Sunday, September 18, 2016

Capturing Student Data In the Moment

When asked what the biggest barrier to collecting and analyzing student assessment data, particularly that formative assessment data that should be occurring daily in the classroom, teachers frequently respond with "time."  How does one stop what they are doing to capture all that interaction and student work?  How do I find time to not only grade but analyze that data to identify student misconceptions?


Technology plays a big role in classrooms as an instructional support or means to enhance the curriculum.  As PARCC and MCAS move to online testing, it is even the mode in which students complete their summative assessments.  Below are a few ways that technology can play just as big a role in formative assessments:

  • Observations: move your observational or anecdotal data from notetaking to short videos.  Using a tablet or smartphone, capture students' presentations, turn and talks, class discussions, etc. via video.
  • Student work: Want to capture that model, poster, or other cumbersome display of student learning?  Take a photo with the smartphone or tablet and save it to a digital student portfolio or as a demonstration of student mastery toward a specific content standard.
  • Student surveys: Conducting a beginning of the year student interest inventory?  Or a survey of students' learning styles?  Google Forms or an online survey platform (most have a free, limited trial) collect and analyze data for you.
  • Formative assessments of academic content: And finally, if looking to assess students on a particular skill or content standard, a number of free websites are available.  Whether you are looking for a game-like platform to quiz students (Kahoot), ask students multiple choice or limited response questions (Plickers), or one that allows for a range of question types (Socrative), or one in which you could provide visible feedback embedded in student work (Google docs) there are a range of free applications available.  With the exception of Google docs, these tools, and others similar to them, allow you to customize questions, collect responses and immediately review data visuals on student responses. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Boston Future Ready Summit- November 14-15

Save the Date: Boston Future Ready Summit November 14-15:
The Boston Future Ready Summit, an opportunity for district teams to align digital learning strategies with student learning goals, will be held November 14-15 at the Education Development Center, 43 Foundry Ave., Waltham. District teams committed to fostering personal learning using effective digital strategies are invited to attend! The keynote speaker will be Eric Sheninger, senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education.

The summit is free and open to any district team that has not yet participated in a Future Ready Summit. Before registering, interested people should review the summit expectations and objectives

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Massachusetts Plan for Equitable Access to Educators

MA DESE has developed a state-wide plan for students to gain equitable access to educators.  The plan focuses on three main initiatives tied to: 1) Educator Preparation; 2) Educator Effectiveness; and 3) Inclusive Practices.


To support this plan, the following data resources are available:

  • Edwin Report SE322: Equitable Access to Educators
  • Edwin Report EV901: examines trends of educator evaluation ratings by provider
  • Educator Preparation Program Provider data
  • And calibration videos and resources.