frees up time for relationship building with parents, and consolidation of student data for simplification and increased action, superintendents are staying ahead of the curve for ultimate student success.
SchoolStatus is the only data analytics company that turns analysis into action. Through powerful reporting tools, automatic integrations, and customizable data points, educators easily identify students most in need of engagement. Then using the communication tools built right into the platform, instantly connect with guardians through calls, texts, or emails to reach families where they are. We focus on the data, so educators can focus on education. Contact us at schoolstatus.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @schoolstatusapp