NEWS & TRENDS: Three Ongoing Trends in Education Data

Although privacy and security grab most of the data headlines, three other ideas continue to gain momentum: interoperability, meta-analysis, and continuous improvement. Of the three, interoperability has the greatest effect on actual data usage. Administrators often want to see data from various tools compiled into one dashboard. Teachers want to avoid manual data entry, while students and parents want a clear picture of academic performance compiled in a readable format. Project Unicorn with 3.2 million students and 419 districts are now operating under a pledge that incudes commitments to data operability standards and digital tools that provide access to quality digital infrastructure. Meta-analysis of the usage of edtech tools is also gaining momentum. LearnPlatform is an example of an edtech management tool that organizes and streamlines the process of analyzing the impact of various tools and teaching practices. The How I Know initiative from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation focuses on shifting from a summative, end-of-quarter/semester/year feedback to more day-by-day, growth-oriented feedback and mindset changes. As interoperability and better-optimized edtech selection becomes a reality for more districts, there is likely to be more of a focus on day-by-day data.