NAPLAN 2018 – Here we Go! (Where is that?)

A Bit of Perspective

So it’s that time of year again and we all get to chime in with our take on this thing called NAPLAN.

Here’s my short answer: a test that started out as a diagnostic assessment meant for schools to use to improve their teaching and learning missed the mark because of poor execution – skills assessed were mostly based on expected learning from the previous year and the results only get back to schools toward the end of the year so there’s little chance to adjust or target strategies because the students are just about out the door for summer holidays and the next year level.  Add to this that the data schools get are usually inscrutable and only on the desks of learning leaders and it’s again not surprising that what was meant as a diagnostic hasn’t achieved its purpose.  On top of all that, of course, is the politics of league tables (that aren’t league tables) and what was meant as info for schools has been shifted into a high-stakes test for students and it’s no wonder people haver strong opinions about NAPLAN.

But it’s not all bad. What we do get from NAPLAN is THE ONLY relatively valid and reliable assessment across year levels 3, 5, 7, & 9 and over years.  Now if we add some smart technology (instead of workshops on Excel) and put the data insights into the hands of teachers, that NAPLAN data set becomes quite useful.  Let me explain.

Insight from NAPLAN in 2 Screens

The Classroom Teacher Dashboard

Imagine starting a school year with information about students’ core skills so that you can skip quite a bit of baseline assessments. Here’s an animation of the Teacher Dashboard in Literatu’s Diagnostic Explorer.  When the mouse clicks on the NAPLAN Growth Weather card, notice the class list in the right column is sorted.  If a Biology teacher were about to give a challenging reading assignment to this particular group of students, he or she would immediately get data insights into students who might need a little more support. This data is generated by comparing the two most recent NAPLAN tests and highlighting which students have grown or gone backward in this skill.  Of course NAPLAN is a snapshot, but it is data and I have yet to meet a teacher who isn’t interested in which students could use more help or extension.

Student Level Skill Insight

Besides needing to get this info right to classroom teachers and their students for NAPLAN to make an impact, we also need to get FAR BEYOND bands and dig down to skills and sub-skills at the student level.  Here’s one of my favourite reports that applies traffic light colours to show which areas are strong and which are weak and uses the size of the bubbles to indicate how many questions were in this skill area. In effect, this is NAPLAN telling us how important this skill is (e.g., “Applied comprehension in reading” requires more questions to discern an accurate measure than accurately using contractions).  The animation below shows this at the class level, but then shows how we can find areas to help even very strong students. Notice that you can see the specific skill areas.  This is how schools and teachers can help their class and individual student improve in skill gaps as identified by NAPLAN.  Many schools say they want to show this screen to parents to highlight how they are addressing student needs.

 

So as 2018 NAPLAN rolls past, we look forward to helping schools get the most from this data set. NAPLAN:  one useful means to target improvement in teaching and learning.

 

 

Disclaimer: Literatu provides the above Diagnostic Explorer to schools, which  gives such data insights and visualisations on NAPLAN/ PAT/ Allwell tests.  So you might say we have an interest in NAPLAN. And we do, however, Literatu also offers a full formative suite that exactly addresses the call from the Gonski 2.0 report for richer, ongoing formative diagnostic assessment of students on a regular basic. As a company, Literatu will adapt the Diagnostic Explorer to whatever output ACARA provides for the “adaptive” NAPLAN or any iteration of tests that might follow NAPLAN.  The reason for this disclaimer is to highlight that Literatu’s business is to help schools make sense of data chaos, regardless of the assessments used. We help schools get better. Easier. Faster.

Teachers achieving “Conscious Competence” with technology

What can be done to ensure that technology truly improves learning outcomes?

For the last twenty years, educators, governments, technology companies and publishers have built a narrative that by introducing a new technology, be it a digital book, LMS, SIS, PC, tablet or iPad, there would be an immediate improvement in student learning.

The reality to date is that no-one has established an accepted nexus between learning outcomes and the use of technology. In 2012 Higgins and his colleagues, in their meta-analysis of the numerous studies on the impact of digital technology on student learning, concluded, “Taken together, the correlational and experimental evidence does not offer a convincing case for the general impact of digital technology on learning outcome” (Higgins et al, 2012).

