Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership
I just came across this really good blog post on some things to consider before implementing a 1:1 iPad initiative. In fact, Terice Schneider’s blog is full of neat insights on the matter. Some of the issues described here run parallel to problems I’ve seen in how school districts implement other technologies, such as those for handling student data. It’s easy to buy data systems, but tougher to realize what will make immediate sense for teachers, what won’t, and how much follow up might really be needed.
In fact, I have a couple articles in the works that touch upon the problem of assuming that the “right” way to use a technology is self-evident. One is currently under review and attends to the idea of interpretive flexibility: technologies can mean different things to different people. I love this particular post about teaching faculty and students to get along better with email, because you get sense for how the adults in this school understood email to be one thing but soon realized that students had quite different perspectives on things like subject lines and email signatures.
This school turned these surprises into a teachable moment– something that more district offices and principals can do when it comes to computer data systems. Too often, districts provide a short “training” on logging in and clicking around, but then stop short. Have there been conversations about smart ways to leverage particular analyses to help students, and do teachers follow up with each other about what works? Do the teachers understand the difference between diagnostic score, summative scores, and predictive scores? What does any of this have to do with the reasons that we became and continue as educators?