Apparent from multiple teacher surveys, a large proportion of teacher-technology skills lie somewhere between Conscious Incompetence and Conscious Competence. That is, somewhere between teachers being aware they lack specific technology skills and knowing the skills they have are not second nature or fluent. This being the case, the foundations on which technology can be relied on to support stronger learning outcomes, need to be shored up.

© http://www.athleteassessments.com/conscious-competence-learning-matrix/

We believe the tipping point at which technology will significantly contribute to stronger learning outcomes will be when teachers reach the level of Unconscious Competence with technology. This is when teachers, as a natural part of their professional repertoire, enhance pedagogy and student outcomes by blending the art of teaching with efficiencies and data delivered by supportive technology.

We have five suggestions we think will help technology improve learning outcomes.

1. Support teaching with technology.
Research has proven that teachers have the biggest influence on learning outcomes, not technology. It is however, far easier to make technology accessible than it is to lift teacher skills into a state of unconscious competence. We must refocus on supporting and encouraging teachers with intuitive tools that build capabilities to better inform teaching and learning.

2. Start measuring learning – stop the fixation on managing learning
Learning management is not learning measurement. For too long we have invested in technology that does not inform daily teaching and learning in an exacting context for each student. The idea that ‘I have taught it because it’s in the LMS’ has become a proxy for ‘they have learned it’, without a need for any independent check on what (if anything) has actually been learned. Technology needs to help teachers assess and measure learning.

3. Give teachers the tools to personalise teaching.
We would argue that the perceived need for more standardised ‘digitised’ curriculum content detracts from teachers focusing on having the answers to three critical questions every day. What does each student know now? What is each student ready to learn next? Where should I target and adapt my teaching? Personalised teaching happens naturally when teachers with an unconscious competence for technology are supported with quantitative capabilities.

4. Leverage data to inform teaching.
The most under-utilised, un-leveraged asset of every school is the learning data it produces every day. Schools must build a data capability and culture to surface data insights and help teachers to target teaching, improve feedback and learning outcomes. According to Scottish writer, Arthur Conan Doyle, “It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data”. Yet, for centuries, the education industry has implemented teaching practices without any data to prove its efficacy.

5. Extend strategic outcomes with data and technology.
Improving teaching and learning outcomes using data is operationally very effective. The same data builds the foundation of the next strategic step. Machine learning and assistive intelligence (commonly referred to as artificial intelligence) offer capabilities to scale finite teacher resources to automatically predict outcomes from captured learning data. A new teacher-dedicated digital assistant can suggest, adapt and prescribe personalised learning on demand.

Mark Stanley – CEO – Founder – Literatu
http://www.literatu.com
mark@literatu.com

 

Get Insights from NAPLAN data – in 3 Screens

In response to recent media coverage of flat or backward NAPLAN results, I engaged in a correspondence with a reporter.  Here’s what I wrote:
The perspective I can offer is one that focuses on how schools get the data as opposed to beating up the test, the schools or the government.
I can tell this story in three pictures (from screenshots of our software). This said, my point is not to flog our software, but to highlight the value of EASY ACCESS to data insights and how, without this, the lack of growth is not a surprise, but is, in fact, what we should expect.
All the screens are of actual NAPLAN data, but anonymised so as not to compromise confidentiality.
1) Flat results.
This visualisation shows 6 years of NAPLAN Band achievement across years 3, 5, 7 & 9.  You can see that the real story here is one of No Growth – the results are essentially flat.  This is the story your report told today. The reason I see this slightly differently is that we have schools who are just starting to use our software so 2017/18 is THE FIRST YEAR they have been able to easily see this data (and the next screens). So the point is that, without easy access to unpacking the band scores into skills and subskills, how were schools and teachers EXPECTED to make improvements?  Thus schools and teachers worked very hard either doing the same things they have always done or guessing what needs fixing.
(click to enlarge)
2) Unpacking the Data – from Skill problems to identifying Subskills 
No matter how hard teachers work, doing more of the same doesn’t necessarily address gaps in their students’ skills. Another visualisation shows how the data from the massive spreadsheets can be visualised in a way that goes from seeing the problem to seeing what needs targeting. Here, “traffic light colours” signal problems in specific skills and clicking one of the bubbles reveals the subskills that were assessed. NOW teachers know what they can target their teaching to:
  ​
3) Give teachers Insight into the students right in their classes!
 
The fact that NAPLAN data is often 1-2 years old by the time it reaches school and public attention makes it hard to use. The tests assess skills from the preceding year (e.g., Year 3 assesses Year 2 skills), then schools find out about the results toward the end of their year with the students and here we are almost upon 2018 NAPLAN and MySchool is only now updated with 2017 NAPLAN data.  How is a classroom teacher meant to help the students in their classes today?
In the last screen animation, you can see the “Teacher Dashboard” where a school’s NAPLAN data is sliced and sorted for the actual students sitting in front of a classroom teacher.  Yes, the data may still be a year old, but now the classroom teacher can accommodate and differentiate what he / she does based upon their students. In the animation, notice that both the data in the cards and the list of students in the right column change as I switch between classes (at the top of the dashboard). When I click on the NAPLAN Weather report card for writing, I can see which 4 students went backward from their 2015 to 2017 NAPLAN tests and which 5 achieved above expected growth targets.  Then when I click the NAPLAN Skill Focus card (and its backside) I get details about the top 4 (then 8 when flipped) areas in each of the 4 NAPLAN domains where this particular class of students scored lowest.  Again, clicking on the card, sorts the students according to the skill clicked so we can see who needs the most help and who could be extended.

So, to sum up, I see a big part of the problem is that classroom teachers have not been able to access the right kind of information easily in order to use the NAPLAN data (albeit a “snapshot” and a “diagnostic assessment being used as a high-stakes test” – two legitimate complaints against NAPLAN).  In fact, we have run into the situation where one of the leading state’s association for schools takes the approach of helping schools unpack NAPLAN results through a workshop on using Excel spreadsheets!!!! In 2018!

Our schools are just this year getting such access and we work with them to take charge of their remediation programs and initiatives and expect to see upward trends as they continuously improve their teaching and learning practices.

I’d love to chat or even take you through this software as a way to point to other solutions than beating up teachers, schools or the government – not something your reporting has ever done, but these bash-ups tend to be what’s buzzing in the media.  Perhaps a better, more productive approach is to use smart software to provide data insights?

Essay Content Winners!

Literatu and its co-sponsors are pleased to announce the winners of the “Advance Australia… THERE!” essay competition. From the hundreds of submissions, three winners have been selected at the Primary, Secondary and Senior levels.  The winning essays are shared at the bottom of this post.

We appreciate all teachers’ and students’ participation in the contest.  As companies involved in technology and education, we wanted to support schools as they target improvements in what is often the most challenging skill for students to learn and teachers to teach.

We applaud the teachers and schools who have foster these excellent efforts.

Winners

Primary School

  • Vanessa Kite, Macarthur Anglican School. Teacher: Kylie Elling

High School

  • Olga Medvedieva, Queenwood School for Girls. Teacher: Amy Hall

Senior School

  • Michaela Swank, St Andrews Christian College. Teacher: Irena Yevlahova

Honourable Mentions

  • Nimrah Sarwar, St Aloysius College, Victoria. Teacher: Brian Brooks
  • Andie Hilton, Brigidine College St Ives. Teacher: Sharon Cimen

 

Senior Secondary School
Michaela Swank, St Andrew’s Christian College

Technology improves by the minute with new discoveries and advances being made all the time. It is a tool that has affected many professions and ways of life making tasks quicker and easier. As time goes on we can see technology spreading into areas that have never felt its presence before. Its purpose? To make our lives comfortable and more efficient.

Education is one area that utilises technology in almost every field. Whether it be admin, presentations in class, research, or access to the best learning materials, it is all made easier with technology. It provides better communication between students and teachers helping to improve the quality of learning. There are even online classes and video lessons that are made available so people can study when and where it is suitable for them. This allows people to further their learning around their busy schedules and creates opportunity for those who might not be able to afford more expensive alternatives. Education is an area that technology can be used for good, to improve our country and equip people to live in this digital age. After all, technology becomes useless if we have no one who knows how to use it.

The work force is also heavily affected by technological advances. Each year thousands of jobs are replaced by technology. In an article from 2015 it was estimated that over 40% of jobs would be replaced by the year 2025. Though it may be cheaper to run the machine, it puts many people out of a job. It is a serious issue that needs to be addressed however it is not the only side of the story. There are many instances in which technology has created jobs. We need people to maintain it. We rely on technology to do many things but like us it is not perfect and at times it malfunctions. Many businesses have a social media account to reach out to the people and someone needs to take care of that. Engineers and inventors are needed to create new technology and improve old technology. It comes back to education. We must know how to utilise it for our benefit. As our technology advances so must we.

Australia has many opportunities in which to use technology but it needs to be discussed thoroughly and looked at from all points of view. Does it benefit the majority? Is it going to be used improve and advance our nation? We need to use technology to improve our world, especially for those that are struggling to keep up. We need to stop and think about where we are going with this. What kind of future do we want to create for our nation? A future that allows us to use our gifts and be confident in our skills and abilities. A future that causes us to look at the people around us and be inspired to create something that might improve their lives. We need to encourage a generation that can take the technology we have created and use it to make our world a better place. These are the things that must be considered and taken into account as we march towards an age that is dominated by technology.

 

 

High School
Olga Medvedieva, Queenwood School for Girls

Technology: a discipline that altered the world through its innovative vision of progress. Without a doubt, its ubiquitous presence influences all aspects of our modern life, procuring unprecedented insights that challenge our deepest convictions. Consequently, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it not only affects Australia’s present, but also its future. This essay examines the positive and negative effects of technology and its potential to transform life in Australia.

Despite its prevalence in our daily lives, the rate of technological progress can still be a bit astonishing, if not disconcerting, for some. For instance, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, an area of computer science that simulates human intelligence, is still a perplexing and enigmatic concept for many. Yet in reality, AI actually promises a plethora of benefits for modern society, including accurate medical diagnosis and treatment, superseding humans in hazardous jobs and eliminating surplus expenditures during manufacturing. In schools, AI can be implemented in routine tasks, such as grading and book-keeping, enabling teachers to direct their full attention to the students. However, despite all these advantages, AI has various other implications. For example, machines have no conception of ethics or judgement, and will therefore act exactly as programmed regardless of circumstances. Furthermore, their increased involvement in our lives may undermine privacy and even democracy, as government and company surveillance will inevitably expand.

In the past, humans often compromised the natural environment in favour of material progress. However, in recent years we have attempted to mitigate environmental concerns using various technologies, such as solar power. Considering Australia’s exposure to solar radiation, this is a viable investment, as it alleviates the effects of global warming, is cheaper in long-term, and statistically creates more jobs than the gas and oil industries. In an educational context, solar power can have a unique application; to illustrate this, since most school buildings have flat, spacious rooftops, solar panels can be installed on top of them to generate energy. This will not only accelerate the renunciation of fossil fuels, but it will also enrich the curriculum with real-life examples of the benefits of renewable energy. Nonetheless, the drawbacks of solar power must also be considered, including dependability on weather, space requirement and high initial costs.

When Pokemon-Go launched in 2016, it was an unparalleled hit that took the world by storm. For many it was the first glimpse into Augmented Reality, which is a technology that enhances one’s view of the world through the partial incorporation of digital elements. AR has the potential to completely transfigure our existence as human beings, impacting areas such as geolocation, engineering and entertainment. In terms of education, AR provides an immersive experience that aids in visualizing abstract concepts; for example, math students may gain from visual cues and diagrams in conjunction with the main lecture. Nevertheless, it is also true that there are some disadvantages to Augmented Reality, such as the issue of being divested of genuine experiences and preferring a world that lacks verisimilitude. Moreover, critics of the AR revolution contend that it will have the same ramifications as AI pertaining to mass surveillance and hacking, and consequently should not be entrusted with privacy.

Technological advancement is a continual process that is developing at a striking pace. Through its use, we are able to fulfil our predictions, and even transcend them beyond any possible expectation. While we may not know what the imminent future holds in store, one thing is certain: technology is revolutionizing Australia as we know it, and it is incumbent on us to determine that its progression fosters our benefit, and not detriment.

 

 

Primary School
Vanessa Kite

How Should We Use Technology to Create the Best Future for Australia?

Technology in Australia is becoming more advanced each and every day. At some point in time, we would be able to get ‘super’ watches, VR for people in the outback/nursing homes and even dash cams on cars that can spot crashes and send off warnings. This is how we can make the best future possible for Australia by using technology.

Could you imagine if Australia made technology that was so incredible that using just a watch you would be able to track your calories, allergies, vitamins and even your cancers/illnesses? It would be brilliant. All you would have to do is scan your food (not the package information) and it would tell you the calories and the vitamins included within the food. Inventing something like this would be an improvement to Australia and would help us all by, keeping us aware of how many calories we are eating and digesting, telling us if we are allergic to an ingredient inside of the food, seeing and telling us the vitamins included, and even scanning ourselves to make sure we aren’t sick. We would be able to track if we were for example, vitamin D deficient, and we would be able to get on top of that quicker.

Australia has already made a huge leap into the world of VR. We have created new experiences for people around the country. However, this modern-day invention could significantly improve the learning of children who live out in the desert. Being able to put on VR goggles and go to places such as museums, sacred sites, and even go to other countries would make learning easier and quicker. It would cost less and there are really no limits. The benefits caused by this would be a smarter generation, children that will be able to grow up and do well paying jobs that help the community. The whole country would benefit from it.

VR would also really help elderly people living in nursing homes. Most of them can not leave the nursing home, and they have to get permission from a family member even if they are allowed to leave. Being able to escape and go to the beach, the forest, places like Uluru, and even America or England would improve their self esteem levels, causing them to live longer and happier lives. This would help Australia by letting people not have to worry about the parents or grandparents in nursing homes as much, as they would know that they are happy and enjoying themselves. It will also help the family member/s who put them there feel less guilty about doing so. All in all, VR in nursing homes would help Australia.

Dash cams in cars. Ok, they already exist. However, has anyone thought of dash cams that when they register a nearby crash, automatically send an alert to the police station and hospital. If this was invented it would mean that no crash would be unregistered, and emergency vehicles would reach the destinations quicker and more efficiently. This would improve Australia’s roads by making them hardly ever have unregistered crashes. It would also improve people’s trust in the emergency services because they would get there fast. Citizen’s mental health would improve because they wouldn’t worry about not getting the right help quick enough. This would make Australian people feel safer and more secure.

Australia could use technology to improve Australia by a landslide. We could make ‘super watches’, VR for people in nursing homes or the outback, and even dash cams on cars that instantly sent a notification to the police and hospital if a crash is sighted. Using these things would benefit Australia in lots of ways. There is more than one way to go with technology, choose the right way and improve Australia for the better.

NAPLAN Resources

As schools find gaps in students’ core skills across the NAPLAN domains, the following resources might be helpful.  Please use the comments link to share your favourite resources.

Reading

Language Conventions

Writing

Numeracy

General Resources

  • ABC Splash – Games across subjects and year levels

From NSW SMART Teaching

Language Conventions (Spelling & Grammar)

Reading

Writing

Numeracy

Grattan Institute’s Adaptive Education Report

We welcome the Grattan Institute’s recent report, “Towards an adaptive education system in Australia.”  In it, researcher Peter Goss argues that “our current education system is not fit for purpose given the complex challenges it faces.”  These challenges are familiar to anyone interested in Australian education: the flat or backwards performance on important tests, the number of students not finding success after high school and inequality between schools.  Goss rightly identifies the two key aspects to addressing these are that changes to education must be systemic and based on real evidence.

“The status quo is not working”, says Goss.  We see this in NAPLAN Band ranges

Many have been arguing this case for years and championed specific pedagogical approaches such as Problem-based Learning, Understanding by Design and STEM to name only a few.  In fact, I have been involved in many of these initiatives – and saw them fail to make the systemic change required and advocated for by Goss.  We are past the era of needing “new ideas,” but instead need to put these (and many other) ideas to the test.  The “Adaptive Educational” model put forth by Goss will be familiar to those who have pursued a “closed-loop” or “continuous improvement” process.  But like Goss, we find few such efforts used in ways that effect whole-school or sector change.  This is not for lack of trying on the part of schools and teachers, but from a lack of good data.

Fortunately, the ability to use data as evidence is more possible today than it was a decade ago.  The main reason for this readiness is twofold: a growing cultural appreciation of “Big Data” and as well as the sophistication of the tools required to make these data insights available to schools and their communities.

For over four years, Literatu has been developing powerful analytical software for schools and we can confirm a general “flat or backward” direction of student performance in NAPLAN scores.  But we are seeing something very powerful as well.  School leadership teams and whole staff rooms are excited and energised to engage in just the targeted type of teaching identified as essential by the Grattan Institute’s report.  At issue was not an unwillingness of schools to take such action, but the fact that students’ learning gaps were buried in spreadsheets and hard-to-use software.  What seems to be a dawning realisation by schools that “there must be a better way” has happily led to a boom in schools’ use of Literatu’s NAPLAN Explorer.  This diagnostic tool provides easy access to detailed information in a friendly dashboard so that classroom teachers – not just school leaders – can quickly gain insights that naturally lead to targeted teaching and differentiation.  What’s even better is that these teacher actions generate new data on student performance which feeds-back to validate or challenge the effectiveness of the interventions trialled.  This is such an exciting time to be an educator because after decades of working “in the dark,” real evidence is at our fingertips and a single-click away.  To repeat a very apt phrase, data-inspired teaching “is like what you’ve always done, but unlike anything you’ve done before.”

We encourage schools interested in seeing how easily teachers can grow an adaptive educational system to contact us for a friendly online demonstration.

 

 

Literatu Writing Resources – Advance Australia…THERE!

Thinking Routines

Exploring rich media supported with Thinking Routines is a great way to stimulate student ideas, to get the writing juices flowing.

Here’s a collection of what we call “Look to Learn” activities re-blogged from Tumblr.  See what students think!  Remember the power of Project Zero’s Thinking Routines.

These work best when the whole class looks at them together and everyone works their way through the prompts.  There are no right answers, just deeper thinking and sharper insights.  Have fun!

Essay Contest – Advance Australia… THERE!

NAPLAN results highlight what we’re hearing from schools:  writing is one of the toughest skills to improve. Yet people recognise that written  communication is fundamental to students’ success in our digital future. What to do?!

As companies in the education and technology sector, we want to support student and teacher success. We know that when teachers can easily access detailed data on student performance, their impact is even more powerful. When students express their views on meaningful topics, we all benefit.

To spark interest in better writing and to provide participating teachers with free insights into their students’ skills, we are sponsoring a nationwide short essay contest for RIGHT NOW.  Students can participate across three levels: Years 5-6, 7-9 and 10-12. The Prompt is:

“Advance Australia… THERE!

How can technology help create a brighter future for Australia?

What’s in it for:

Students: Winners at each level will receive a Microsoft Surface tablet. Even better for everyone, we will collect and share the core sentiment of what students have to say about the Australia they envision.

Teachers : We will pass all student essays into our machine learning capabilities, producing detailed data on the cohort and your students’ writing. Imagine having insights into student writing skills without reading a single essay! Literatu will show teachers how to save time with instant feedback that can help students refine critical writing skills. We really want to engage with you as we develop our text analysis tool and learn from your input.

Schools: With no obligation, participating schools gain early-adopter access to our writing platform for the 2018 school year.

Australia: Today’s students are tomorrow’s citizens and leaders. We should know how students feel about the future and understand the way they want technology to influence this vision.

Participate!

Contest Closes 27 November!

Essay Contest: Thinking Routine – CSIRO

Thinking Routines are a great way for students to engage with new topics and to develop their critical thinking skills.  As part of the “Advance Australia… THERE!” Essay Contest, you might use this activity to help students “Look to Learn.”

CSIRO’s Australian National Outlook

Claim Support Question

1. Make a claim about the topic

2. Identify support for your claim

3. Ask a question related to your claim

World Champ Astros and Analytics

Part of the Washington Post’s coverage of the Houston Astro’s World Series triumph is especially interesting.  In spite of the foreboding title:

Astros’ World Series win may be remembered as the moment analytics conquered MLB for good

much of the article focuses on the importance of the human – in concert with data analytics.

I suggest two main elements are developed in the article, both of which are worthwhile for education to consider.  First, this statement:

“Our game has evolved to the point to where everyone has to choose to what extent they apply” analytics, Hinch said. “We all have them — really smart people that are working behind the scenes to provide that kind of information. How you use them is going to be the competitive advantage. If we think we have different ways to maximize performance, we’re going to use them.”

What I like about this is the double insight that it’s a “given” that data analytics are important and that we all need to use them, but also, that the real trick is what you do with the insights. This goes to an idea I’ve talked about for a while, “schools should take a ‘Big Mother’ not a ‘Big Brother’ approach to collecting student data.  Caring for, and trying to make the most significant contribution, is what drives schools – leveraging data to better reach these goals should drive use of data analytics.

The second aspect that stood out in the article was the import role Astros’ coach A.J. Hinch played as the very human communications link between the “Decision” scientists and the players.  Similarly, school leaders need to inform, but not overwhelm teachers (and students and parents) with the role and use of data without losing sight of the “main game.”